Rainwater harvesting in schools: demonstrating adaptation to climate change in schools in the Seychelles - A summary report
The republic of Seychelles is vulnerable to particular climate change effects and challenges which include sea level rise, increase in sea surface temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns with short periods of heavy rainfall during the rainy season and severe droughts during the dry season being a common occurrence. These effects have adverse impacts on the health and functioning of ecosystems and consequently on the well being of humans as they affect the social and economic systems that are central to human existence. Traditionally, Seychelles experiences one rainy and one dry season. During the rainy season, most of the excess rain water is lost through surface runoff as there is no elaborate rainwater harvesting scheme. When the dry season sets in, water is scarce and is not enough to meet demand. This problem of water scarcity is further compounded by the ever increasing demand for water occasioned by increased economic and social development as well as population growth. In addressing this problem, the country invested heavily in the construction of reservoirs and desalination plants. However, this intervention proved inadequate and instead increased the use of fossil fuels and consequently the amount of GhGs emitted by the country. At the schools level, demand for water has been increasing steadily resulting in high water bills. This coupled with the water scarcity attributed to the climate change effects of persistent severe droughts as well as the artificial water shortages occasioned by the governments restriction on water use by the public especially during the dry season made this rainwater harvesting in schools project a very timely and targeted intervention toward climate change adaptation while simultaneously demonstrating how schools facing similar challenges can adapt to climate change.
The project had the following objectives;
- To harvest rain water so as to meet the needs of selected schools and to reduce the cost of water bills
- To educate school children on the impact of climate change on our water resources and on the methods used to adapt to climate change
- To raise awareness among the general public on climate change impacts on the Seychelles and on rainwater harvesting as a means of adapting to water problems caused by climate change
- To share the water harvesting experiences of the schools with other organizations