Madagascar community overcomes decreasing rainfall with solar-powered desalination
A community of 3,000 inhabitants in Madagascar, obtains their daily drinking water from the sea using only the sun and an off-grid desalination technology supplied by Elemental Water Foundation. They now have daily access to 15,000 liters of affordable clean drinking water year-round using the naturally available resources of the sea and sun.
On the African island of Madagascar, 11 million people still lack access to safe drinking water. The large majority of these people (85 percent) live in remote communities. One of these communities is Efoetsy.
Located on the dry south-western coast with saline groundwater, the village of Efoetsy, has been struggling with increasing water scarcity over the past years.
The remote village of Efoetsy is located on the dry south-western coast of Madagascar and receives less than 200 mm of rain per year. The 3000 people who live in and around the village live in poverty and survive by farming, fishing and picking fruits and vegetables.
Efoetsy has the only high school in the region, providing space for 600 students. However, the lifestyle is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain by declining rainfall.
In their effort to collect water, women and children had to travel for hours each day for unsafe and salty water sources.
Years ago, during a surf-trip in Madagascar, the Dutch engineer Sid Vollebregt, experienced the effects of a lack of freshwater on a local community up-close. Inspired by the availability of sunshine and the vastness of the surrounding ocean, Sid and his friend Reinoud Feenstra, both engineers of the University of Technology in Delft, developed technology to couple desalination technology to renewable energy such as the sun.
The two Delft engineers decided to incorporate the Elemental Water Foundation, with the goal to help the people who need it most. The certified NGO, together with local partner Trans-Mad and supported by Wilde Ganzen, have raised the funds required to install the solar-powered desalination system in Efoetsy.
Sustainable off-grid water supply in coastal areas
The sustainability of the project was not only ensured by using future proof resources of the sea and sun. The local community is involved in the operation and distribution, run together with the local NGO Trans-Mad.
Yet the 3,000 inhabitants of Efoetsy are not alone. There are several communities in the South-West of Madagascar and thousands of communities worldwide, where similar solutions can make a life-changing difference. Elemental Water Foundation aims to make a change in these areas of direct need.
Want to know more about current and upcoming Elemental Water Foundation projects and how to donate, please visit the website of Elemental Water Foundation.