Focused Sector(s): Water, Livelihood, Risk Mitigation
Project: Rainwater Harvesting for Sustainable Livelihood
Date and duration: September 2008 / 10 months
Location: Loufan County, Shanxi Province
Beneficiaries: 2,024 villagers from 558 households


  • The residents of Loufan County lived under the poverty line, with an average annual income of RMB1,200 (S$230)
  • In Miaowan Township, the poorest township in Loufan County:
    • Half the farmlands are situated on hilly terrain unfavourable for farming
    • There is no sustainable surface or ground water source available, which limits agricultural activities and affects income
    • The area gets only 400mm of rain per year and this is declining


Intervention and Impact

  • Implemented a communal gravity-driven rainwater harvesting crop irrigation system:
  • Constructed concrete-lined drainage ditches for rainwater catchment
  • Built 36 sedimentation pools which used gravity to filter collected water before it is stored in 36 underground water cellars
  • Installed a 5km-long irrigation network to pump water to 1,200 irrigation outlets
  • Provided training on the operation and maintenance of the new irrigation facility
  • Locals contributed around RMB219,000 worth of ‘sweat equity’ to the construction projects
  • With the new irrigation system, field conditions improved and yielded better harvests. The corresponding increase in crop yields led to an increase in income for villagers
  • More employment opportunities and sources of income


Cost: S$360,100

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