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Rain Water Harvester

Global Brigades
Ekumfi Egyankwaa, Ghana, 2012

Built over a period of five days by members of the Ekumfi Egyankwaa community, Global Brigades Volunteers from Indiana and Penn State Universities, the contractor of the Global Brigades Ghana Campus, and me, this structure is not only an access point to clean drinking water, but also a central gathering space where the community can hold meetings, socialize, and have parties.

Because clean drinking water is difficult to come by, as the rainy season is only four months and adequate infrastructure is lacking for pipe-born water, Global Brigades conducted research into several possible community- operated water generation systems.

This rainwater harvester is the first of several similar projects planned for construction in the coming years.

During the rainy season, water from the aluminum roof is caught by a gutter and funneled through a filter into two large storage tanks, from where it can be drawn for a small fee.

In the dry season, the accumulated fees go towards the purchase of clean water, delivered by tankers whenever needed.

This water is drawn for a slightly higher fee, and the entire system funds itself for as long as the community wishes to participate.

There is also space on the north end for the addition of another structural bay and storage tank, should Ekumfi Egyankwaa’s needs exceed the harvester’s current capacity.