Lilongwe, Malawi … In Malawi, rains come in late October or early November and continue nearly daily until late March or early April. Sometimes the rain comes down in torrents, making travel and work nearly impossible. River’s fill, water rushes to exit the country, and its value is quickly lost to further value. Then, after literally months of rain, it suddenly stops. From April to October hardly a drop of rain falls. The land dries, rivers drop to low or no water levels, and vegetation stops growing.
While water shortages easily develop during the dry season, the opposite is true during the rains. Water is abundant and water that could be so important during the dry season is lost in a rush to Lake Malawi, and ultimately the sea. Lifesaving water offers no further value to Malawi.
To capture rainwater, Action for Progress is building a large underground reserve tank and attaching eve troughs to the roof edges of the Action for Progress distribution center. Drain lines will run from the roof to this large underground tank holding 18,494 gallons (70,000 liters) of water. During the dry season, this water will be used for the greenhouses, dry season gardens, and other uses.
This picture shows the partially constructed water retention tank. After the brick structure and the roof holding center structure are completed a concrete lining will be added. Then the roof and water retention troughs will be added, and the program will be fully underway by the time of the rains in late 2023.