Sustainable Construction to Alleviate Water Insecurity and Empower Refugees in Bidi Bidi

One Million Litres

Water insecurity is a major issue in refugee settlements worldwide. Bidi Bidi, Africa’s largest settlement, is no exception. Through the construction of rainwater harvesting tanks, HYT is providing a sustainable solution while empowering refugees with construction skills.

HYT’s ‘One Million Litres‘ project is installing 50 rainwater harvesting tanks in 50 Bidi Bidi schools. The 65,000 students that attend the selected schools will benefit from the tanks. To date, HYT has installed 24 tanks and the remaining tanks will be completed over the next 12 months. 

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Refugee children collect water from HYT rainwater harvesting tank in Bidi Bidi School

Rainwater Harvesting

Rainwater harvesting is the collection and storage of rainwater from a roof catchment. It is a sustainable solution that’s gaining popularity due to its low cost and low environmental impact. In Bidi Bidi, rainwater harvesting tanks collect rainwater from the roofs of school classrooms. Schools are well positioned to benefit from harvesting rainwater as they often have multiple structures and lots of harvestable roof area. 

One of the significant benefits of rainwater harvesting in Bidi Bidi is the reduced risk of waterborne diseases. Inadequate access to clean water is a significant health concern. The settlement’s residents previously relied on water sources such as streams and boreholes, which are often contaminated with disease-causing pathogens. By collecting and storing rainwater, the community can ensure that their water is clean and safe for consumption, reducing the risk of waterborne illnesses such as cholera and typhoid fever.

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Construction of rainwater harvesting tank using Interlocking Stabilised Soil Blocks (ISSB)

Construction of Rainwater Harvesting Tanks

HYT is constructing rainwater harvesting tanks using Interlocking Stabilised Soil Blocks (ISSB), an environmentally-friendly building material. The tanks are cheaper and more durable than their steel and plastic counterparts. Each tank provides 20,000 litres of water capacity.

The construction of rainwater harvesting tanks will not only provide refugees with clean water but also the opportunity to acquire construction skills. Over the course of the project, HYT will recruit and train 50 refugees in all aspects of construction. Since 2019, over 70% of HYT trainees found work in construction within 6 months of training. 

Safe water on-site

Thank You!

This project is only possible thanks to HYT donors, partners and supporters. We look forward to sharing more updates as the project progresses and we near our goal of installing 1 million litres of rainwater harvesting capacity. 

Improving the learning environment for refugee children

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