Year 2017 Uganda


Combat local water insecurity and facilitate community plastic recycling and clean-up.


Climate Impacts

Community members from Mbale report the following impacts:

Increasing water scarcity

from severe drought

Declining crop yields

due to changing rainfall patterns and pests

Insufficient grass

for livestock due to dry conditions

Increase in water and vector-borne diseases

such as typhoid, cholera, malaria, and yellow fever

Uganda-Building rainwater....-01
Uganda-Building rainwater....


Identification of tank locations

Sites were chosen based on need, access, and security.

Preparation of construction sites

Stakeholders cleared sites of weeds and debris, leveled off the land where necessary, and built bases to support the tanks.

Procurement and preparation of plastic bottles

Project partners held a community clean-up day to gather plastic bottles. Children from a local school helped pack bottles with dirt, small pebbles and plastic.

Tank construction

For each tank, bottles were arranged in a circle with the caps facing outward. Cement was applied between bottles and between each layer.

Gutter installation

Once tanks were completed, gutters were added to nearby buildings and attached to the tanks.

project outcomes

9 rainwater catchment tanks constructed with a holding capacity of more than 11,000 gallons of rainwater

Over 30,000 discarded plastic bottles collected and recycled

140 men and women participated in project activities

Improved community access to water throughout the year

project design

According to interviews with Mbale residents, rainfall is no longer consistent and has led to widespread water insecurity with severe consequences for farmers. Designed and led by former Peace Corps volunteer Michal Matejczuk, the Ichupa Upcycle project uses discarded plastic bottles collected from the community as raw material for constructing rainwater harvesting systems that can store water for use during dry spells. The project also contributes to local capacity-building by bringing together different project beneficiaries, designing solutions, sourcing funding, procuring plastic bottles, and ensure the timely completion of all activities. The Ichupa Upcycle Project is in the process of becoming a registered community-based organization.

Construction of water tank using recycled plastic bottles