Domestic Rainwater Harvesting Tank
RAINWATER HARVESTING FROM ROOFTOPS USING FERRO CEMENT
The recently instituted collaboration between Practical Action (formerly ITDG) and The Federation of Chambers of Construction Industry Sri Lanka (FCCISL) is prompted by the urgent need for skilled tradespersons in construction related activities. Presently there is an urgent need for providing permanent shelters for thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) due to civil conflict and natural disasters. Apart from this immediate need, it is also imperative that occupants of houses that will be built must be provided with safe and adequate drinking water. All human settlement sites that have been chosen may not have sustainable natural sources of potable water for domestic use. For this reason, the construction of rainwater harvesting tanks has been considered important because areas with limited rainfall may not have the natural resource capacity to provide the water needs of communities throughout each year.
The Federation of Chambers of Construction Industries Sri Lanka FCCISL) is Sri Lanka's apex body of currently Fifty Five (55) private sector chambers and associations of commerce and industry including National Construction Association of Sri Lanka (NACSL), and is affiliated with Handwerksammer (HwK) Koblenz, Germany, a German chamber for skilled crafts representing more than eighteen thousand companies that has oversight of vocational training of more than ten thousand persons per annum. Presently a well equipped handwerk centre for vocational training has been operational in Kalutara and another vocational training centre has been initiated in Thrukkovil in the eastern province to serve the technology needs of the eastern province. Practical action South Asia has over 20 years of experience throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America in the development of different types of cost effective and disaster mitigating, environmentally sensitive housing technologies including research and development on building materials. Practical Action's integrated housing services (IHS) project work includes dissemination of knowledge and sharing of expertise gathered over the years in Sri Lanka especially in post-tsunami reconstruction, as well as internationally through its partners & regional offices, to facilitate the process of disaster sensitive, cost effective, and holistic housing in order to provide solutions to the basic needs of communities through integrated housing construction programs. Each of the above organizations has chosen to collaborate with the common aim of building the capacity of construction related tradespersons in quality construction methods and appropriate technologies relevant to building sustainable human settlements. FCCISL provides the facilities for the proposed training and Practical Action provides the technical information and training in this program. The reason for initiating a Training of Trainers (TOT) program is because many more technical officers in the local district have to be trained. Therefore, trainers must be adequately informed and equipped to build the capacity of trainees to effectively train other potential trainers.
The training concept adopted for the training program is based on a time-tested teaching/training methodology that first tells, then shows and finally lets the trainees actually do what has been taught. 1. 2. 3. Tell them: first tell the trainees what they should know and do and why Show them: then show them how through the use of visuals and clear descriptions Let them do it: finally involve the trainees in the actual construction of the prototype model toilet
The focus of the training will be on the actual step-by-step construction of a typical eco-san toilet in which trainees get hands-on experience in constructing a toilet from the top of a ready built foundation to the roof as well as an adjacent plant bed. The overarching requirement of quality must be emphasized throughout the training program.
