Collecting rainwater for schools

The project aimed to improve the learning conditions for 3,239 students in four schools in Togo and Benin, and to strengthen their self-sufficiency in terms of access to resources and ability to adapt to climate change. The project had three components: to improve access to drinking water and sanitation by constructing rainwater collecting systems and adequate toilet facilities; to reforest the area around the school and create vegetable gardens; to educate young generations in the management and protection of natural resources.

Fourteen tanks, distributed amongst the four schools, were completed and are fully functional. Each classroom was equipped with a 50-liter tank in which water is treated each morning. Toilets for girls and urinals for boys were constructed in the four institutions. Teachers, children, parents and authorities were trained in all matters relating to water management and the environment. Reforestation and the development of vegetable gardens were also completed.

Founded in Geneva in 2002, the International Rain Water Harvesting Alliance (IRHA) is a non-profit association which federates different movements, which fight for better rainwater management. Its mission is to promote rainwater harvesting as a tool for climate change adaptation.



Health / Education / Community Development


December 2010 – June 2012


Dahé in Benin; Agbodji in Togo / Benin

With whom

International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IRHA)



11.2 million (2017)

Per Capita Income
USD 800/year (2017)

Poverty rate *
40% (2015)

Literacy rate
33% (2016)

Human Development Index
163rd out of 189 countries (2018)

Benin has implemented important economic and structural reforms over the past decade leading to notable improvements in human development. Despite moderate GDP growth, 4 to 6% per year over the past two decades, poverty remains widespread and on the rise. Significant challenges remain in the health sector, with child and maternal mortality remaining high. With one of the lowest literacy rates in the world (33%), the quality of education still requires improvement. The share of public expenditure for the health and education sectors has significantly dropped over the past two years (from 7 to 4% and from 23 to 4.4%). Efforts are needed to ensure equity on geographical distribution and in particular better management of the two sectors.

Sources: World Food Program, UNICEF, World Bank, 2016 Human Development Report, Human Development Indices and Indicators (2018 Statistical Update)

*The percentage of the population living below the national poverty line.