Rainwater collection can be traced back 3,000 years. In the Maldives it has been a longstanding traditional means of collecting high-quality water for domestic, drinking, agricultural and other uses.
The British Red Cross has completed two community rainwater projects on the islands of Madifushi and Isdhoo. Rainwater harvesting is often the only good source of water for communities and the project has developed water storage capacity to meet daily needs. In Madifushi, an addition of 20 new tanks has increased rainwater storage by 44 per cent.
The Red Cross worked with communities through the Island Development Committee and a group of volunteers, trained by the Red Cross, to identify the most suitable areas for the project and to hire a local contractor to construct and install the tanks.
In Isdhoo island, ten tanks have been installed in four different locations – near the island office, community centre and the two mosques – which was agreed through wide consultation with the community.
“Compared to the cement water tanks we had on the island earlier, the plastic ones are long-lasting, store more water and keep it cleaner,” notes the island chief, Ahmed Hameed. “Previously access to water, especially during the dry seasons, was a big problem for the community. The new locations are much better.”
On the island of Madifushi the Red Cross has installed 20 tanks, which can each hold 5,000 litres, in three locations – near the pre-school, high school and the jetty.
Every drop counts
“I am so happy to see the Red Cross providing these water facilities. I would love to express my gratitude for this assistance after so much has already been done for our community,” said Adhunaan, from Madifushi.
“Since the Red Cross has provided water tanks for both the schools, the school children no longer have to bring water from home for drinking. I will not forget this,” adds Ibrahim Rashad.
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