Location, Sub Saharan Africa & SIDS, Seychelles
Date project established: January 2010
The republic of Seychelles is vulnerable to particular climate change effects and challenges which include
sea level rise, increase in sea surface temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns with short periods of
heavy rainfall during the rainy season and severe droughts during the dry season being a common occurrence.
These effects have adverse impacts on the health and functioning of ecosystems and consequently on the
wellbeing of humans as they affect the social and economic systems that are central to human existence.
This problem of water scarcity is further compounded by the ever increasing demand for water occasioned
by increased economic and social development as well as population growth. To address this, the country
invested heavily in the construction of reservoirs and desalination plants, but this didn’t help but
instead skyrocketed the use of fossil fuel which only helped to emit more GhGs. Increased school population
and the local educational campaign to green school grounds, resulted in increased demand for water resulting
in high water bills.
In an effort to address this and at the same time demonstrate adaptation to climate change in Schools, the
UNEP/UNDP CC-DARE project with financial support from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA),
assisted Seychelles with a timely-targeted rainwater harvesting project.
The objectives were to harvest rain water from school roofs so as to meet the needs of selected schools and
to reduce the cost of water bills, educate school children on the impact of climate change on our water
resources and on the methods used to adapt to climate change, raise awareness among the general public on
climate change impacts on the Seychelles and on rainwater harvesting as a means of adapting to water problems
caused by climate change and finally share the water harvesting experiences of the schools with other
The Environmental Education Unit in collaboration with the Environment Department, the Water Division in
Public Utility cooperation, and the Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S), Seychelles Islands
Foundation (SIF) and Sea Level Rise Foundation all NGO partners implemented the project
helping build the capacities of citizens in the country and the CC-DARE provided the requisite technical
backstopping that ensured the projects implementation progressed as per the plan and the project objectives
were achieved. The project soon moved from schools to communities.
Mitigation and/or Adaptation
The outputs of this project enabled the school for the first time to make a saving of US$ 250 on water bills
monthly registered by the schools. These savings are now been invested in the improvement of the schools such
as the school environment , infrastructures and buying learning resources which are very much needed after
the strong IMF economic reform. The Water harvested at the school is now being used for school gardens, clean
ups and toilets as well as during the dry seasons when there is water restriction. This project has addressed
MDG Goal 2, 3, 7, & 8. This project is also assisting in the capacity building of teachers on climate
The success of this project has created opportunities for other climate change adaptation initiatives. For
instance, within the Seychelles, the Department of Environment and the Publicity Utility Cooperation (PUC)
are already using this project as a means to sensitize and educate the general public on climate change. In
addition, the Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S) is using the project to promote rain water harvesting
at the community level. The schools in the community are being used as models for community demonstrations.
The Ministry of Education, with the support of the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), Sustainability for
Seychelles, Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF), Department of Environment and the Sea Level Rise Foundation
is building on the successful CC DARE implemented project and further helping schools carry out the project.
The project has been recognized by both government and the NGOs as an example of best practices for climate
change adaptation by local, regional and international organizations. Following national relevance of
demonstration action, government of Seychelles is encouraging rainwater harvesting as a means to climate
change adaption and mainstreaming it in environment and sustainable development plans of the country. This is
an indication that rainwater harvesting is a sustainable intervention against climate change to the extent
that it can be incorporated into the environmental management strategies of a country. (http://www.nation.sc/index.php?art=20152).
The prospect of rainwater harvesting being development plans of the Seychelles is an indication that this
sustainable development principle will soon be integrated into a national development policy of a country and
this relates to MDG 7. In addition, the project has attracted collaboration from the Ministry of education,
the Environment Department, as well as a couple of NGOs including the PUC, Sustainability for Seychelles,
Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF), the Sea Level Rise Foundation and the Environment Trust Fund of
Seychelles to implement similar projects in other schools. The project is also being extended to cover some
public institutions such as district administration headquarters, clinics/hospitals and social centers in
some districts to benefit communities in these districts.
This is a true testament that small but well-timed and targeted interventions can have significant impact in
moving policies forward and spurring development of larger efforts- an important aspect in the transition
from demonstration to policy actions.
