Never Ending Food recently joined hands with the Rain Water Harvesting Association (RHAM) of Malawi to build a new rainwater harvesting tank. The Association recently received a grant to help promote a tank design referred to as a ‘calabash’. This grant allows RHAM to cover half of the costs involved, while the other half is met by the recipient of the tank. This last November (2020), Stacia and I put together a presentation for Lewis Valley Lutheran Church in Wisconsin (United States), who were celebrating their ‘Mission Fest’ Sunday. As part of their fundraising efforts, this church was able to give Never Ending Food a generous donation which not only covered the costs of this tank construction, but also leaves some money remaining which will be put towards current Permaculture training opportunities taking place in our community. (Thanks Lewis Valley!) This ‘calabash’ tank design begins with a foundation of packed sand, which is then covered in a wire mesh and plastered over with cement.
Then, bricks are added to the outside just for supporting the structure. The inside of the tank is also plastered with cement.
The inside of the tank is plastered with cement and then the outside bricks are remove. Once the bricks have been removed, the outside of the tank is also plastered and covered with a cement top.
The result is a very strong rainwater catchment tank that hold approximately 5,000 liters of water once a gutter is attached from the roof of the house to the tank. This tank was constructed at our Permaculture Manager’s house and he was able to use the bricks that were removed to construct a house for his chickens. His family now has free and readily available water for irrigation, washing, and cleaning!