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Update July 2009
The project continues to fluctuate up and down depending on the ability to work effectively in Eritrea. On the positive side, the 10 large fog collectors (LFCs) built for Nefasit and the ten LFCs built for Arborobu were successfully installed and produced large amounts of fog water. Issue 21 of the FogQuest News has the story and pictures. A local film company produced a video on the projects and promoted the installation of many more projects in the country. On the negative side, 2008 was a difficult year for both local and international NGOs in Eritrea. Most were disbanded and forbidden to continue working. This included our partner NGO, Vision Eritrea. However, the sponsor of the project from Germany, WasserStiftung, has found a new partner in 2009 which was able to do maintenance and repairs on the LFCs at Arborobu and they reported that the LFCs were keeping the five 3000 liter storage tanks full of water. At this time the possibilities are there for future village projects in Eritrea but we are awaiting decisions from WasserStiftung as to how they feel it is appropriate to move forward
We are very pleased that this project has now moved into the operational phase. In January 2007, Virginia Carter and Juan Pablo Astaburuaga went from Chile to direct the construction of the first large fog collectors in Eritrea and the installation of the associated pipelines and water tanks. The start of the project was further delayed due to some issues related to travel permits within the country but after a working visit by Robert Schemenauer from FogQuest in Canada, in February, everything moved forward and the construction began on 10 large fog collectors to provide water for a school in Nefasit. The FogQuest team was joined and very capably assisted by Phyllis Cheung, an engineer, and volunteer from Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The school has almost 1500 elementary and secondary students and has no water available for them during the school days. The water from the LFCs will pass through a 1000 L sedimentation tank to five 3000 L plastic tanks on the school grounds. The students will have access to a tap stand with ten water taps for their use. More information about the school and the project will appear in a FogQuest Newsletter to come out shortly. It s anticipated that this project will continue to grow in these two villages, and in other villages, now that we have a large supply of mesh in the country and some of the bureaucratic and logistic issues have been resolved.
Our work in Eritrea is only possible because of the fundraising and tremendous support of the Water Foundation (WasserStiftung) based in Munich, Germany. They have a great working group and a strong network of sponsors. In Eritrea itself, the field work is carried out with the full partnership of Vision Eritrea, a large local NGO. They have been excellent to work with and we are transferring the construction knowledge to their staff. They are continuing on with the construction of 10 more LFCs for the village of Arborobu at a site we have identified as being suitable. These should be completed by May 2007.