Field Visit to Honduras: Building Local Capacity in Sustainable Water Harvesting

In Honduras smallholders and families are increasingly suffering from more extreme droughts and below normal rainfall due to the “El Niño” effect. Aidenvironment is working in a consortium with three other partner organizations to build the capacity of local communities to adopt sustainable water harvesting technologies and introduce risk mitigation strategies. Sjaak Heuvels, a consultant at Aidenvironment, visited Honduras in July 2016. Read more about his visit below.

Foto_Honduras5_IMG_8519A consortium of Aidenvironment/RAIN and three other organizations (IUCN, FUNDER, IDE) is running a Community Catchment Management program in the Goascorán river basin in Honduras. This four-year program is financed by the Swiss Development Cooperation. Within the consortium Aidenvironment is facilitating the program monitoring and evaluation, developing a knowledge management strategy and knowledge sharing platform, and providing technical assistance on rainwater harvesting, the 3R Approach, and multiple-use systems.  

During my visit to Honduras I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful scenery, but it soon became apparent that the country is suffering from the direct negative impacts of climate change. One of the most obvious impacts is the increasing population of the southern pine bark beetle. This destructive forest insect is spreading rapidly through the forests around the capital, Tegucigalpa, causing rampant deforestation and soil erosion. The sudden explosion of the beetle population is being blamed on the warmer climate. It became clear to me during my visit that Honduras urgently needs to find ways to become more resilient to climate change.

Luckily, the Community Catchment Management program Aidenvironment is participating in is doing just that. For one thing, the program provides the communities with better access to finance and knowledge about rainwater harvesting techniques. They can then implement these techniques to improve their access to rainwater during periods of extended droughts. During the field mission we spoke to a farmer who is now able to implement a rainwater harvesting technique and continue to grow his crops with a micro-drip irrigation system. While the country faces more extended droughts, this farmer has been able to increase the number of crop cycles. If you want to know more about this program and our expertise in rainwater harvesting, please contact Sjaak Heuvels.