NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF: Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) for Resilience to Climate Change Impact on Water Availability in Ghana [NDF C3 D9]

Photo: Roland Asare
23.09.2013
The project aimed to increase resilience to climate change by conducting holistic sustainability assessments and implementing designs based on standardized criteria that offer affordable, appropriate and cost-effective rain water harvesting (RWH) solutions.

Ghana
Rain Water Harvesting (RWH) for Resilience to Climate Change Impact on Water Availability in Ghana
Ref: NDF C3 D9

Nordic Partner: SINTEF
Local Partner: Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) and Water Research Institute (WRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
Other Partners: n/a
Total Project Cost: EUR 414,000
NCF Financing: EUR 330 199,00
Agreement Signed: 18 December 2012
Project Classification: Adaptation
Duration: 35 Months

Project Objective

The aim of the project was to increase resilience to climate change by conducting holistic sustainability assessments and implementation of designs based on standardized criteria that offer affordable, appropriate and cost-effective rain water harvesting (RWH) solutions, including monitoring and disinfection, for safe urban water supply.

The key objectives of the project were to:

i) Increase resilience to climate change impacts on water availability in Ghana;
ii) Facilitate local business development;
iii) Improve urban livelihoods;
iv) Increase water availability in selected household and schools;
v) Make affordable, appropriate and innovative RWH systems more available in Ghana; and
vi) Strengthen human and institutional capacities to implement RWH.

Description

Ghana suffers from increasingly intensive floods and rainfall events combined with a short rainy season. The project aimed at mitigating the expected negative effects of climate change by providing urban households and institutions with improved access to water through affordable, simple and safe rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems. The project has assessed the most appropriate solutions for rainwater harvesting, monitoring and disinfection, and implemented model systems in selected houses and institutions. The project created standardized design criteria and implemented innovative RWH systems. It also installed model systems to 20 households and one school with 700 students, which were then monitored and evaluated. The results showed that the implemented systems functioned as a main water source for most of the households. On average, the tanks had a filling degree of 64% or higher for half the monitoring period. Finally, the project has supported local business development by training 25 local artisans who have secured jobs in construction and maintenance of the systems. The project has also contributed to capacity-building among key stakeholders and generated increased public awareness about the potential and benefits of RWH in Ghana.

The project was in line with the objectives of Ghana's National Rainwater Harvesting Strategy. It facilitated local business development and improved livelihoods among poor and middle-income urban families by increasing their access to clean water. In doing so, it provided a healthier environment and free time and other resources that could be invested in education and income-generating activities.

Relevance for Climate Change

The project has had a direct impact as adaptation at the local level. The monitoring indicated that on average the tanks had a filling degree of 64% or higher for half the monitoring period. All the model systems are also adaptive in the sense that they provide water independently of any problems that might affect the public water supply and/or private tanker water services due to climate-related flooding and/or pollution of surface waters. Locally, risks of storm water run-off, pollution, flooding and erosion have been reduced.

Innovation and Knowledge Transfer

Standardized RWH designs were not available for Ghana before this project, but are essential to ensure that RWH systems perform adequately and meet customer expectations, and therefore critical when it comes to upscaling. The low-cost approach has aimed to support local business development. Training local artisans in how to construct the systems and set up business, dialogue with key stakeholders and the promotion of RWH among local estate developers and entrepreneurs will facilitate the adoption of the model RWH systems on a wider scale. Since artisans in Ghana often work with at least two apprentices, the knowledge and skills will be further spread quite efficiently among enterprises and individuals at the grassroots level in the water sector.

More information
SINTEF Final Report
SINTEF
STEPRI
CSIR