Southern and Eastern Africa Rainwater Network (SearNet)

SearNet is hosted by the World Afgroforestry Centre (ICRAF). The network has been generated out of a partnership between the Regional Land Management Unit (RELMA) in Nairobi, Kenya, and the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) of New Delhi, India, with a joint programme (initiated in 2002) on "A Network for Green Water Harvesting in Eastern and Southern Africa and South Asia". When RELMA merged into ICRAF in 2006, the joint programme expanded with a second phase to include the Southern and Eastern Africa Rainwater Network and the Rainwater Harvesting Implementation Network (RAIN) covering now 18 countries, i.e., Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Somaliland in the Eastern African region, and six countries in Southeast Asia.

The network has first concentrated on awareness creation, strengthening national and regional networks, conducting policy research and evaluation, and capacity building but currently also addresses capacity development among (non-)governmental and community-based organizations, the academia and private sector to implement rainwater harvesting practices on the ground. Through the Netherlands-funded programme on Improved Capacity in Rainwater Management for Sustainable Development, it addresses overexploitation and pollution of river and groundwater (blue water) by promoting "green water" harvesting (all-purpose water harvesting at household/farm levels with emphasis on water for agricultural production).

Main task in WHaTeR project: SearNet will have as main task to lead the Work Packages 3 and 14 on “stakeholder interaction and communication” and “dissemination”. Whereas the former will be approached as an thematic RTD activity in the field of communication science, however, serving the design of policy recommendations for adequate and efficient knowledge transfer (and exchange) among stakeholders, the latter will concentrate on networking, showcasing project activities and results (with focus on Sub Saharan Africa) for increasing WHT understanding among the public at large.