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Rainwater Harvesting will increase the retention of water that is received during the rainy periods to be used during the non rainy periods.



As disaster impacts are often manifested through flooding or drought, water management,  plays an important role in building resilience. At the times of disasters, availability of potable drinking water quickly became a major concern for relief efforts both from the perspective of life requirement and from concern over potential spread of waterborne disease from contaminated water supply. Therefore, communities that have water sources that are resistant to disasters suffer fewer negative consequences from floods and droughts and are able to recover more quickly.

Climate change prediction studies have indicated that Sri Lanka will experience high variability of rain fall ( ). That means wet areas will get wetted and dry areas will be more dry, and  intense rain can be expected within a short period . This makes it very difficult to accurately predict natural hazards like drought, floods and landslides, which cause significant destruction and loss of life in the country each year. 

The simple solution in this case is to increase the retention of water that is received during the rainy periods to be used during the non rainy periods. Rainwater harvesting in the form of collection and storage in a tank or retention in the soil and ground will be a good option for communities facing flood during wet season and water shortages during non-rain period

This project aims to show case the viability of rainwater harvesting systems as a practical, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) method for vulnerable communities by raising awareness,  demonstration and building capacity on rain water harvesting and ground water recharging technology. The project will target officials, community members, school children, professionals, journalist and practitioners in  drought and flood prone areas.


Is this proposal for a practice or a project?


What actions do you propose?

Objective 1: Demonstrate and provide disaster-resilient water supplies to vulnerable communities in drought and flood effected  areas 

a. Construction of Demonstration rain water harvesting systems (storage and/or recharge) in schools. Lack of clean water source, location of refugee centers during disasters (where ever possible), willingness to participate and to contribute from beneficiary schools would be criteria for selection

b. Establishment of demonstration RWH system in Rural hospitals/ Medical Clinic

c. Construction of Domestic Rain Water Harvesting Systems to beneficiaries  in the drought prone areas of the districts, who do not have safe and reliable water supply systems. Women headed households, households with children and households with disable person will be given priority. All householders who receive the rain water harvesting system will be trained on how to operate and maintain the system.

Objective 2: Build capacity of officials, professional and communities on rain water harvesting technology to influence the policies and practises of flood and drought management. In  order to obtain long term commitment from the government through policy implementation/change and to mainstream RWH as a DRR water supply option,  the capacity of the implementing organisations including government agencies, academics, engineers, architects, NGO’s,  provincial and local authority officials and community leaders need to be build.

d. Training program for  local authority officials, planning officers and development officers in each district 

e. . Training program for professionals: 2 training program of 2-3 days will be conducted to 40- 50 professionals on design, planning and implementation of RWH system as a DRR tool

f. Build capacity of community and school children to reduce the Risk of Disaster through establish Mobile Weather Stations in schools. Extreme variations in weather, especially rainfall, makes it challenging to predict natural disasters accurately which claims many lives and properties each year. Increasing the number of weather stations or localizing them could give better and clearer clues as to when and where the rainfall is reaching dangerous levels, thereby preventing catastrophes. The weather stations will monitor weather parameters such as rain fall (frequency, Intensity), wind, pressure, temperature and humidity. This data can then be used for decision- making in regular water resource management and other climate related application including helping to avoid crises situation, such as droughts and floods. This information then can be communicated to the community, local Disaster Mitigation Center office, District Secretary, National Water Supply & Drainage Board through SMS to be better prepared for these crisis situations. The information will  also be available in the web (  ) which gives a 10 day weather prediction. School children will be trained on how to install, monitor and maintain the weather stations.

g. Networking and Dissemination of Information.

  1. Update and strengthen LRWHF’s website by uploading fact sheets, positive/human interest stories and other related project activity documents, photos, research findings, press release and other public information etcfor purpose of sharing experience with other stakeholders.
  2. Publication: 1500 leaflets, 1000 posters and other visual aid will be developed in all 3 languages which will be used in awareness programs and training programs as well as to bring awareness at district level. Visibility board informing of project concept will be placed in strategic place in each district.
  3. Film festival: Island wide competition for short film on RWH for DRR in any of the 3 languages will be launched. This would encourage journalist, amateur photographers, film makers and students to get involved and report on DRR activities, which in turn would be used to promote project activities as well as the concept for influencing policy formulation. Half day workshop will be conducted to interested applications at the Rain Centre on the concepts and activities. The competition will be judged by panel of recognised judgers on the subject.
  4. Press conference; Half day press briefing will be conducted at the Rain Centre to give publicity for the International/Regional/National conference and film festival. Journalist (50) from around the country will invite to participate.  

5. National/ Regional/ International Conference: 2-3 Day conference will be planned on the 3rd and final year to share experience of the project activities and also similar experience from researchers and practitioners within the country and from  other countries.

Who will take these actions?

The project will be implemented with the assistance and collaboration of  Ministry of Water Supply and Drainage, Ministry of Disaster Management,  District and Divisional Secretaries, National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWS&DB), Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health in the project area for selection of locations, monitoring of activities and  for implementation of the project,  attending meeting participating in awareness program and training programs, 

Research Institutes ; Supervision time of resource persons, laboratory space from Open University and Moratuwa university ect,  

Private sector organization will also be involved in providing sponsorship of publicity events.

Where will these actions be taken?

It will be implemented in 4 district ( drought and flood prone) in the North and Uva province of Sri Lanka

In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.

Sri Lanka

Country 2

No country selected

Country 3

No country selected

Country 4

No country selected

Country 5

No country selected


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

What are other key benefits?


What are the proposal’s projected costs?


About the author(s)

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