Putting rainwater to good use

A regional initiative benefits communities across Latin America and the Caribbean 30 August 2017, Rome – As the international community gathers this week in Stockholm for World Water Week, we profile a cooperative effort by FAO and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation to make water more accessible to vulnerable and water-scarce rural communities in a number of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The Mesoamerica Hunger-Free programme helps these communities to harvest rainwater and put it to good use as a source of safe, drinkable water and for irrigation during times of drought.
Focus on Colombia In Colombia, FAO is working to turn rainwater into safe, drinkable water for schoolchildren on San Andres Island – a Colombian island in the Caribbean Sea – and for vulnerable indigenous communities in the Amazonas region, in the south of mainland Colombia.
More than 1,800 people, including school children and some 600 indigenous community members in Amazonas will benefit.
Recent surveys in the Amazonas found that 88 percent of the families were collecting rainwater in precarious conditions and drinking it without purifying it first.
Thanks to the new system, rainwater is collected and stored in cisterns made of concrete.
The water is then pumped to a tank and chlorinated through several filters.
Safe water can be scarce on San Andres and the price of bottled water is high.
From Stockholm, FAO and International Water Management Institute (IWMI) released initial findings from a major review of the latest science on global water pollution from a food and agricultural perspective.
See here for more information on FAO’s activities during World Water Week.

Learn More