Request for Proposal – Consultancy Developing Rainwater Harvesting Systems for Interventions in Mwandi, Sesheke, Sioma in Western Province and Nyimba, Petauke, Lusangazi in Eastern Province

  • Consultancy
  • Lusaka, Zambia
  • Applications have closed

WWF Zambia Country Office


1. World Wide Fund for Nature Zambia (WWF Zambia) is part of WWF International, the world’s leading independent conservation organization with a global network in over 100 countries. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which people live in harmony with nature, for the benefit of both people and nature. The organization has been working in Zambia since 1962; focusing on wildlife, forests, freshwater as well as People and livelihoods

2. Climate change poses significant current and projected risks to Zambia, particularly to rural communities and landscapes comprising mosaics of agriculture and forests/woodlands. Climate forecast trends indicate a shorter duration of the rainy season, higher rainfall variability and a delayed onset of the rainy season, along with a hotter and drier dry season and increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events (such as droughts, dry spells and floods). Communities that are reliant on forests and agriculture, such as those in the Western Province and Eastern Province, are particularly vulnerable to climate change and climate variability (high exposure, high sensitivity), especially those relying on rain-fed crop production and woodlands. Climate shocks are increasingly leading to crop failures and reduction in agricultural productivity, contributing to food insecurity and generally loss of livelihoods, while also affecting the health of forests and woodlands.

Rural communities in Zambia are heavily dependent on woodlands to support their semi subsistence agricultural livelihoods. Woodlands are particularly important in the lives of rural women in terms of livelihoods and food security. However, woodlands as a livelihood foundation are under pressure and from 2000 to 2019, Zambia lost about 1.58 million hectares of tree cover. Declining yields and the expansion of subsistence and commercial farmland into woodlands, overuse of woodlands, notably for charcoal and fuelwood, and harmful fires are key drivers of deforestation and degradation of woodlands.

The continued degradation of woodlands along with declining production yields pose a serious obstacle to eliminating poverty and improving food security, and adversely affect the ability of women and men farmers, and local communities to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Unfortunately, these communities and the institutions that support them have low adaptive capacities, particularly at sub-national levels.

Enhancing climate resilience through the long-term supply of ecosystem services from farm and woodland requires new landscape approaches and new organizational approaches that include and improve the inclusive participation of local people, particularly women, in sustainable woodland and farm management. Water management also needs to be addressed in a context of climate change, as the strong dependence on rain-fed agriculture threatens rural livelihoods exposed to drought risks. In addition, market development for both farm and forest produce are required to incentivize the integration of crops and trees, either on-farm or in mosaics of farm and forest land.

Accordingly, the objective of the Project is to increase the resilience of productive landscapes and rural communities through organizational innovations and technology transfer for climate change adaptation.

The Project aims to improve coordination and sharing of knowledge between key stakeholders, including local communities, district level government agencies, NGOs, and the private sector, with a view to promoting a multi-sectoral, integrated approach that is essential to addressing climate change adaptation and resilience outcomes.

The Project is using a landscape approach that engages and strengthens uptake and diffusion of technologies and practices for adaptive capacity through Forest and Farm Producer Organizations (FFPOs), Farmer Field Schools, Water Point Committees, rangeland management committees, viable cooperatives, and other community- based organizations within local communities, including community forestry. It helps communities to identify their own forest, farm, and livelihood priorities and implement management and market-oriented approaches to improve coordination between different sectors. A landscape focus enables communities to improve livelihoods through diversification, enhance their resilience and adaptive capacities and reduce vulnerability to climate change.

