[Anonymous].  Submitted.  The Elephant Pump programme.

Powerpoint presentation by Ian Thorpe, PumpAid, given at the Thematic Group Meeting in London, 2007.

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Experiences with scaling up mus in Plan Zimbabwe.

Powerpoint presentation by Bart Mupeta, Plan Zimbabwe, Martin Keijzer, Plan Netherlands and Amy Dietterich, Plan UK, given at the Thematic Group Meeting in London, 2007.

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Winner of case study award 2006: PLAN Zimbabwe.

This year’s case study award goes to Nigel Murimiradzomba from Plan Zimbabwe. Out of the submitted abstracts, his was considered the best and will now be developed into a full case study. His work deals with one of Plan’s programmes where the provision of drip irrigation kits was part of a rural water supply programme. This allowed farmers to also use water for gardening activities. The drip kits reduce water losses and enable better use of limited water supplies. One of his key findings is to link such programmes with production-market chain linkages i.e. input/seed suppliers, suppliers of technology and market outlets, so as to optimize the benefits of the programme.

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Rainwater harvesting for multiple uses.

A powerpoint presented by Kirsten Neke, RAIN-foundation, on how rainwater harvesting can contribute to a multiple use approach.

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Nigeria: putting rainwater to maximum use (English).


Nango Yusufu, 41, was desperate like many Jos residents practicing urban agriculture: he could not earn enough from his farm to meet even basic family needs. Nango became one of the urban farmers maximizing bio-retention areas or rain gardening in rock-free neighbourhoods since the bulk of Jos land mass is covered by extrusive crystalline rocks. His best time for maximum cropping is often the rainy season. It is only during this period that he could grow limited cultivable land. But whatever he harvested was soon eaten. Another period of scarcity would follow until the next rains.

In 2004, the Rural Africa Water Development Project (RAWDP) initiated a project to promote intensive Bio-retention gardening. The project also involved the turning of rock pavement into an area of native plants and vegetation to help lessen urban storm water runoff, as well as using these rock pavements as catchments for the rainwater runoff. The project taught farmers new gardening techniques and helped them harvest and store rainwater in small on-farm ditches. Through the training he received, Nango learned to keep his soil fertile by feeding it with organic matter, including manure from his cattle and household waste. By collecting, retaining and using rainwater, he realized that he could also grow vegetables for sale during the dry season when prices were high.

With help from RAWDP, Nango built two small-farm reservoir that he used to collect the hitherto wasted water runoff (from the rocks) during the rainy season. Today, using water from the reservoir for irrigation, he grows maize, cassava, groundnut, cabbages, carrots, onions and tomatoes. Both the animals and crops are benefiting from the available water. Other farmers have emulated Nango and are replicating his initiatives. It is also common scenes in Jos to see animals drinking from these ponds and people using the water from such ponds to do laundry, wash cars, concrete for construction and other useful activities. This development has reduced the stress on municipal water infrastructure in Jos. There is current moves by environmental groups in the City to propose a bill to the Plateau State House of Assembly on ways of making water from this alternate sources compulsory in construction and other activities.


Jos is the capital of Plateau State, Nigeria. Jos is a City on a Plateau in the centre of Northern Nigerian and is a great hydrological centre or water shed with radial pattern of drainage in which rivers like Hadeija, Kaduna, Sokoto etc take their sources. The highest point of Jos Plateau is Shere Hills (1650m). Jos Plateau is massively made up of volcanic rocks. The annual rainfall in Jos varies from 131.75cm – 146cm. Highest rainfall is usually recorded in July.

Jos has a population of 1.2million people (1991 Census) who inhabit its total land area of 1322 square kilometers. Its near temperate climate makes it an ideal location for holidays. It presently boasts of a coterie of westerners and many Nigerians from other remote parts of Nigeria. It is a cosmopolitan urban area. The Plateau State Water Board (PSWB) has the mandate to supply water to the urban and semi-urban areas of the State, especially Jos. PSWB presently have a total of 4 schemes in the City, having a combined design capacity of 101mld and serving approximately 728,000 people. The schemes have a total of 15,700 connections and an estimated pipe length of 1,308km.

Usually, water supply from PSWB is irregular. Most residents are under-served hence source their water from water vendors (who often source their water from available boreholes and local streams), rainwater harvests and remote streams. Due to the cost of water and the difficulty of getting it, Jos is still far from the UN-Habitat quantity availability prescription of at least 20 litres per person per day. In Jos, water supply takes an undue proportion of an average household’s income i.e. more than 10% and with excessive effort and time. Many residents spend more than one hour a day for the prescribed 20litres per person per day. As at today, more than 54% of Jos population is lacking access to clean drinking water and a greater than this number lack access to improved sanitation and hygiene.

