Based on a successful pilot in Uganda, we have launched a new and innovative concept in Rwanda during the last week of July 2017. The Rain 4 Sales (R4$) concept tests the business case for selling stored (rain)water by local entrepreneurs and/or community cooperatives in Rwanda. With my colleague from Uganda, James W. Kisekka, and our new local Young Expert, Diane Ndutiye, we have spent a great week: traveled throughout the country, met many people and experienced a great learning curve as how to implement this concept.
The problem we address revolves around the decreasing water availability in towns and the increasing costs and efforts incurred by poor sections of society to access water, particularly women. To contribute to new innovative methods and solutions to this problem we will introduce storing and selling rainwater in urban environments. We will do so by researching:
The ultimate aim of the project is to have proof of concept for a business case for selling harvested rainwater and scale up this initiative. With that in mind, we have spoken with a wide range of stakeholders, ranging from different ministries, the Dutch Embassy, district water officers, potential entrepreneurs and Microfinance Institutions (MFI’s). We aim to finalize our inception phase in September and have a baseline study ready. Subsequently we will build 10 rainwater harvesting tanks in 3 different locations with different types of entrepreneurs as to study what business model works best under which conditions. Thereafter we target a PPP type of collaboration as we see the enormous potential, which was confirmed by various organizations that we discussed with. We will keep you informed about the future developments!
James W. Kisekka, Diane Ndutiye and Robert Meerman.