Informations et ressources scientifiques
sur le développement des zones arides et semi-arides

Accueil du site → Projets de développement → ONG/NGO Coopération décentralisée → Brésil → One Million Cisterns for Water Harvesting in North East Brazil


One Million Cisterns for Water Harvesting in North East Brazil


Titre : One Million Cisterns for Water Harvesting in North East Brazil

A program of civil society, in partnership with the government and private sectors which provides the construction of 1.000.000 cisterns in Brazil´s semi-arid region

Pays : Brésil
North East Brazil

Date : 2005

In the semi-arid region of Brazil (895.937 square kilometers) rains are erratic, often coming in downpours followed by long dry periods even in the rainy season. For 12 million people living in the rural areas of this region (as of the year 2000) access to drinking water is problematic during much of the year, particularly in years with little rain, when there is no refilling of dams and other water reserves. During these periods, hundreds of thousands of families depend on a supply of water imported by truck provided by government agencies. This water is purchased from the private sector. The people either drink this or are forced to make use of stagnant water with poor quality that they can still find in the depths of near empty dams. Often, to obtain water, the people need to go on long daily walks to a far away source ; this is commonly done by the women and children of the community. The water they procure is usually untreated, dirty and contaminated. It is not surprising then that the cause of death of one out of every four children in this region is due to diarrhea caused by the consumption of contaminated water. The “Articulação do Semi-Árido Brasileiro” (ASA), a network of civil society institutions that work to promote co-existence within the semi-arid, has implemented, since the year 2001, a program that aims to build one million of cisterns to provide rural families with access to healthy drinking water.

The program “One Million Cisterns” is an initiative of the Articulation in the Brazilian Semi-Arid – ASA, which brings together some 800 organizations (community-based organizations, trade unions, rural workers, authorities linked to the Catholic and evangelical churches, NGOs and labor cooperatives). The funding is primarily from the federal government, through the Ministry of Social Development and the Fight against Hunger, through its Cistern Program, which also funds the construction of cisterns from state and local governments. The management of “One Million Cisterns” is done through micro-regional management units, bringing together several municipalities (lowest Brazilian administrative unit ; 5,560 municipalities in 2002). Institutions affiliated to the ASA are chosen to make this management through a public process of selection. In order to ensure decentralization in the implementation, it is possible that the same institution is managing the program in more than one micro-region. The community participates in all stages of the process in the construction and installation of cisterns. Therefore it is the community who aids in the survey of families to be benefited, in mobilization, in construction and in maintenance of the cisterns. The cisterns (cisterns) are built by masons from the proper localities, with the help of the families, which carry out the general services of excavation, acquisition and supply of sand and water and manual help in construction. Under the project, they receive training on issues relating to coexistence within the Semi-Arid and appropriate use of the cistern.


Page publiée le 23 août 2019