Promoting Rainwater Harvesting in Africa with New Smart phone App
Water scarcity is still a serious problem in Africa. According to a report by UN Environment and GRID Arendal, not only people in Africa but also more than 2.8 billion people in 48 countries are expected to face water scarcity conditions by 2025.
UN Environment and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization have developed a new smart phone app to promote rainwater harvesting, which will be effective for the water scarcity problem that may occur in the future.
This app can calculate the amount of rainwater that can be harvested from the roof of houses based on meteorological data collected from weather stations across Africa. The rainwater harvesting system can be constructed using appropriate technology and locally available materials, and you can easily use the system by downloading the app. Using rainwater strategically with such information is effective for rainwater harvesting in areas with large rainfall fluctuations.
Promoting rainwater harvesting brings various benefits.
If purified and used as drinking water, it will improve household environment sanitation and health. Rainwater can be harnessed easily for agricultural use: it contributes to food security, providing water during dry seasons for small-scale agriculture.
Also, storing rainwater can reduce the time spent for water drawing, which can improve the livelihoods of women and children such as securing time to go to school.
Currently the smart phone app is available only for Android system for free, and an IOS version will be released soon. The water problem is an essential and great challenge for human beings.