What Kenya needs to do to take advantage of its rainfall
– About 40% of Nairobi’s water supply gets lost on the way to consumers.
For the past month Kenya has had torrential rainfall. This followed devastating droughts in parts of the country. The Conversation Africa’s Moina Spooner asked Maimbo Malesu how the country can make better use of the rains.
What is rainwater harvesting and how does it work?
Rainwater harvesting is the capture, storage and use of rainwater. The beauty of it is anybody can do it and it can be adapted to local context. Each design can be customised to suit the needs of the user.
There are several types of rainwater harvesting systems, but there are three main ones:
In-situ rainwater harvesting refers to the capture of rainwater where it falls. This system is useful in agricultural production systems where micro-catchments are used. For example, Zai pits. These are small permanent micro-basins, excavated on the ground where you want to plant a crop. They prevent water from running off the surface and causing erosion. Instead, water accumulates and plants can be grown in them.