Growing urbanization and inequality in economic distribution in Jos has continued to constrain people’s access to a decent and healthy living. Most consumers cannot afford an economic rate for water supply because they lack adequate income to afford it. An immediate fall-out of the severe water situation in Jos is the harvesting of rainwater mostly through the use of structural measures eg. terrace, bunds, banks etc, channeling and storing same in concrete or rock ‘coated’ dams, ponds and pans etc. These ponds are today of great benefit to a greater number of the population who resort to it for their daily water needs especially the washing of motor cars, motorcycles, engineering construction, farm irrigation, laundry and animal husbandry etc.

Methods and results

The use of structural measures as a water conservation technology in Jos primarily include any of the following;

  • Diversion ditch/cut off drain: a graded channel with a supportive ridge or bank on the lower side. It is constructed across a slope and designed to intercept surface runoff and convey it safely to an outlet or waterway.
  • Retention/infiltration ditches: large ditches designed to catch and retain all incoming runoff and hold it until it infiltrates into the ground etc.

The methodologies being used in this study are basically those of the World Overview of Conservation Approach and Technologies (WOCAT). WOCAT, a Bern, Switzerland applied research organization has the vision of local soil and water conservation (SWC) knowledge and experience shared and used globally. Soil and Water Conservation (SWC) in the context of WOCAT is defined as: activities at the local level which maintain or enhance the productive capacity of the land in areas affected by or prone to degradation. SWC includes prevention or reduction of soil erosion, compaction and salinity; conservation or drainage of soil water, maintenance or improvement of soil fertility, etc. land in this context means a combination of water, soil and organic content or matter.

The WOCAT methodology was originally designed to focus mainly on soil erosion and fertility decline in erosion-prone areas. However, during development and application of the methodology, users asked to include other land degradation types such as salinization, compaction etc. A SWC Technology consists of one or more measures belonging to the following categories. Agronomic, vegetative, structural and management etc. Combinations of the above measures which are complimentary and thus enhance each other, are part of a SWC technology. Our approach here, defines the ways and means used to promote and implement a SWC Technology and to support it in achieving more sustainable soil and water use.

Our research method in cognizance of the above includes a combination of some of the following;

  • formal surveys
  • observations
  • review of available information and previous projects
  • semi-structured and ‘conversational’ interviews with key informants
  • workshops
  • group interviews with rain harvesters/soil and water conservation practitioners.

In exhausting these tools, the participatory Rapid Appraisal (PRA) is used as the primary investigation method. This method is being used in combination, triangulated and being cross checked against one another for maximum and reliable effects. The expected outputs/outcomes of over study on Water Retention Ditches are;

  • Workshops and seminars to raise the importance of water retention ditches in agriculture, domestic water supply and sanitation etc.
  • The development of pro-poor and gender sensitive governance framework, including policy options, norms, standards and management tool kits.
  • Capacity building activities and demonstration of best practices on these technologies/approaches.
  • Documented reports on the usefulness and productive use of water through these technologies/approaches.

Lessons Learnt

  • Our study have shown that in most cases, that the construction and use of these structural measures to catch and store water ensures the availability of water all year round.
  • The technology primarily involves integrated use of natural resources, mostly a local technology/approach and requires mostly indigenous and local technology.
  • It was also observed that when these structures are constructed that a multiple benefits is often achieved. Some of these benefits include the control of soil erosion, flooding and drought. It creates employment as well as providing enough water for toilet and laundry (thus improving household hygiene and sanitation), farm irrigation, animal husbandry and self sufficiency on the land owner/user.


  • To really sustain and improve on the gains being made from these technologies and approaches there is an urgent need to educate and build the capacity of local users.
  • There is every need to promote best practices in this regard. This is necessary in order to guide against excessive water wastages pollution and land degradation.
  • There is need to develop usage into a business model, such that the economic benefits can easily be quantified. This is very vital in up-scaling, replication and sustainability.
  • A move towards immediate concise documentation of water supplied through rainwater catchments, transportation and storage is urgent. This is necessary in order to have data update that could easily serve as a reference and guide for policy and practice.

Since this type of structural infrastructure is assisting greatly, especially in providing alternative to supplies from the PSWB, there is every need to mainstream it into government framework and accord it maximum recognition. This is vital in order to improve and standardize it.

[Anonymous].  Submitted.  Jordan: greywater treatment and use for poverty reduction in Jordan (English).


Water supply in Jordan is limited, and the lack of new water resources and the level of competition between different water uses like domestic, industrial and agricultural are expected to increase in the near future. Applied research conducted by the Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM) on decentralized wastewater treatment and use over the last five years has focused on a holistic approach for the development of “state-of-the-art” modular on-site and low-cost greywater treatment and use units at the household level, and implementing capacity building of the local peri-urban communities to enable them to practice sustainable Urban Agriculture (UA). The research focused on optimization of the modular low-cost units for greywater treatment and drip irrigation techniques and crop selection for home gardens. These practises enable saving of freshwater and help safeguard the environment, increase income and strengthen the role of women in the process of proper management of scarce water resources.

