Many countries from around the world suffer from a lack of fresh water. Many still are just beginning to feel the effects of pollution and rising temperatures and will soon enough be in the exact same situation. But none come even close to the problems with which Ethiopia is struggling with when it comes to having something to drink.
Here women and children have to walk for miles, sometimes several hours at a time, in order to reach a watering hole which they have to share with cattle and wild animals. In no measure, a clean drinking supply.
In order to solve this problem two Italian engineers have designed a simple yet elegant contraption called Warka Water. This slender device is collecting water straight from the air in the form of droplets and condenses it, making it drop to the bottom in a receptacle.
It stands at a towering 9 meters (30 ft.) and is made out of bamboo -which make up the framework- and is lined with a special lightweight material made out of a special polyethylene fabric which grabs the water molecules from the air. In total each tower weighs about 60 kgs. (130 lbs.) and can be put together with ease by three or four men in just a couple of hours and without the need of any scaffolding.
Each pillar is capable of collecting about 100 liters (26 gallons) of water per day straight from the air and without any effort. The name “warka” was chosen from the Ethiopian language and stands for the wild fig tree that grows in the region. It symbolizes fertility and generosity and is often used as a public gathering spot and sometimes its shadow make perfect for school classes.
The project has potential and is aimed to be up and running by the end of 2015. These sorts of ideas, even if not big or imposing, can mean the difference between life and death for many. It comes as a simple and elegant design for a big problem, more and more of the world will have to face in the coming decades.