Nepal - Bees for biodiversity and the rural economy

by Dharma Raj Dakal (adapted by Florian Bielser) | 24 May 2024
Image Nepal - Bees for biodiversity and the rural economy

One of IRHA's project takes place in Kaski and Chitwan districts in Nepal. In partnership with three local partners Sapana Village Social Impact - SVSI, Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Resarch and Development - LI-BIRD and Kanchan Nepal - KN, the project aim improve community resilience and living conditions by restoring ecosystem functionalities, enhancing water availability, consolidating agricultural practices and strengthening collective/sustainable management of natural resources by ...

read more
Image A Successful Knowledge-Sharing Workshop in Senegal !

Rainwater was at the heart of a knowledge-sharing workshop organized by the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) in partnership with the Senegalese Rainwater Harvesting Association (ASGEP). From April 15 to 16, 2024, in Djilor Djidiack, Senegal, this event brought together committed minds, including members from 14 Senegalese NGOs: Agrosol, ASPSP, Caritas Kaolack, Djigui Sembe, FADDO, Ferme des 4 Chemins, Gret, Fédération Kajoor Jankeen, Keur Yakaar, Kuu Tinaa, Océanium Dakar, UrbaSen, ASGEP, in collaboration with 6 organizations from the FGC: ASED, IRHA, JACO, SIT, Tereo, and Urbamonde, in the quest for sustainable solutions to climate challenges.

Through this initiative, IRHA aims to make rainwater not only an efficiently managed resource but also a catalyst for sustainable development. The workshop began with a reflection on the role of rainwater in the participants' respective projects, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.

Following a schedule rich in exchanges and discoveries, the participants explored different facets of rainwater harvesting. From theory to practice, including sharing inspiring experiences, each moment was an opportunity to enhance skills and promote a collaborative approach.

The water cycle was addressed in its complexity, highlighting the need for integrated watershed management. Technical solutions, such as vegetated stone cordons and blue schools, were presented and discussed, illustrating the diversity of possible approaches.

The field visit offered concrete perspectives, from calabashes to market garden plots, demonstrating the tangible benefits of sustainable rainwater harvesting. Interactions with local actors enriched the understanding of the issues and solutions adapted to each context.

In conclusion, this workshop marks the beginning of a journey, a collective quest for more responsible water harvesting. The recommendations made, derived from evaluations and exchanges, pave the way for future collaborations and initiatives. Rainwater, far from being a mere meteorological element, thus becomes the symbol of a common vision: that of a sustainable and resilient future for all.

Workshop Report

Image Tags de PluiË in Geneva !

On Saturday, April 27th at 4 pm, the vernissage of Tags de PluiË took place on the Pont de la Machine in the heart of Geneva!

Tag Creation Process

We aimed to create the tag phrases in a participatory and collaborative manner. To achieve this, we organized three activities titled "Paroles de Pluie," aimed at exploring the connection between words and rainwater, emotions, and art (see our previous blog).

Subsequently, we applied these phrases onto the ground using a hydrophobic, biological, and ...

read more
Image Walking the trail in Nepal

Following the 2-day Regional Rainwater Conference on 18 and 19th of March organized by the Nepal Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (see March newsletter), Florian Bielser, IRHA Programme Officer, and Han Heijnen, President of the IRHA Board, joined Nirmal Adhikari, programme coordinator of Kanchan Nepal, our partner, for a 10-day field trip to Chitwan and Kaski districts.

The purpose of our visit was to see how the IRHA supported projects in the two districts had evolved and to strengthen th...

read more
Image Harvesting rain in Nepal - Regional conference on rainwater management

From March 18 to 19, the Regional Conference on "Rainwater Harvesting and Management: Harnessing Rainwater for Enhanced Water Security and Climate Resilience" took place in Kathmandu, Nepal. On the day preceding the conference, March 17, international participants were able to visit urban rainwater recharge and capture projects implemented in Kathmandu.

The event was aimed at regional players active in rainwater management. Participants came from the authorities (4 mayors and 3 current and for...

read more
Image Go out and search for our rain tags: pluiË !