The communities in the project areas have been adversely affected by droughts, salinity and high iron content in some places. The project will hence embark on rainwater harvesting which will be promoted to complement groundwater extraction solutions. Depending on local needs and specificities, the focus will be placed on small-scale, low-technology systems that can be easily implemented and maintained. This includes rooftop rainwater, in-field rainwater harvesting (IRWH), runoff harvesting through recharge pits, recharge trenches, tube wells, and recharge wells. In-ground rainwater harvesting will also be used directly for crop cultivation. The in-field rainwater harvesting (IRWH) technique conserves limited rainfall for longer periods and is thus a sustainable technique that contributes to climate change adaptation through increased plant available water, buffering during dry spells, increased yields and better rainwater productivity, enabling food production.

The Project is being implemented in six districts that are vulnerable to climate risks and hazards (droughts in particular) and have high rates of forest degradation and deforestation, and these are Lusangazi, Petauke and Nyimba in Eastern Province and Sioma, Mwandi and Sesheke in Western Province.


Low and variable productivity in rain-fed agricultural areas is the major cause of poverty of 70 percent of the world’s poor (UNEP and SEI, 2009). Therefore, using rainwater harvesting technology offers a real opportunity to increase productivity in regions with low and irregular rainfall. In those regions, development and use of rainwater harvesting can provide a first entry point for the success of development programmes from farm to regional level. Most of the rainwater which falls, is lost to surface flows. Artificial groundwater recharge from rainwater harvesting would be a solution.

According to the NAPA (2007), there has been a general decline in inflow (15-20% reduction) of the Kafue and Zambezi rivers. The loss of invaluable runoff due to non-harvested rainwater not only represents a loss of natural capital but also carries opportunity costs to Zambia. Such implications suggest that promoting rainwater harvesting and sustainable groundwater exploration and management can significantly contribute to bridging the gap in the annual water deficit. Climate change is expected to decrease streamflow and groundwater recharge and reduced annual average rainfall and run-off would aggravate desertification. Climate change impacts may add to existing pressure on groundwater resources by impeding recharge capacities in some areas. Technological factors – Lack of access to simple, reliable, relevant, and cost-effective adaptation technology – including water management technology – discourages farmers from adopting innovations that would potentially reduce or eliminate harmful and unsustainable forest use and agricultural practices.

Rainwater harvesting for agriculture generally involves creation of structures such as check-dams, ponds, and percolation tanks at a planned set of places along the flow path (P. V. Gandhi, 2011). This increases the percolation of the water into the ground and recharges the groundwater table. It increases the supply of water in the wells and the duration of availability. Spread out small harvesting structures present a major alternative to conventional river basin water resource development. Spread out water harvesting can capture five times more water (P. V. Gandhi, 2011). The drought proofing benefits from small rainwater harvesting structures can be well distributed especially when the drought is limited and not severe. Rainwater harvesting can be very useful in semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions where the problem is not the amount of rain but the extreme variability. Given that with climate change the frequency of dry spells and droughts are expected to increase, rainwater harvesting can be extremely important to mitigate the impact on agriculture and increase agricultural productivity. Bridging critical dry spells by irrigation through rainwater harvesting can stabilize and increase yields.

Rural communities have limited knowledge and information on climate change, although they have observed the impacts of drought and other climate-related impacts on conventional farm productivity and livelihoods. For instance, the SHARP survey found that none of the households assessed harvest water and only a small share of farmers (7%) use localized irrigation. Water conservation measures are also rarely implemented (32% of male-headed households and only 13% of female-headed households). Many farmers lack enough information to make climate resilient farming decisions. For example, they are often unaware of approaches and technologies developed by various projects and government/NGO agencies that help farmers deal with the impacts of climate change and/or improve farm productivity.

Improved water management will enable to strengthen communities’ resilience in the face of more frequent drought events. Climate-induced dry spells are threatening rural livelihoods that are too dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Allowing to assess and sustainably plan for the improved use of groundwater resources will increase farmers’ capacity to increase yields and limit the detrimental consequences of dry spells.


