PERCEIVED BARRIERS TO RAINWATER HARVESTING AS A SOURCE OF WATER SUPPLY IN BOTSWANA: CASE OF GABORONE CITY
Water is considered as a finite resource and urban water supply is a growing issue for many cities and towns as they face rapid population growth, spatial growth and diverse urban activities. In most urban areas underground water levels are declining and the Authorities are struggling to meet the current and future urban water demands. As this process unfolds urban water suppliers are forced to search for new and more water sources. Rainwater harvesting is a potential avenue for source of water that has been exploited successfully elsewhere. Rainwater harvesting is gaining relative significance as an effective long term strategy for supplementing urban water sources. In spite of this, urban areas in Botswana are failing to consider and practice rainwater harvesting as a sustainable development strategy. Water demand is increasing but there are little efforts in harvesting and utilizing rainwater which is a decentralized, local and in-situ water source. In light of this the paper seeks to assess the levels of rainwater harvesting uptake in Gaborone, in particular, and to explore the constraints and opportunities of rainwater harvesting as a supplementary source of water. The paper finds that at household levels, rainwater harvesting is in its infancy stage to the extent that it does not augment the current water supply. Most households deal with rainwater by channeling it outside homesteads (plots) as a form of storm water management.