Go out and search for our rain tags pluiË in the area of Geneva !

Plan des tags

Once you found them, take a photo, post it on Instagram or Facebook and tag us! Enjoy!!!



Instagram : IRHA_H2o

Facebook : IRHA_H2o

read more
Image Regional Conference on Rainwater Harvesting and Management: A Step Towards Sustainable Development

The International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) is delighted to share insights from the recently concluded Regional Conference on Rainwater Harvesting and Management, held in Kathmandu, Nepal, on 18-19 March 2024.

The conference was jointly organized by Smart Water Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and the Development Support Organization of the Netherlands (SNV Nepal). Among the co-organizers of the Conference were the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA), Water Aid Nepal, Nepal Water ...

read more

IRHA - New Partner Introduction

by Darja Könnig | 27 March 2024
Image IRHA - New Partner Introduction

We're very happy to welcome the Nepal Rainwater Harvesting Alliance to IRHA, formalized during the "Regional Conference on Rainwater Harvesting and Management” in Nepal, wich was held on March 18-19, 2024. An MoU signed by Han Heijnen and E. Ramdeep Sah signals our joint commitment to advancing global rainwater harvesting initiatives, to enhance information sharing, mutual cooperation, and global outreach.

Image New Collaborative Project in Uganda Takes Shape: Fostering Sustainable Agriculture and Reforestation

Exciting developments are underway in Uganda as plans for a collaborative project begin to take shape. For this project IRHA partners with the Bethany Land Institute (BLI), and Agroforestry Promotion Network (APN), aiming to promote sustainable agriculture and reforestation efforts in the region.

Building a Sustainable Future Together

In response to the urgent need for environmental restoration and sustainable land management practices, the three partners have joined forces to implement a compr...

read more
Image A rainwater harvesting awareness workshop in Senegal is coming!

In the context of our PartageÖ project, a knowledge-sharing initiative funded by the Geneva Federation of Cooperation, we are organizing a Rainwater Management Awareness Workshop in Djilor, Senegal, on April 15th and 16th.

This workshop is open to all partners of organizations affiliated with the FGC, particularly partners of the Food Sovereignty Platform (PSA), who are interested in issues related to water and rainwater management.

The main objective is to actively encourage participating NGO...

read more

PluiË Programme in Geneva

by Dunand Marion | 26 March 2024
Image PluiË Programme in Geneva

We are extremely proud to present to you the program of activities for our project PluiË - Promouvoir de manière LUdique et Innovante l’Eau de Pluie.

You will discover a variety of creative and artistic activities, such as participatory dance workshops aimed at appropriating and valorizing rainwater through movement, in collaboration with the Global Water Dances - Geneva.

Also on the agenda are rain walks offered by IRHA in various locations in Geneva, such as Parc Bertrand or the Berge de ...

read more
Image Review of the Opening of the "Hors Sec" Exhibition

The opening of our exhibition "Hors Sec" at Espace Enchanté took place last Saturday, in commemoration of World Water Day. Approximately 50 people took part in various highlights of the afternoon.

IRHA presented a photo exhibition consisting of 9 shots and testimonials from different continents, showcasing rainwater as a free and universal resource, usable in everyday life.

A playful expression space around a large cloud was also offered by IRHA, where everyone could share their memories relat...

read more

Nestled within the bustling urban landscape of Medellín, Colombia, a transformative initiative is quietly taking root – the Green Corridors project. These verdant pathways represent a concerted effort by the city to promote sustainability, resilience, and community well-being. At the heart of this endeavor lies the strategic integration of rainwater harvesting systems, a crucial element in nurturing these green havens and mitigating environmental challenges.

Medellín's Green Corrid...

read more

In February, Han Heijnen - President of the IRHA - visited the Kasese district in Western Uganda to monitor a rainwater harvesting programme in schools, which was completed in 2022. Around 25 schools in the Rwenzori hills were supported in the construction of rainwater harvesting systems, using 5 and 10 cubic metre Calabash tanks in particular. A rapid assessment showed that the rainwater storage systems were highly functional and very useful.

