CEPFS (Center for Popular Education and Social Formation) received the Mandacarau Prize from the Brazilian Federal government for developing ingenious system for recycling rainwater. The prize recognizes organizations that develop “innovative projects and practices for the access of water in semiarid regions of the country.” CEPFS, which operates in the sertão in the state of Paraiba, won the prize for projects that “scale innovative practices.” The initiative is part of the “Cisterns Program” put forth by the Ministry of Social Development and Hunger Combat. It has the objective of identifying technological solutions that can be scaled up and implemented in the semiarid regions of Brazil for the access, management and conservation of high quality water.

The R$ 100,000 will be utilized to improve the lives of 600 families in the community and surrounding areas. The initiative was developed with support from BrazilFoundation, which has followed CEPFS work since 2006. “[The Prize] was an important accomplishment for us, and we could not have done it without the support of BrazilFoundation,” said José Dias, founder and head of CEPFS.

CEPFS is situated in the municipality of Teixeira in Paraíba. It develops and disseminates innovative technologies, and it monitors the region to track the development of other low-cost technologies, which capture, store and manage water resources that are used both for consumption itself and for the maintenance of livestock and irrigation.

System for reuse of rainwater from roofs through the wash. Family benefit from the project. José Dias, manager of the organization

System for reuse of rainwater from roofs through the wash. Benefit family. José Dias, manager of the organization