Image Paroles de PluiË: a 3-dimensional activity 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 ...
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Image Empowering Communities: Annapurna's Community Seed Bank Transforms Agriculture and Lives

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 ...

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Image Community festival to promote the environment

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...

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Image Strengthening women's groups in agro-ecological practicesAs 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...
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Image Savings and credit for family farming in sub-Saharan AfricaAn 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...
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Image IRHA meets with Minister of Water Resource (Burkina)

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...

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Where run-off stops!

by sylvestre | 8 December 2023
Image Where run-off stops!

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...

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Image 3, 2, 1... launch of PluiË initiative

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 ...

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Image Terracing works at Aadarsha Blue School

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 stareted. beofre constructing NEW blocks of toilets, communities was...

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Awareness-raising activities continue in the field

by Mbaye Ana Dramé | 30 October 2023
Image Awareness-raising activities continue in the field

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...
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Image International exchange and learning workshop on rural financing

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...

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Aadarsha Blue School

by Sony Pun | 25 October 2023
Image Aadarsha Blue School

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 ...

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Interview for Radio Cité Genève

by Sima Haïrapetian | 18 September 2023
Image Interview for Radio Cité Genève

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

Image Listening to the low signals - Working alongside those who are driving change

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....

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Image Launch of an Integrated Water Resource Management project in the Kaski and Chitwan watersheds (Nepal)

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...

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On the road to Alternatiba 2023 !

by Sima Haïrapetian | 28 August 2023
Image On the road to Alternatiba 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...

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Image SARNET International Conf. Showcases Rainwater Harvesting as a Sustainable Solution for Climate Resilience

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...

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First rain for our boulis !

by Marc Sylvestre | 31 July 2023
Image First rain for our boulis !

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...

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IRHA was at Novatech 2023 !

by Sima Haïrapetian | 28 July 2023
Image IRHA was at Novatech 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...

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Rainwater run-off control programme

by Mbaye Anna Dramé | 28 June 2023
Image Rainwater run-off control programme

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...

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Gabions and erosion control

by Florian Bielser | 15 June 2023
Image Gabions and erosion control

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...

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Image Rainwater practices around the globe

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...

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Image Mission return - Femmes de terre

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...

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SARNET conference 2023

by Han Heijnen | 25 May 2023
Image SARNET conference 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...

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Image Report on the work of boulis - Djilasse, Senegal

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...

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Partnerships and cooperation for water

by Sima Haïrapetian | 21 April 2023
Image Partnerships and cooperation for water

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...

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Commitment to water action agenda

by Han Heijnen | 29 March 2023
Image Commitment to water action agenda

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...

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UN WATER 2023 - Side event on rainwater

by Sima Haïrapetian | 21 March 2023
Image UN WATER 2023 - Side event on rainwater

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...

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Image Rain School Initiative in Monsoon region to overcome climate crisis

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 ...

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Image Oceane's feedback - Senegal 2022

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...

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Calabash tanks across borders !

by Aziz Konaré | 17 February 2023
Image Calabash tanks across borders !

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...

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Roman Cisterns in Cartagena de Murcia

by Margarita Pacheco | 26 January 2023
Image Roman Cisterns in Cartagena de Murcia

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...

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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...

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Partners meeting in Senegal

by Florian Bielser | 29 November 2022
Image Partners meeting in Senegal

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...

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Image Identification of suitable sites for traditional pokhari water harvesting in mountain rural communities of the Himalaya

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...

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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...

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Rest in peace Prakash

by IRHA | 20 September 2022

The International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance IRHA is saddened to learn of the untimely demise in Kathmandu last Friday September 16 of our good friend Prakash Amatya.

During the last 25 years Prakash has been a great inspiration to many in Nepal active in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector. Prakash was a driving force behind the revival of Dhunge Dhara (traditional stone water spouts) and in different capacities facilitated local initiatives to public sanitation and to rainwater harv...

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The boulis - An island of greenery in Sahel

by Florian Bielser | 15 September 2022
Image The boulis - An island of greenery in SahelIn Senegal, but more globally in the entire Sahelian region, water problems are increasingly worrying for populations and ecosystems. Indeed, this region is subject to a rainfall regime of only 3-4 months followed by a complete dry period of 8-9 months.

As part of its territorial diagnosis, the IRHA located existing water points in the Sine Saloum region, Senegal. These water points, locally called marigots are essential for the watering of livestock but also for all wild biodiversity.

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Rain Communities are targeted communities in mid hills of Nepal where nature-based solutions have been implemented through Integrated Water Resouce Management (IWRM) activities in partnership with Kanchan Nepal.

Discover the video of our project !

Image It's almost back to school for our Blue Schools !

Our Blue School project in Tobang is going well !

We have been able to build 2 rainwater harvesting tanks, a new sanitary block and a hand washing system, in order to provide a better environment for the children and the educational staff.

Thanks to our partner Kanchan Nepal for the implementation of these infrastructures.