For several months, the IRHA has been in contact w...

read more
In a context where water is becoming a growing global concern, IRHA's PluiË_Promouvoir de manière Lundique et Innovante l'Eau de pluie project is raising awareness of the need to change perceptions of the rainwater resource. The project's "Paroles de Pluie" activity features a creative, participatory approach to exploring the link between art, words and rainwater.

The activity took place in three distinct stages, each offering a unique dimension for expressing and understanding the resource ...
read more

The concept of Community Seed Banks (CSB) has been globally developed to address on-farm conservation and utilization of local plant genetic resources, along with associated traditional knowledge. This initiative aims to counteract the rapid loss of genetic resources within local production systems. CSBs are designed to conserve, restore, revitalize, strengthen, and enhance plant genetic resources, with a primary emphasis on local crop varieties (Vernooy et al., 2020). These banks actively ...

read more

As part of the "A Kop Allè No Maag Olé - La forêt de la mer" project, Océanium, in partnership with IRHA and local authorities, organized a community festival focusing on the preservation of local resources and the restoration of the mangrove swamp. The event took place on Saturday, December 16, in Faoye, a small village nestled in an inlet (bolong) in Senegal's Siné Saloum region.

As part of the promotion and to reach out to the wider community, the week leading up to the event saw the d...

read more
As part of the Femme de Terre project, a reinforcement of 5 women's groups was organized by the field agent of APAF Sénégal (Association pour la Promotion des Arbres Fertilitaires, IRHA's partner in this project). Spread over two days, it took place in two market garden plots located around Keur Maba, in the Kaolack region of Senegal.

Over 40 women from 5 different groups took part in the training sessions, which were structured to maximize farmer-to-farmer exchanges. Both the APAF technicia...
read more
An international workshop on financing rural development was held in Gitega, Burundi, in September 2023, organised by the Burundian association ADISCO with the support of Philea, IRED and the Platform for Food Sovereignty of member organisations of the Geneva Development Cooperation Federation.
Some forty participants involved in promoting savings and credit in rural areas from 8 countries in East and West Africa exchanged their approaches and methods and discussed ways of improving their acti...
read more

In November, I had the honour of meeting with the Minister of Water Resource of Burkina Faso. The meeting was held at the Burkina Faso House in Geneva,

Following the oucomes of the IWRM review conducted in Burkina, we had the chance to discuss water issues and the obvious need to take into account rainwater management into the plans. Urban or rural settings, it is all about dealing with the too much and too little water.

Climate change is there and it is becoming an urgent matter for national...

read more

Where run-off stops!

by sylvestre | 8 December 2023

We love rainwater and love to harvest it to make it available to people and ecosystems, but during rainy season, too much of rainwater can generate run-off causing major destruction to infrastructures, making communities even more vulnerable.

This is why we can not approach rainwater/stormwater management without including sustainable land management approaches into it. This was done in Kaolack in the frame of the project in partnership with Caritas Kaolack.

Gabions were set across gullies to s...

read more

The International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance is pleased to announce the launch of the PluiË project, an innovative initiative aimed at raising awareness and engaging the public of Greater Geneva in the crucial importance of Rainwater Management (RWM).

Aim of the project

"PluiË - Promouvoir de manière LUdique et Innovante l'Eau de pluie" aims to break the rules, deconstruct prejudices and put forward a rethought approach to rainwater. Over a period of 1 year, the aim is to raise awareness ...

read more

Aadarsha Blue School is the 12th Blue School implemented by Kanchan Nepal (KN) and International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) in Nepal. Blue School, a programme developed by IRHA in 2005, aims to improve the children’s health at school by access to water, sanitation, hygiene practices and resource management.

These past weeks works have ramped up. Construction materials have arrived on site and terracing works have started. Before constructing NEW blocks of toilets, communities were ...

read more

Awareness-raising activities continue in the field

by Mbaye Ana Dramé | 30 October 2023

Several awareness-raising activities were organized by the Océanium to sensitize schoolchildren to water-related issues. Pupils were able to understand the water cycle through educational frescoes, and appreciate the importance of preserving the water cycle and the mangrove swamp.