- reduction of monthly water bills of the schools by about $250 USD as direct savings on school budgets
- availability of water prevention of risks of waterborne diseases outbreaks among pupils and
- illustration of economic benefits of the adaptation action to the national healthcare system
- Partnerships have been built with the Water and Sewage Division of the Public Utility Cooperation in the
provision of sensitization materials on water treatment and management
- project assisting in capacity building of teachers on climate change
- The training and capacity building workshops involved teaching and non-teaching staff from 6-7 schools.
Over 400 teachers have been trained.
- In the participating schools, the children had the opportunity to participate in a variety of climate
change activities which helped them understand the relationship between climate change and water better.
- Build vocational skills of young people to take actions to adapt to climate change
As a result of this projects’ success, rainwater harvesting has now been incorporated into the new
national climate change strategy and is also being incorporated into the new Environment Management Plan of
the Seychelles. A direct benefit of this project has been a saving of US$ 250 on water bills registered by
the schools. These funds are now been invested in the improvement of the schools teaching and learning
resources. By providing water in schools, the project ensures that children who go to school learn without
any interference that would result from frequent water shortages. In this sense, it contributes to some
extent toward the achievement of MDG 2 and 3 which relate to access to primary and secondary education. The
prospect of rainwater harvesting being included sustainable development plans of Seychelles is an indication
that this sustainable development principle will soon be integrated into a national development policy of a
country and this relates to MDG 7.
The provision of safe water at the school means a reduction in the risk of contracting water borne diseases
among the pupils, teachers and other users. This reduction constitutes an improvement in the health standards
of this area to bring the residents of this area at par with those living in areas of higher social standing
where water borne diseases are not prevalent. Secondly, the achievement of the project objectives addresses
millennium development goals (MDGs) 2, 3, 7 & 8. MDG 2 deals with universal primary education and by
providing water to the 10 target schools, this project ensures pupils learn without interferences that would
otherwise result from frequent water shortages.
The project also improved climate change knowledge of the general public in the project areas who
participated in the climate change exhibitions and watch a documentation of the local telvision as well as
the over 400 teachers and other non-teaching staff from 7 schools who attended the training and capacity
building workshops which had presentations on climate change and its impact on the water sector. This
improved access to knowledge achieved by this project helped to bridge the knowledge gap that ordinarily
exists because of un-equitable access to sources of information and in this respect, the project also scores
on the social equity indicator.
The project also helped the schools economically. All schools which participated in the project stated that
water bills have gone down. When comparing two bills in one particular school, (before and after
installation), there was a difference of Rs 13,423.18. This proves that in less than a year, schools
managed to recover the installation cost due to the savings made in water bills. Money saved is now
being invested in other school projects. Apart from benefitting the schools economically trough water
savings, it was also noted that is assisted in school gardening. Therefore proving its benefit to sustaining
the natural ecosystem and biodiversity. Such finding also shows how rainwater harvesting can assist in
irrigation to increase food production. In most secondary schools, the water was used by students studying
agriculture, in order to sustain their gardens, even during the dry periods.
Water harvested was also used to assist in health and hygiene. It was noted that students used the
water to wash up after PE or recreational activities. When water is restricted, such hygienic practices are
often limited, stated one of the teachers. Recently the Ministry of Health has been campaigning on the
necessity to regularly wash hands in order to prevent the spread of diseases. Such back up provision can
therefore assist in reducing the spread of diseases in public places, especially during the dry months.
Potential for Scaling-up and replication of project
The simplicity of this project also ensures that it can be upscale easily in other areas, ensuring its
benefits are spread to as many school children as possible thus enhancing universal primary education and
promoting social equity as children who were previously disadvantaged by poor access to water are now brought
to a par with those from areas of a higher social standing hence with better access to safe water. S4S is now
promoting the project at community level and it will be extended in some public buildings/infrastructures to
The Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S) a private sector partner is using the project to promote rain water
harvesting at the community level. The project is currently being replicated in more primary schools
and the newly created university of Seychelles is replicating the model of rainwater harvesting carried out
through this project in primary schools. As further testament of its replication and up scaling potential,
the project has been recognized by both government and the NGOs as an example of best practices for climate
change adaptation by local, regional and international organizations and can be adapted to other countries,
especially small island states. It is also being recommended for replication in many climate change workshops
as a means of adapting to water problems caused by climate change.
Seychelles Environment Department (ED) and Department of Education;
The Sustainability for Seychelles (S4S);
Seychelles Islands Foundation (SIF) and Sea Level Rise Foundation