Even where rainfall is plentiful clean water can be scarce simply because many communities do not have the knowledge to collect and reuse it. Women walk many miles to a muddy water hole or river. And where they no longer fetch water, villages pay to truck it in.Â This happens even in Sierra Leone where there is abundant rainfall. Often no one even thinks of rain, an available resource, as safe, clean drinking water.
Bank On Rain provides training and tools for building and maintaining rainwater collection systems for drinking and agriculture.Â In the case of The Barina Agricultural School in Makali, Sierra Leone, no one (including the principal of the school) could imagine that the water that flowed off the schoolâ€™s rusty metal roof could be safe to drink.
We installed a 20,000 liter system for 300 students. A simple demonstration was all it took to illustrate something that before was unthinkable: rainwater from a roof is safe to drink!
Left: At The Barina Agricultural School in Sierra Leone, students and staff using Bank On Rain shipping containers (fish totes) present a quick demonstration to show how much rainwater can be collected and how clean it really can be. During this demo, the heavens opened up and provided a wonderful rain shower and the fish tote was full of the most pristine, pure water anyone had ever seen. The principal of the school wasÂ now a true believer after only one night of rainwater collection!
Bank On Rain is returning to this school in July 2013 to install a Rainwater Harvesting system for new living quarters for teachers. There was no source of water near the new building which is nearing completion, but later this year with the new quarters operational and with the system in place, the school will be able attract and house four more teachers, adding an improved teaching curriculum for the children in the school.
When the communities, in this case the teachers, students and a few locals from the neighboring village, build and maintain a rain collection system, they all come away with more than just water; they have knowledge which can be passed on, and used again and again!
Bank on Rain continues to bring knowledge and acceptance of rainwater collection to developing areas, with the strong conviction that this practice of helping people help themselves, will supply clean drinking water to those who are in need.
We focus on the whole picture: Once safe sanitation practices are implemented, communities earn the privilege of learning about and installing their own rainwater harvesting systems.
Learn more about the Bank On Rain ecosystem below. Please check out our blog and please contribute.