Mihret Kahsay in front of her house. In the background stand two of her grandchildren, and Adam Hassen sits on the steps.
Thick fog flows over the mountains in the vicinity of Arberobue.

Second phase of the project

It will still be some time before the water can flow into Arberobue. The village lies at an elevation of 1,800 metres about 18 kilometres from Asmara on the road to the coastal town of Massawa. Up until now, there has been only a single test collector that was set up by Fogquest more than a year ago. It showed that the conditions are ideal for high-yield collection, since there is thick fog all day long from October to January. Even now, at the beginning of March, the village is cloaked in clouds each day from 5 p.m. onwards. Optimal conditions, then, for improving the water supply.

The village, which is surrounded by steep terrain, is home to 120 families, totalling about 1,000 persons. Almost all of the younger men are in the military, and the few who are still there walk the strenuous path to the capital city in order to work as day labourers. Water from tank trucks costs 15 Nakfa or about €0.90 per 20-litre canister – nearly a half a day's wages. No one in the village can afford that, which is why the tank truck no longer comes.

Three hours for a gulp of water

“My uncle and I drink the water from the cistern in the village even though I know that it is not good”, says 65-year-old Mihret Kahsay. Two of her children died in the war, and all of her sons are in the military. She also takes care of her six grandchildren, two of whom have lost both of their parents. It is actually the children’s' job to fetch drinking water, but they are too small to walk the three hours needed to get there and then back again. “We would be very happy if the collectors could be set up” said the local government official Adam Hassen and pointed to the spring that lies in the valley behind two hills.

Fogquest has already selected a not-too-steep site for ten further collectors. Since Vision Eritrea acquired the necessary experience in the initial phase of the project in Nefasit and knows that it can rely on local support, everyone is confident that the organisation in Arberobue will manage it alone. Arberobue is an important step toward the goal of collecting more water from fog in Eritrea. Fogquest will continue to support the country in selecting sites for nets. The Water Foundation still has much to do in Eritrea, and the Munich Re Foundation will support them in doing it.

Water

> Overview

 

Contact

> Martina Mayerhofer

> Thomas Loster

 

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Water

> Overview

 

First phase of the project

> more

 

Fog-net project on TV

> ZDF "heute", 22 March 2007

> 3Sat "nano", 22 March 2007

> ZDF "Umwelt", 1 April 2007

 

Links

> FogQuest

> WaterFoundation

 

Contact

> Dirk Reinhard