TAF Pilot Assessment by Netwas (U) and WaterAid Uganda
Rainwater harvesting using ferrocement tanks can provide valuable supplies of clean drinking water close to homes, schools and health centres, especially in areas where rainfall is plentiful. Ferrocement tanks are durable and can be designed to hold over 100m3 of water. Household tanks usually range between 1.5m3 and 10m3 in capacity. They are made by plastering cement onto a steel frame wrapped in wire mesh. They have an inlet at the top of the tank (which should be screened to prevent debris entering), an overflow pipe and a tap to draw off water. Daylight should be prevented from entering tanks as it stimulates unwanted growth of algae and insect larvae.
A series of recommendations aimed at removing barriers to the scalability and sustainability of the ferrocement tank in Uganda were derived from group discussions during the TAF scoring process. These are outlined below:
- As householders are willing to invest in ferrocement tanks but are not able to pay full capital costs up front, a financing mechanism must be devised which provides householders with access to credit at affordable rates. Alternatively, the capital cost of tanks requires Government subsidy.
- There is a need for a professional association which masons are registered to or for a professional certification of masons by the district as a means of regulating their prices and the quality of their work.
- We suggest district staff periodically inspect tanks implemented by masons for quality and value for money.
- There is great variation in the cost and quality of materials used for construction depending on location. Greater efforts to regulate the quality of materials available could be made not just by national standards agencies but by districts and NGOs involved in construction.
- TAF Assessment (2013) Recommendations for the sustainability and scalability of ferrocement tanks in Mukono district, Uganda