Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects

Department

Biology

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

In the Kasigau location of the Voi District of Kenya, severe rainwater shortages closed fourteen water collection stations in 2008 and 2009, leaving ten water sources to service 15,000 people in the region. Few families in the area have domestic rainwater harvesting systems which are an easily implemented, low-cost means of water collection. I investigated the ability of rainwater catchment systems to modify family time budgets (by reducing water collection time) and lessen the severity of water scarcity (by supplying families a significant amount of water). Forty families participated in the research, 20 of whom received free installation of a low-cost rainwater catchment system and served as the experimental group, and 20 of whom received cash equivalents and served as the control group. For two months, all adult family members kept a diary tracking the time they spent doing various activities (cooking, collecting water,etc). Our analyses show that the experimental group collected more water than the control group in the wet and dry seasons and that the experimental group spent more time collecting water then the control group in the dry season. No statistical significance was seen between the two groups in the wet season. This research is not a solution to water scarcity, but provides a foundation for further studies and development initiatives.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

Dr. Michael Stokes

Disciplines

Biology | Chemistry

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