A guided tour of the tann nursery was conducted to help school children understand the importance of preserving mangrove shrubs, notably the Conocarpus Erectus. A projection ceremony on the theme of the return of th...
read more

From September 25 to 30, 2023, an international exchange and learning workshop on rural financing was held in Bujumbura and Ngozi, Burundi. The workshop was organized by IRED (Innovations et Réseaux pour le Développement) and Philéa (Société Coopérative Philea International), with the support of PSA (Plateforme de Souveraineté Alimentaire) in partnership with ADISCO (Appui au Développement Intégral et à la Solidarité sur les Collines).

The Senegalese association for rainwater manage...

read more

Aadarsha Blue School

by Sony Pun | 25 October 2023

Adarsha Basic School

Adarsha Blue School is the 12 th Blue School Project implemented by Kanchan Nepal (KN) and International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) in Nepal. Blue School, a programme developed by IRHA in 2005, aims to improve the children’s health at school by access to water, sanitation, hygiene practices and resource management.

Located in Dahakhani, Ward No. 7 of Ichchhakamana Rural Municipality, Chitwan district, Adarsha Basic School is accessible by gravel road, 25 ...

read more

Interview for Radio Cité Genève

by Sima Haïrapetian | 18 September 2023

Our director Marc Sylvestre had the pleasure of presenting the IRHA and its programs to local radio station Radio Cité Genève.

Click here to read the interview

In the countries in which IRHA operates, we work alongside those who are who are committed to changing their daily live. With or without outside NGOs, they get involved, implement on a small scale, test and learn from their mistakes.

Too often our external NGOs, in a frantic race to attract beneficiaries and be able to deploy activities, fail to listen to the weak signals from those who, day after day day after day, implement change in their fields, as a cooperatives and at household level....

read more

We are delighted to announce that, thanks to funding from the Fédération genevoise de coopération (FGC), and in partnership with Kanchan Nepal, Libird and SVSI, we are launching a new integrated water resources management project for the Kaski and Tobang catchment areas.

This project aims to rethink the management of (rain)water and soil resources. This will be achieved by implementing water conservation/retention measures at all levels of the catchment area in order to restore a natural wa...

read more

On the road to Alternatiba 2023 !

by Sima Haïrapetian | 28 August 2023

Once again this year, IRHA will be present at the 9th edition of the Alternatiba Léman festival, to be held in Geneva's Parc des Bastions. The festival kicked off on Monday August 28, with 5 days of conferences, roundtables and workshops at various venues around the city.

Alternatiba Léman is first and foremost a citizens' movement that highlights the many citizen initiatives that aim to raise public awareness of the climate emergency. Thus, every year since 2015, these actors have had the o...

read more

The 2nd SARNET International Conference on Rainwater Harvesting, a Sustainable Solution for Climate Change Resilience and Achieving SDGs, was successfully held on May 17th and 18th, 2023, at the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The conference brought together 24 international participants and 27 presentations were done by the professionals, academics, researchers, government, and private sector officials from various countries, including Sri Lanka, Indi...

read more

First rain for our boulis !

by Marc Sylvestre | 31 July 2023

For several months we worked on profiling 3 boulis in the Fatick region. We identified low-lying areas where run-off accumulated, raised awareness among communities and authorities of the problem of collecting run-off and restored these wetlands by overburdening them.

These areas, most of which are abandoned or little-known, have great potential for reintroducing water into the landscape and significantly strengthening the area's ecosystems. The boulis have just received their first rains and...

read more

IRHA was at Novatech 2023 !

by Sima Haïrapetian | 28 July 2023

IRHA was proud to take part in the 11th Novatech international conference, held at ISARA in Lyon from 3 to 7 July 2023. It was an opportunity for our team to meet experts from all over the world who are committed to promoting integrated and sustainable stormwater management in urban environments.

The conference was organised around 4 main themes: rainwater and techniques, rainwater and development, rainwater and impacts, rainwater and impacts, and rainwater and society.

