Study visit learns the hard way, together
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CTA. 2000. Study visit learns the hard way, together. Spore 89. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/46914
Internet URL: http://spore.cta.int/images/stories/pdf/old/spore89.pdf
CTA study visit in Kenya in June 2000
Where two decades ago the talk was of rainwater catchment for household use and agricultural production, now it is of water harvesting. This approach blends revived or new technologies with modern materials and construction techniques and as the fixing element community participation. The expansion of rainwater harvesting in rural areas of Africa has been underway for some time, and a CTA study visit in Kenya in June 2000 allowed practitioners to exchange experiences. Having presented their national papers to launch their ten-day programme, 17 participants from Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia joined a community group in the Laikipia area north-west of Nairobi and observed, hands-on , the construction of a kitchen storage tank for domestic use. They also visited Machakos, south-east of Nairobi, to examine various water harvesting works for agricultural use. The visit ended with a pooling of lessons about the best uses of kitchen and underground tanks, terracing, retention techniques using plants and the sand-dam, a technology which is growing in interest. A key angle on each technology was its gender-specificity , looking at the role of women and, if any, of men. Among their findings: community contribution is essential and social mobilisation takes a long time . Then the real work began: participants returned home, clutching each other s pledges to apply, adapt and multiply what they had studied so closely.