ADVICE TO TRAINERS
Trainers are required to become thoroughly familiar with the training document and be sure to adopt the above described training concept in implementing the training program. All instruction must be clear, audible and readily understood by all trainees. Invite trainees to inform the trainer on occasions when things said are unclear. Be helpful and courteous when communicating with trainees. Be positive and enthusiastic when discussing the importance and usefulness of rainwater harvesting. Keep in mind that many trainees will have many questions to ask because of being unfamiliar with rainwater collection systems. They have to be assisted in developing a positive view of its relevance and usefulness in specific locations where annual rainfall does not meet the annual water needs of people. It is vital to emphasize the importance of ensuring quality in all aspects of construction of Ferro cement rainwater tanks. This can best be done when instructing at lecture sessions as well as in actual construction of the prototype model that trainees will share in building. Trainers must endeavour to make lecture sessions interactive by asking questions and inviting questions and opinions from trainees. Also stress the need for punctuality and active participation, not passive listening and observing only, throughout the program. Each trainer must be conscious of sticking within the time allocated for each session and plan each session accordingly. The training will cover five full days as indicated in the schedule given below. It is essential that all needed equipment and tools need for each day's activities as well as handout documents are on hand at the start of each day. For lecture sessions, ensure that flip charts and marker pens etc. are on hand. It is advisable for trainers to make a checklist of what is required, thereby ensuring that training sessions move smoothly. It is important to ensure that all participants fill in the attendance register daily, and fill out and forward the evaluation form each will be given at the end of the program. On the first day of the program invite all participants to introduce themselves and indicate which institution they represent. The trainer who introduces the program must give a brief overview of what will be covered during the five day period of the training. At the beginning of each day the trainer opening the day's sessions must outline the program for the day. It is best for two trainers to share in conducting training sessions in order to introduce variety and sustain the interest of the participants. Ideally a single trainer will instruct for 30 minutes the most and will be followed by the next. Both trainers will take turns in sharing instruction. However, in practice each trainer may have to conduct training instruction for 45 to 60 minutes.
At the end of the five day TOT program a report (joint report in the event of two trainers sharing in instruction) must be prepared and forwarded to FCCISL. The report will be brief and cover the following: · Number of participants each day along with daily attendance sheets · Brief description of trainee participation level · Noteworthy problems and how these were or can be overcome · Comment suggestions on the logistics in relation to arrangements for accommodation, meals etc. · Summary of evaluation responses along with evaluation forms submitted by participants · noteworthy features or suggestions for improvement of the TOT program Any Trainers are encouraged to carry out their assignment with a sense of commitment and dedication. These
positive qualities along with genuine enthusiasm are likely to rub-off to trainees who are potential trainers and eventually contribute to the success of the total program. WHY HARVEST RAINWATER?
Many communities in areas with low annual rainfall experience difficulty in obtaining a sustained supply of water for drinking and cooking and washing. Rainwater harvesting from roofs of houses using Ferro cement collection tanks has been used successfully in many parts of the world including Sri Lanka. Annual rainfall in the wet and dry and intermediate zones of Sri Lanka is adequate to initiate rain water harvesting in all three zones. The lower sides of the roof of the house must be fitted with adequately sized rainwater gutters to collect and direct the run-off rainwater. UPVC gutters are preferred to Galvanized Iron gutters that corrode easily. A simple, controllable diversion system is employed to channel run-off rainwater from the roof into an above-ground tank made of Ferro cement. Using simple filters, dust and other particles in the run-off water have to be filtered before the water enters the storage tank. The choice of Ferro cement for tank construction is guided by considering cost optimization, replicability and performance characteristics as well as acceptance by beneficiary communities. If cheaper options that ensure adequate strength and durability are available elsewhere, these can be adopted after consultation with beneficiaries. The benefits from harvesting rainwater from rooftops are many:
?or reduces time spent by women to fetch water from distant sources Eliminates ? Rainwater harvesting systems are integrated with the house, which makes water readily accessible ? water conservation and self-dependence Encourages ? naturally soft unlike most well water Rainwater is ? relatively contamination free, thereby reducing the risk of water borne diseases. Rainwater is ? water can be used for drinking and cooking and washing Properly stored ? sources are increasingly depleted or getting polluted. Bore wells are silting up, or running Ground water
out of water due to over-harvesting, thereby making ground water unreliable or unsafe.
? The use of Ferro cement for tank construction is cost-effective and proven in Sri Lanka ? cement technology can readily be passed on to masons who can use their acquired skill Skill for Ferro
profitably in replicating rainwater harvesting tanks. Some disadvantages of collected rainwater are:
? of construction of the tank and associated mechanisms. The initial cost ? mineral-free and has a flat taste and is not popular for drinking. Rainwater is
Published by Janathakshan on 11/03/11
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