WWF now wishes to engage the services of Water Engineering and related technical services, and Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS) services firms/consultants with respect to rainwater harvesting infrastructure development under the Climate Change Adaptation in Forest and Agricultural Mosaic Landscapes (GEF VII) project to be implemented in Mwandi, Sioma, Sesheke districts in Western province and Nyimba, Petauke, Lusangazi districts in Eastern province.


The Executing Agency of the programme shall be WWF GEF7/FAO project. The consultant that will be responsible for the implementation of the programme in the project areas shall work hand-in-hand with the Department of Water Resources Development (DRWD) in the Ministry of Water Development and Sanitation. The consultant shall also work with line ministries that have experience and capacities in advocacy and programme promotion to reach the intended targeted communities. For example, the staff from the Department of Water Supply and Sanitation, Water Resources Management Authority(WARMA), the extension staff under the Ministry of Agriculture, sub-district staff of the Department of Community Development and other agencies will provide expertise in promotion of water usability and improved livelihood.

It is worth noting that “Implementation is all about pursuing idealistic goals while assessing what is practically achievable in the field.” Therefore, the consultant shall      endeavor to promote the 3Rs (Retention, Recharge and Restore) and MUS (Multiple Use Services) approaches in which rainwater harvesting and collection plays a key role in the project areas.

The consultant shall implement this Programme by taking an integrated and holistic approach to rainwater harvesting and uses while putting the local community at the Centre of decision-making. It will combine RWH with agriculture and agroforestry, thus providing local communities with alternatives that reduce pressure on existing water sources.

Training and awareness sessions on subjects like management of water supply, hygiene practices and operation & maintenance of the RWH system will form an integral part of the programme. The WWF believes that a sense of ownership and local knowledge will ensure a successful and long-term impact of the RWH programme.


The main objective of the Project is to increase the resilience of productive landscapes and rural communities through organizational innovations, climate smart water management and technology transfer for climate change adaptation. The programme aims to develop RWH practices and mainstreaming strategies that facilitate its adoption and to strengthen the institutional and human resources capacities in the project areas to use RWH facilities. To realize these objectives, the programme of RWH will be based on the strategic interventions forming the basis of the plan and these are; Awareness raising, Capacity building, and Infrastructure development.

Specific Objectives

  • To enhance positive public awareness on the practice of RWH
  • To harness rainwater to artificially recharge the groundwater
  • To harness RWH as a viable augmentation measure for conventional potable networks in water-stressed areas in the project areas, agriculture, livestock and promote water conservation
  • To improve practices in existing RWH with respect to water quality and sanitation
  • To facilitate the creation of an appropriate incentive environment for RWH based on informed policy making.

3.1  Awareness raising

In order for the RWH programme to be successful, it should be implemented by the beneficiaries or users of water who are women. It is for this reason that the focus group for the RWH programme are women and children.

3.2      Capacity Building
The consultant will develop the training programme to build the local capacity in RWH infrastructure design and construction from which skills will be tapped. Most importantly both gender will be trained in community mobilisation, masonry, planning for the RWH systems and other relevant skills.  Capacity building will target to develop and improve district competency in developing (design and construction) and operating RWH systems; train communities in operation and management of community RWH systems; and train professionals at district, province and national personnel in charge of proper use and maintenance of the system to ensure optimum efficiency.


4.1 Work Assignment:

Design, supply, install, testing and commissioning for the rainwater harvesting system in addition to capacity building/ training of designated personnel in charge of the system, it is proposed to collect a reasonable amount of rainwater annually in tanks depending on the area coverage and design. These tanks should be built both above the ground and underground. The recharge method will also be applied in some areas. The potential application of the harvested rainwater will be for gardening, domestic purposes, and animal watering.

