PITCHAfrica's rainchutes utilize decommissioned military parachutes to create a remarkably simple solution to providing access to water at home for millions. It is not without irony that the majority of the 345 million people in Africa who do not have access to clean water live in regions where it rains more than 2 feet a year. But without ways of capturing and storing the rain, water evaporates in the heat and women and children are forced to walk long distances to find it. Homes are either too small or constructed in materials unsuitable for rainwater harvest.
PITCHAfrica's Rainchutes literally turn parachutes upside-down to capture the rain transforming them into low-cost, portable rainwater-harvesting, shade canopies, that coupled with basic storage and filtration, can provide enough clean water in a semi-arid region to support an entire family year-round.
Five rainchutes, each interpreted as a field of flowers, were painted by artist Lisa Milroy for PITCHAfrica’s 2013 Rainchute Campaign. These Rainchutes were exhibited by PITCHAfrica at the New Museum’s Ideas City Streetfest in Sara D. Roosevelt Park in Manhattan as part of an effort to raise funds to supply Rainchutes to communities in Kenya. PITCHAfrica use Rainchutes in local schools to teach rainwater harvesting to students and the parent community, and make Rainchutes available to local families at cost. We are currently raising funds to be able to make 100 Rainchutes available for training programs in the region and to establish a women’s Rainchute cooperative to support local distribution. Additional information is available http://pitch-africa.org and http://rainchutes.org.
PITCHAfrica is a US based non profit organization, founded and directed by Jane Harrison and David Turnbull, that advocates community integrated rainwater harvesting to address global issues of water access. Harvesting rain provides water where it is needed, empowering communities to collect water without having to walk long distances and without having to drill into groundwater reserves that often cannot be replenised, and can also be toxic. PITCHAfrica develops simple, innovative building types and technologies that allow communities to do this, integrating sport as a catalyst. PITCHAfrica initiatives include PITCH, a rainwater harvesting football venue, WATERBANKS, rural school building types that harvest and store high volumes of water for the same cost as conventional school buildings, RAINCHUTES and FILTERBANKS, for filtering stored rainwater to potable standard.