This initiative is supported by the Hirzel Foundation and the Services Industriels de Terre Sainte et Environs SITSE.

The Blue Schools program, developed by IRHA, has been succ...

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Image Statement on PFAS in rainwater


Recently, a study was published in Environmental Science & Technology that concluded that PFAS in rainwater in several locations exceeded Lifetime Drinking Water Health Advisory levels from the U.S. Environmental ProtectionAgency (EPA). Similarly, maximum permissible levels under review in EU and Denmark are exceeded. PFAS are not only present in rainwater, but also in soil and water. There these also exceed local standards.

PFAS (per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances) have been ...

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Rain in the city

by Florian Bielser | 28 June 2022

For the years to come, the problem of better stormwater management in urban areas is a real challenge for the development of cities that are expanding due to a growing rural exodus. While developed countries are beginning to implement "at source" management policies, countries in the South are lagging behind in these so-called alternative practices.

These practices not only allow for better management of flooding risks during intense rainfall events, but also allow for the reintroduction of na...

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2021 Annual Report is OUT

by IRHA | 6 May 2022

New programmes on ecosystem restoration, Food sovereignty , water resilient peasant agriculture, watershed management, but above all new Alliance partnerships, the year 2021 has been rich in new developments for IRHA.

Our Annual Report 2021 is OUT!

Thanks to all the donors, sponsors, public institutions, foundations that support our actions!!!

2021 Annual Report

Image Here we go with Blue School#11 in Tobang (Nepal)

Let's go for Blue School#11! (Tobang, Nepal). The Kanchan Nepal team met with the local authorities and the school of Janapriya to launch the project.

This initiative will help in enabling an environment where pupils can be safe and study. We will rehabilitate toilets, build 2 cisterns to collect rainwater and store it, build a roof serving as a catchment area as well as hand washing stations.

This initiative is supported by the Hirzel Foundation and the Services Industriels de Terre Sainte et ...

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Image The solution runs off ... then evaporates

Can you see anything? We do...

Within the framework of the project "the forest of the sea", the IRHA, APAF Sn and Océanium Dakar intend to rehabilitate several lowland areas in the region of Fatick in order to restore the balance

The lowland areas are most often neglected, deforested but represent low points where rainwater accumulates. These areas are used by livestock and wildlife and allow infiltration and recharge of groundwater.

The problem in the Sahelian zones is above all the strong eva...

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Pumpkin shaped Sri Lanka - Nepal Cooperation

by LRWHF, Sri Lanka | 2 December 2021

In December 2021, Malkanthi a sri lankan mason went to Nepal to train the masons of Kanchan Nepal to build a pumpkin-shaped rainwater harvesting tank.

Malkanthi is a native of Athiliwewa Monaragala (Sri Lanka), a mother of three children.She is the first female mason trained by the Lanka Rainwater Harvesting Forum and has encouraged and trained other women as masons in the Monaragala district.

On her way to Nepal, she swept away all gender barriers and stereotypes to share her knowledge and tra...

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Image Reforesting Barren Land: An Interview with FECOFUN

As part of its reforestation activities within the “Rain Communities” project in Nepal, IRHA is working closely with the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN), which units together 22’300 Community Forestry Users Groups. To better understand FECOFUN’s activities in Nepal, Nirmal Adhikari (NA) – Project Manager at Kanchan Nepal - interviewed Kalidas Subedi (KS), the Provincial Chairperson of FECOFUN for Gandaki Province.


KS: The Federation of...

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Building ponds, building water security

by Eleonora Forzini, Blandine Barthod | 29 October 2021
Image Building ponds, building water security

Storing water during monsoon in the nepalese hills is crucial to have enough water to cope with the dry season, especially now that climate change is causing modifications in rainfall intensity and pattern.

In the framework of the project “Rain communities”, a collaborative field mission has been conducted in Nepal in October 2021 between the team members of the Water Harvesting Lab - WHL (University of Florence) and the IRHA. The visit aimed to refine the best sites for water collection a...

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In the context of the International Day for the Conservation of Mangrove Ecosystems on 26 July, IRHA is pleased to present its latest project in collaboration with Oceanium de Dakar in the Sine Saloum estuary in central Senegal: "A Kop Ale no Maag Olè (the Forest of the Sea in Wolof). It will support during 24 months the communities of four estuarine villages located in the commune of Djilasse (Fatick, Senegal).

This initiative, supported by the AP Foundation, aims specifically to strengthen ...
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Farmers' fight to restore ecosystems

by Blandine Barthod | 26 April 2021
Image Farmers' fight to restore ecosystems

With human forcing of the climate system, storms and droughts are becoming more severe and prolonged in many regions across the globe (UNFCC, 2014).

In Nepal, increasingly intense monsoon rainfall and longer dry periods are predicted. Marginalised communities in the Himalayan Mid-hills are already experiencing the adverse impact of these increasingly erratic weather patterns.

Yet we can still act for the common good of these communities and the ecosystems that support them. By working with vil...

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