Haiti - Salagnac Plateau 2001-2002

Update 2009

This project had tremendous potential but was forced to stop, along with work by almost all other international NGOs, in 2002 due to civil unrest and major concerns for the safety and security of our volunteers and partners. However, the good quality evaluation done in the study discussed below lays the foundation for a fog collection project to be started when the social conditions allow and suitable new partners are found.

Background

The families and the school on the Salagnac Plateau in southwestern Haiti have a serious water shortage every winter. The need for clean water is for both the families in their homes and for their crops and gardens. FogQuest worked with Oxfam Quebec to determine how much water could be produced by fog collectors during the dry winter period on the plateau. This is an area of about 10 km2 located at an elevation of 1000 m, on the southwestern peninsula of Haiti. The evaluation was done using 1 m2 Standard Fog Collectors (SFC), which were built in Chile and shipped to Haiti. Ten sub-sites for the installation of the SFC were chosen in November 2001 and the SFC were installed in the first few days of December. The field observations continued until the end of March 2002, to assess whether the scarce water supplies for the people might be increased during this period. The results for the December 2001 to March 2002 period were very good. The observations have been well made and they show increased water production with elevation over the range of 700 to 1000 m. The best two sites have averaged 5.5 L m-2 day-1 (5.5 liters of water per square meter of mesh per day) over the four-month period. Expressed another way, each 1 m2 of mesh has produced about 165 L of water per month. The water comes from both the persistent fog in the mountains and from the occasional rain that falls. Both fog and rain are collected by the fog collectors. Based on these measurements, a large 50 m2 fog collector would produce 275 liters of water a day during the dry season, which is sufficient clean water for all the household needs of two families. FogQuest is now discussing, with two NGOs, the installation of Large Fog Collectors to create new water supplies at two locations in Haiti.