We were able to attend v...

read more

Rainwater run-off control programme

by Mbaye Anna Dramé | 28 June 2023

In the Sine Saloum, the advance of salty land is one of the main causes of the retreat of mangroves and plant cover, land degradation and contamination of aquifers, which form the basis of the ecosystem and the biodiversity that inhabits it. Océanium, IRHA and APAF Senegal are combining their efforts and expertise to provide an effective response to these challenges.

Through a combination of rainwater resource management, work to reintroduce agroforestry patches and community capacity-buildin...

read more

Gabions and erosion control

by Florian Bielser | 15 June 2023

In Senegal's Sine-Saloum region, villages near the banks of river valleys suffer extensive material damage every year as a result of run-off. This has increased after decades of deforestation upstream of the villages and clearing of the riverbanks, leading to the destabilisation of the physical environment (agro-ecosystems), the biophysical environment (fauna, avifauna, flora) and certain aspects of people's lives and mobility (habitats, roads, etc.).

Today, gullies and landslides threaten roa...

read more

An interesting blog on rainwater practice around the globe was recently written by Prof. Mooyoung Han as a contribution to the Rainwater Harvesting and Management Specialist Group of the International Water Association. Prof. Han is the CEO of a Korean NGO "Rain for All". The NGO is an alliance member of IRHA. IRHA is in turn a "Rain for All" member while we also contribute to the IWA RWHM Specialist Group

" As we seek to develop water practices fit for the future, we can look for lesson...

read more

During the last two weeks of May, I went on a short mission to Senegal. During this time, I was able to visit projects carried out at the start of the year, meet old and new players, conduct awareness-raising and training sessions and supervise the start-up of activities linked to erosion control.

In this blog, I'd like more specifically to share my observations from my meeting with three women's groups from the "Femmes de Terre" project, which is being carried out in partnership with APAF Sen...

read more

SARNET conference 2023

by Han Heijnen | 25 May 2023

The South Asia Rainwater Network (SARNET) is hosted by Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum In Sri Lanka. SARNET was set up in late 2019 in order to promote best practices and experiences in rainwater harvesting in the South Asian region. It has grown from some 30 members in 2020 to well over a hundred in 2023. Most members are from South Asia, with some also from Africa. The broader objective of SARNET is to generate further knowledge and evidence on suitability of rainwater harvesting, suppor...

read more

Work on the overburdening, backfilling and compacting of three boulis (rainwater retention ponds) took place in the Fatick region from 27.03.2023 to 21.04.2023.

The boulis were built in three villages in the Siné Saloum region of central Senegal as part of the "A kop allé no maag olé - La Forêt de la Mer" project, led by IRHA and its Senegalese partners, APAF and Oceanium.

The construction of these structures is an ongoing, evolving and living process. Improvements are likely to be incorpor...

read more

Partnerships and cooperation for water

by Sima Haïrapetian | 21 April 2023

The UN Annual Report on the Water Development in the World with title “Partnerships and Cooperation for Water” published at the World
Water Conference today in New York, cites as a positive example the
catchment of rainwater in the Brazilian Northeast.

Box 4.3 Smart rainwater management and drought resilience in rural semi-arid communities: A case study of Northeast Brazil

The smart rainwater management in Northeast Brazil was triggered by a drought between 1979 and 1983, which killed near...

read more

Commitment to water action agenda

by Han Heijnen | 29 March 2023

On behalf of the rainwater harvesting community- the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance has submitted a commitment to the UN Secretary General's Water Action Agenda.

The commitment states that we, as a global alliance [aim] to improve water security through promoting rainwater harvesting and storage for households, schools and health centres; for agriculture and ecosystems; and for urban climate resilience.

