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Affordability and willingness to install a rooftop rainwater harvesting system: the case of rural households in the Lowveld region of Swaziland

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This paper assesses affordability and willingness of rural households in the Lowveld region (drought prone and experiencing water scarcity) of Swaziland to install rooftop rainwater harvesting systems consisting of gutters and storage tanks. Through purposive sampling, 350 heads of households were selected in homesteads which have corrugated iron or tile roofs, and then in–depth face to face interviews conducted. The findings indicate that 93.4% of the households were willing to install rainwater harvesting systems but their economic situation, characterised by low incomes and the high cost of the rainwater harvesting system, inhibited most from doing so. In conclusion the relative low adoption rate of roof rainwater harvesting systems in Swaziland is attributable to affordability challenges and not lack of willingness to install rooftop rainwater harvesting systems. The study recommends that household low interest loans and attractive subsidies should be provided in order to promote the adoption of rainwater harvesting technology.

Keywords: conveyance, Lowveld region, rooftop rainwater harvesting, storage devices, affordability, willingness to install, Swaziland, rural households, rural areas, water scarcity, gutters, storage tanks, low interest loans, subsidies

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