Rainwater for an orphanage

The project aimed to improve the living conditions of the children at the Save Our Lives-Ghana orphanage and those attending the primary school by improving sanitation, access to water, the premise's environmental conditions and children's nutrition. Ecological facilities were developed at the orphanage together with a reforestation programme, the "A child, a tree" initiative.

Three 40m2 harvesting systems were built at the primary school, together with appropriate sanitation facilities (4 latrines, 4 urinals and 2 VIP latrines for teachers). A vegetable garden and an orchard were planted together with 1,160 trees at the school and 172 trees at the orphanage. A volleyball pitch was constructed at the school to develop sport activities. At the orphanage, an additional 45m2 rainwater harvesting tank for washing, cleaning and other household purposes was built, as was a pond to harvest rainwater for the orphanage farm and fish farm.

Founded in Geneva in 2002, the International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) is a non-profit association which federates different movements, which fight for better rainwater management. Its mission is to promote rainwater harvesting as a tool for climate change adaptation.

rainwater harvesting systems


Education / Environment / Health


April 2009 - November 2010 (extended from May 2010)


Anwiankwanta village / Ghana

With whom

International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA)




28.8 million (2017)

Per Capita Income
USD 1'880/year (2017)

Poverty rate *
23% (2017)

Literacy rate
71% (2016)

Human Development Index
140th out of 189 countries (2018)

Renowned for its stability and democratic governance Ghana has made great progress over the past 20 years in reducing poverty and hunger among its population. Its economy is growing ahead of the average for the Africa region. This is reflected in gradual improvements in the efficiency of public institutions. Although primary school enrolment has reached 100 %, secondary school enrolment lags at 60% for male students and 47% for female students. Health care varies widely across the country with huge inequalities between the north and south of the country and between urban centres, generally well served, and rural areas often with no health care at all. Similarly, water supply and sanitation still face a number of challenges, mainly due to neglect until the 1990s.

Sources: World Food Program, UNICEF, World Bank, 2016 Human Development Report, Human Development Indices and Indicators (2018 Statistical Update)

*The percentage of the population living below the national poverty line.