Two projects, “Post Project Evaluation of Permaculture Techniques” and “Greywater Treatment and Reuse in HomeGardens” were conducted in the town of Ein Al-Baida, Tafila Governorate, in the southern part of Jordan funded by research grants from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada (IDRC). A third project entitled “Community Involvement in Reuse of Greywater to Improve Agriculture Output” was financed by the Jordanian Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation of Jordan (MOPIC). This project benefited more than 800 households in 90 peri-urban sites throughout Jordan providing greywater treatment units and drip irrigation systems.

The aim of this case study is to concentrate on the methods and results of INWRDAM greywater treatment and use.


On-site greywater treatment methods developed by INWRDAM were designed with low cost and ease of construction in mind as well as low operation and maintenance costs. They aim to yield greywater of a quality suitable at least for restricted irrigation.

The 4-barrel system

This system is an improvement of the two barrel kit. Two tanks each with 220 liter capacity and filled with gravel media that act as anaerobic filters are inserted between the pre-treatment tank and final storage tanks. The four barrels are lined up next to the other and interconnected with 50 mm PVC pipes.

Once solids and floating material settle in the first barrel, the relatively clear water from the first barrel enters into the bottom of the second barrel. Next the water from the top of the second barrel enters into the bottom of the third barrel. This water passes through the gravel lumps (2-3 cm size graded gravel) and from the top of the third barrel is taken into the fourth. Anaerobic treatment is accomplished in the two middle barrels. Anaerobic bacteria get established on the stone surface so that when the greywater passes through the stones, the bacteria works on breaking down components of the organic material in the greywater. The last barrel acts as a storage tank for treated greywater. As soon as this barrel is filled, a floating device switches on a small water pump which then delivers the water through the drip irrigation network. For an average family home, 20-30 trees (olives, fruit etc) that are planted in the domestic garden can be irrigated.

With a residence time of 1 to 2 days in the 4- barrel treatment kit, the influent greywater undergoes treatment equivalent to between primary and secondary treatment and meets the World Health Organization’s guidelines for restricted irrigation.

The confined trench system

Two plastic barrels and a dug trench filled with gravel media constitute the confined trench system. The first barrel functions as a grease, oil and solids separator and thus acts as a pre-treatment or primary treatment chamber, where the solid matter from the influent greywater settles and the floating components such as grease and soap foam float and can be removed regularly. A trench is dug close to the first barrel with approximate dimensions of 3 meter length, 1 meter width and 1 meter depth. This is lined with an impermeable polyethylene sheet of 400-500 µm thickness. The trench is then filled with 2-3 cm size graded gravel. Pre-treated wastewater from the first barrel enters the bottom part of the trench from one side and follows slowly to the other end. The sides of the side trench are plastered with a mud layer so that the liner sheet is not punctured by sharp stones. A 120 liter capacity plastic barrel is perforated and buried in the gravel at each end of the trench so that treated wastewater flows throughout the trench and upwards to fill this barrel. As soon as this barrel is filled, a floating device switches on a small water pump which then delivers the water through the drip irrigation network. Residence time of greywater in the trench is 2-3 days under anaerobic conditions. The confined trench unit can serve more than one nearby family sharing the same garden plot and it also can deliver more water quantity between pumping cycles.

Results and discussion

This project resulted in many direct and indirect benefits to the community and the environment. Women in the community benefited most from this project through training workshops, dialogue and learning-by-doing and acquired new skills to build a productive garden. The monthly domestic water consumption decreased by about 30% for all greywater users and income of the poor increased on the average by US$50 to US$ 150 per month. Many beneficiaries no longer had to pay a large portion of their monthly income for emptying their septic tanks. Many families started to copy and imitate the practice of their neighbours with respect to greywater use.

INWRDAM has also succeeded in promoting similar greywater activities in other Islamic countries, such as Lebanon, where greywater reuse is being adopted in a cluster of six towns. More projects addressing grey water use are now being implemented in Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon with an emphasis on conserving fresh water, improvement of sanitation and generating extra income for the poor in peri-urban areas and promoting sustainable urban agriculture practices. A recent evaluation of INWRDAM greywater projects by an external evaluator indicated that: “INWRDAM has contributed to raising the profile of greywater use both in Jordan and in other parts of the world”.

Recommendations for further work

The following recommendations can be made regarding the appropriateness of greywater use technologies:

  • The scheme or technology should be a felt priority in public or environmental health, and both centralized or de-centralized technologies should be considered
  • technology should be low-cost and require low energy input and mechanization which reduces the risk of malfunction
  • technology should be simple to operate, be locally labour intensive, be maintained by the community, and not rely on expensive chemical inputs such as chlorine or ozone to meet quality guidelines
  • treatment should be capable of being incrementally upgraded as user demand or quality standards and treatment guidelines increase.


Bino, J. Murad and Al-Beiruti, S. Greywater Treatment And Reuse Project, Tafila, Jordan (2000-2003). Conducted by the Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management with financial support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).


Shihab Al-Beiruti, Head of Services and Programs Section, The Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM), PO Box 1460, Jubieha-Amman, 11941, JORDAN (