The initiative aims at promoting Rainwater Management in response to intern...

read more

UN WATER 2023 - Side event on rainwater

by Sima Haïrapetian | 21 March 2023

On behalf of the following organizations :

The International Rainwater HarvestingAlliance (IRHA, Switzerland), Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum (LRWHF, SriLanka), South Asia Rainwater Network (SARNET, Sri Lanka), Clean Water - HealthyVillage (Netherlands), Rainwater Harvesting Association of Malawi (RHAM, Malawi), Rain forAll (South Korea), American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA),Asociación Mexicana de Sistemas de Captación de Agua de Lluvia A.C. (AMSCALL,Mexico) and the Sen...

read more

Rainwater is recognized as directly related to the current climate crisis, especially the phenomena of flood and drought. It, however, has been receiving less attention among water management practices or even ignored or managed off-site instead of source-control. As people in the Monsoon region have traditionally suffered from droughts and floods each year, rainwater is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how they manage rainwater. They might also have cultivated site-specific ...

read more

Discover the testimony of Océane, student in Master of Environmental Sciences at the University of Geneva and intern at IRHA for almost a year. She tells us about her stay in Senegal, as part of the field visit to follow the evolution of IRHA's activities.

"November 2022 was an opportunity for me to discover the land of teranga, an experience rich in all aspects: human encounters, cultural discoveries, culinary and musical initiations, not to mention the magnificent landscapes covered with t...

read more

Calabash tanks across borders !

by Aziz Konaré | 17 February 2023

During the period between January 17 and February 03 2023, a reinforcement training on calebash rainwater harvesting tanks was held in Guinea Bissau. This training brought together mason-trainers from four West African countries: Nigeria, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau and Senegal.

On this occasion, IRHA sent the team that has built most of the calabash tanks in Senegal since 2019 (more than 130!), namely, the coordinator and technician Abdoul Aziz Konaré and the two masons Habib Ndong and M...

read more

Roman Cisterns in Cartagena de Murcia

by Margarita Pacheco | 26 January 2023

Murcia is a Province in the southeast of Spain with a long history of Mediterranean exchanges among sailors, religions, slavery and different occupations.

Since the Fenicians in the II century b.c indigenous settlements were exposed to other civilizations from the east and south of the Mediterranean.

Several occupations from the eastern Roman Empire in Bizance, Moors and Berbers from Northern Africa, jewish, Visigods, Catholics have lived together and struggled along history dominating the coas...

read more

Florian's feedback - Senegal 2022

by Florian Bielser | 26 January 2023

November 2022 was the occasion for IRHA to carry out a field visit to Senegal in order to follow the evolution of the activities implemented by IRHA and its partners: APAF SN, Océanium de Dakar and Caritas Kaolack. This mission also allowed Océane, an intern at IRHA, to discover Senegal, its landscapes and its population. As part of her master's thesis at the University of Geneva, she is studying the links between land salinisation, local agricultural practices and the various land manageme...

read more

Partners meeting in Senegal

by Florian Bielser | 29 November 2022

During the days of November 17 and 18 was held a meeting between the various partners of the IRHA in Senegal. In addition to the IRHA team, we could count on the presence of APAF Senegal, Oceanium Dakar, Caritas Kaolack, SOS Faim, Growing Life Farm, local authorities and field actors.

On the first day, in the magnificent setting of the hotel de la Source aux Lamantins in Djilor, on the banks of a bolong, the local name for an arm of the sea, participants were able to follow a series of trainin...

read more

Storing runoff during the monsoon season in Himalayan hills is crucial to have enough water to cope with the dry season, especially considering that climate change is changing rainfall intensity and patterns. Traditional Nepalese water ponds, called pokharis, are used to store runoff mainly for cattle rearing and rice fields’ supplementary irrigation. Local communities are interested in restoring existing pokharis and building new ones to improve their economical and living conditions. Sele...

read more

IRHA participated in the 11th Symposium on Rainwater Harvesting and Management. This meeting mobilised a large number of actors active in this sector (NGOs, private sector, local authorities) in order to promote a better management of this resource on Brazilian territories.

During this meeting, IRHA and ABCMAC signed a partnership agreement to strengthen their cooperation in the implementation of pilot projects, capacity building of stakeholders in rainwater management and the implementation o...

read more

Your support is key


Name: IRHA
Account: 17-198970-3
IBAN: CH15 0900 0000 1719 8970 3

Recognised as a public utility, your donations to the IRHA are tax deductible.



Keep in touch with by subscribing to our newsletter


International Environment House 2
Chemin de Balexert, 9
CH-1219 Châtelaine

Tel. : +41 22 797 41 57
E-mail :