Scope of Work:

The rainwater harvesting activities will be carried out in Sioma, Mwandi, Sesheke districts in Western Province and Nyimba, Petauke, Lusangazi districts in Eastern Province. The number of villages/households to be targeted will be identified during assessments/reconnaissance surveys. The scope of works for this assignment will be as follows:

Conduct surveys in the selected communities to identify rainwater harvesting options
Prepare a survey report and share the report with stakeholders
Prepare the technical feasibility report and share the technical feasibility report with stakeholders and the Council for validation
Train WPCs and FFPOs on the identified rainwater harvesting solutions. These may include but not limited to roof top rainwater harvesting, In-field rain water harvesting, run-off harvesting through recharge pits, recharge trenches, tube wells, recharge wells etc.
Train WPCs/FFPOs on the use of small equipment for rainwater harvesting and install the equipment

Designing the rainwater harvesting system based on the site visit.

a. Site analyses including all relevant and necessary tests;

b. Mapping roof areas – determining the contributing catchments

c. Calculating volume of water of mapped catchment area (roof)

d. Gutters sizes and locations design to Minimize contamination from the catchment

e. Estimating Storage Requirements, Tank design and location(s)Distribution system

Supply of the system components and other relevant materials
Supply of rainwater harvesting system components as following:

a. Catchment and conveyance systems

b. Storage water tank/s

c. Spout Pipes and Valves

d. Faucet

e. Pumps and pressure tank (depending on the target site)

f. Any other relevant components or materials that are needed

Installation of the rainwater harvesting system

  • Design of site specific RWH facilities or approved alternatives
  • Develop site-specific Environmental and Social Safeguards for each area
  • In-situ and factory fitted delivery system and water storage based on the proposed


Testing and commissioning (including warranty period)

a. Checks and dry run of all component installations to ensure system integrity

b. Catchment, conveyance systems and tank maintenance manual

c. Monitoring and regular maintenance during the defect liability period of 24 months

d. The contractor also assumes liability for the manufacturer warranties of system components/materials.

Capacity building/ training for personnel in charge

a. Conduct training of FFPs, WPCs etc. in charge of proper use and maintenance of the system to ensure optimum efficiency


In line with FAO’s Environmental and Social Safeguards, the project has been screened against Environmental and Social risks and rated as Moderate risk (see Annex N and Table 5 in the project document). The project has moderate potential negative environmental and/or social impacts. The project has however put in place mitigation measures to reduce the occurrence of the identified risks.

The FAO safeguards which were triggered under the water component were Safeguard 1, “Natural Resources Management”. The project will involve drilling of boreholes as part of the solutions for groundwater management, water harvesting and water use to support and

enhance climate-resilient livelihoods. The project will also involve construction of mini Water Schemes for human communities and animal watering (improved water supply for domestic use and animals).

a. Preparation of an Environmental Project Brief (EPB) for the Project in compliance with the Zambian regulations and the Simplified Environmental Management Framework (SEMF) for SADC-GMI. The EPB will be required to among other things contain a simplified environmental management plan;

b. The beneficiaries will also be trained in sustainable water harvesting techniques in sites with low rainfall;

c. An Environmental & Social Impact Assessment will be conducted, that will include the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID) checklist;

d. Monitor compliance with the SEMP in line with the provisions of the ESS mitigation plan;

e. Recommend and supervise any remedial measures to be undertaken if any;

f. Report on ESS in project status update reports.


This service is for an estimated contract period of maximum 5 months. The consultant will be requested to propose their approach, including the detailed design, work plan, flowchart, and timeline of activities referring to the desired deliverable:

6.1 Deliverables:
Deliverable Duration

Deliverable / Duration

1. Assessing, Designing and preparation of bill of quantities (BOQ) for the rainwater harvesting system for Mwandi, Sioma, Sesheke, Nyimba, Lusangazi and Petauke districts
1 month

2. Report writing and sharing with respective stakeholders
2 weeks

3. Supplying and installing the rainwater harvesting system
3 months

4. Testing and commissioning and capacity building/training for the designated personnel in charge
15 days

5. Training WPCs and FFPOs on the identified rainwater harvesting solutions
2 weeks

6. Training WPCs/FFPOs on the use of small equipment for rainwater harvesting and install the equipment
2 weeks

5. Environmental and Social Safeguards study within catchment area. This should include a Gender inclusive public consultation that ensures that communities participate in the design and implementation of the Project.
Throughout the process


