Advice to IFAD on rainwater harvesting project in Kiribati

RAIN reviewed the report of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) about OIWFP in Kiribati and provided advice on rainwater harvesting methods. RAIN advised IFAD on the environmental and technical aspects of RWH and on institutional considerations. The environmental and technical advice focused on an assessment and possible implementation of 3R methods, such as adapting the infrastructure to guarantee a larger buffer of fresh water in lenses. The institutional considerations were about involving the community in the design phase of the project, clustering households for better acceptance of the project (households can choose with which household they want to share a water tank), and setting up mixed water management committees for tanks near public buildings to guarantee ownership.

As the seal level rises, freshwater reservoirs on the Kiribati islands will be increasingly affected by acidification and salinization. Droughts and salinization of groundwater have occurred more frequently in recent times, with serious impacts on water provision for villages. Earlier attempts to harvest rainwater suffered from practical issues such as a restricted life span of plastic sheets and tarpaulins, and difficulties with installing gutters onto roofs.