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 had a steep learning curve on 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 members of society to access water, particularly women. To contribute to innovative methods and solutions to this problem, we will introduce the storing and selling of rainwater in urban environments. Our research will look at the:
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 (MFIs). Our aim is to finalize the 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 in order to study what business model works best under which conditions. Thereafter, we will target a PPP type of collaboration. We see enormous potential in a PPP, which was confirmed by various organizations that we discussed it with. We will keep you informed about the future developments!
James W. Kisekka, Diane Ndutiye and Robert Meerman.