Provide small equipment and training to implement identified rainwater harvesting solutions
Inception Report with a Work Plan outlining the initial assessment, agreed-on scope, and methodology to be employed to be confirmed at an Inception Meeting
Reconnaissance study report and conceptual designs
Community surveys conducted to identify rainwater harvesting options for interventions within selected communities.
Survey reports indicating settlement map, the location of the RWH structures, and a location map.
Technical feasibility solutions and validated proposals through local authorities
Complete detailed design drawings, design report, Bills of quantity
Detailed report on RWH technologies installed in the project area
Complete environmental and social impact assessment report

7.1 Specific Conditions:

  • Site visit is mandatory for all prospective contractors before submitting their proposal.
  • All designs, supply, installation works, and equipment shall comply with environment friendly, cost-effective, and genuine components from reputable suppliers that conform with the available and appropriate national and international standards.
  • Safety construction solution and overall aesthetics consideration in the design and installation.
  • The contractor shall be responsible for ensuring that waste materials, packaging, and any other items associated with these installations, do not get blown or otherwise distributed around the site, and should be disposed in an environmentally friendly manner in a governmentally approved location. Any costs incurred in cleaning wastes or debris generated by the contractor shall be charged to the contractor.


Sustainable solutions are implemented for groundwater management, water harvesting and water use to support and enhance climate-resilient livelihoods.


Reports will use the ‘Arial’ format of font size twelve (12). Tables of contents, lists of tables and figures should be inserted automatically and abbreviations or acronyms should be clearly presented in the first pages of the document. An executive summary that outlines the conduct and priority conclusions of the study should be presented at the beginning of the report. All data and information of interest in the document must be referenced. For publications, articles and books, references should include: “Author’s Name, Year of Publication, Title, journal/publisher information etc.; and for references from the Internet: “Author’s name, title, name of website, date site was consulted, and web address or URL”.


The ideal candidate for this assignment should be an expert in water and natural resources management, and holder of at least a Bachelors’ degree in engineering, hydrology, or any other relevant discipline. The expert should also have:

More than 5 years of relevant experience in water and natural resources management with at least one year of experience related to rain water harvesting;
Demonstrated knowledge of climate change, and especially with climate variability and climate change adaptation;
At least one year of experience working on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services;
Worked on similar assignments in the past;
Working experience as a consultant with international organisation;
Knowledge of local regulations, international standards, and best practices related to dam construction and design;
Excellent writing and oral presentation skills.


The consultant must demonstrate ability to meet the deadline, and a clear and detailed program of work must be included.


Reporting from the Consultant will be done on a weekly basis to the Water Resources expert who will in return report to the Project Manager about the activities, updates, and any other related information.


The assignment will be managed in accordance with standards contracts for consultancy services and in line with WWF Zambia and the Zambia Public Procurement Authority (ZPPA) Act.

Interested applicants may send through proposals complete with:

  • Cover letter addressed to the Procurement Officer, WWF Zambia Country Office.
  • Both Technical and Financial Proposals inclusive of detailed work plan Methodology
  • At least 3 Trade references relevant to the assignment at hand.
  • A valid ZRA Tax Clearance Certificate

The above should be submitted in Soft copy as a single PDF document .

All submissions should be emailed to [email protected] no later than Friday 28th June, 2024 at 17:00 hrs with the email subject being Consultancy on DEVELOPING RAINWATER HARVESTING SYSTEMS FOR INTERVENTIONS IN MWANDI, SESHEKE, SIOMA IN WESTERN PROVINCE AND NYIMBA, PETAUKE, LUSANGAZI IN EASTERN PROVINCE

* Legitimate employers do not ask for payment. Find out more at safe job search tips.