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[Serie Climate Solutions Lab] Harnessing Rainwater: Nomayi Hatyoka’s Project for Water Sustainability in Zambia

Article originally published on the Impulsouth project website


Nomayi Hatyoka is an environmental engineer who is deeply passionate about climate action and focuses on water resource conservation. She has dedicated her career to creating sustainable water solutions for vulnerable communities in Zambia. Currently serving as a project manager in the conservation sector, Nomayi’s work embodies her commitment to fostering environmental consciousness and promoting sustainable water resource management.

As a participant in the second cohort of the Climate Solutions Lab, Nomayi is implementing an innovative project to address climate challenges. Her project (The Use of Rainwater Harvesting to Adapt to the Impacts of Droughts and Floods in Itezhi-tezhi District of Zambia) aims to tackle the recurring challenges faced by a district where extreme weather events disrupt the water supply and sanitation systems, disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations.

Her commitment to water resource conservation and her project under the Impulsouth initiative’s Climate Solutions Lab exemplify how targeted action can bring about significant environmental and community transformation.After participating in the Lab, Nomayi’s approach to climate action changed. While she has always been focused on solving society’s water challenges, the Lab helped her develop a wider view and recognize the potential opportunities within each challenge. She began to see her project not only as a solution to the water crisis but also as a way to strengthen the community socially and economically, while also addressing food shortages. She also saw that her solution could be scaled up to different parts of the country facing the same problems.

“As youth, we need to tap into our ability to innovate and embrace working with people who have different expertise, as this will help us develop holistic climate solutions.”

Nomayi’s project focuses on rainwater harvesting technologies adapted to the specific needs of the Itezhi-tezhi community, taking into account climate challenges and local characteristics. Community engagement has been essential to the development of solutions that are not only sustainable but also integrated into the social and economic fabric of the communities they support. Through scientific assessments and collaboration with local stakeholders, Nomayi has developed water management practices that improve access to water and sanitation and boost community resilience to climate change.


Climate Solution Summary: The Use of Rainwater Harvesting to Adapt to the Impacts of Drought and Floods in Itezhi-tezhi District of Zambia

The Itezhi-tezhi District in southern Zambia often faces droughts and floods, which disrupt the water supply and sanitation systems. The district relies on boreholes for both household and agricultural use, but these are becoming increasingly unreliable due to more frequent and severe floods and droughts. This makes it difficult for children, especially girls, to go to school and for women and people with disabilities to access essential services such as health centers and markets.

Rainwater harvesting is a sustainable solution to these challenges. This project aims to teach community members how to collect and store rainwater for domestic and productive purposes. This will help to reduce water scarcity and flood-related disasters.

The project explores initiatives such as artificial groundwater recharge, retention ponds, rooftop rainwater harvesting, and medium to large-scale dams for flood control. By implementing these measures, the project aims to improve access to safe drinking water, improve sanitation, and protect the rights of marginalized and vulnerable groups, including children, women, and people with disabilities, to food, shelter, health, and education.