In the mountains of Morocco’s remote Sidi Ifni region, some men have come to inspect an unusual installation: closely meshed panels planted in the rock like a larger than life spider’s web.
It’s purpose is to catch minute droplets of fig water and turn them into drinking water.
A boon in this semi arid region where tap water is a luxury.
“This project solved many water-related issues for people in the region. Before, they had to collect water from wells sometimes located far from where they live. Water is so scarce that it can take up to three to four hours a day for people to find water and its often women and children who have to-do that,” said Aissa Derhem, the Chairman of the Dar Si Hmad association for Development, Education and Culture, a non governmental organization based in the country.
The region is often shrouded in thick fog, with mountains blocking cloud formations. The fog harvesting system was launched in March, the first of its kind in North Africa.
Now, residents of Douar Id Achour, one of the five villages served, no longer have to schelp for hours to collect water. This is good news for Massouda Boukhalfa, a female resident of the community. “ I had to ride a donkey for half an hour with two containers to draw water from a well. And I had to do that four times a day. Each container can hold 20 litres of water, times four, that adds up to 160 litres a day. But it wasn’t enough because we also have cattle,” said Massouda.
The newly installed taps are also a huge time saves for the village’s children as they will have more time to do their school work and even to play.
Households pay 2 dollars for access to tap water. The NGO in charge of the project says you water is three times cheaper than well water. Its next plan is to have fog nets planted all over Morocco’s mountains.