World Water Day: Securing sustainable fresh water supply in coastal community Efoetsy, Madagascar
One of the scarce fresh water resources for the Efoetsy community is this pond.
On the occasion of World Water Day, Elemental Water Makers released a story on impact of water scarcity on the inhabitants of Efoetsy, a village located on the dry south-western coast of Madagascar. In response, the Elemental Water Foundation, in partnership with Trans-Mad' Développement, the local community, Global Shapers - Amsterdam hub, Feedback Company and JCI Volcke Rack, will built a solar powered desalination plant.
Impact of water scarcity
In many countries, communities are increasingly dependent on transporting water from far or applying expensive, energy-intensive water treatment to guarantee enough water for their population, a major challenge for less developed regions.
When Sid Vollebregt, water engineer and chairman of the Foundation Elemental Water Makers, was traveling in Madagascar, he saw the impact of water scarcity on local communities. He realized that the key to increased access to clean water must lie in the unlimited resources of the sun and sea. By conversion into freshwater (desalination), using solar energy, it is possible to solve freshwater scarcity in remote coastal areas in a sustainable and innovative way. This experience has become the origin of the Elemental Water Foundation.A desalination plant will break the cycle of water scarcity, providing the community enough fresh water to grow more crops, earning more money to improve their livelihoods.
First project location
Efoetsy was chosen as the first project location - and not without good reason. 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 3,000 people who live in and around the village live in extreme poverty and survive by farming, fishing and picking fruit and vegetables. However, this lifestyle is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain due to the decreasing availability of fresh water. Women and children spend up to 3 hours to provide water for their families.
The collected surface or groundwater is salty and polluted, leading to illness and school dropout. The only safe drinking water source is bottled water that is transported from far away to Efoetsy, which is often too expensive for the locals.
Sustainable water production
In cooperation with the local community of Efoetsy, the local NGO Trans-Mad' Développement is working hard to realize this drinking water project that will lead to 15,000 litres of clean and sustainable water produced per day in Efoetsy.
The solar-driven desalination solution will run entirely on the power of solar energy and trained local water entrepreneurs, who sell water at an affordable price and maintain the water installation.
(Photos: Elemental Water Makers)
Read also on this website
● Here's World Water Day – Here's Leaving no one behind, 22 March 2019
● TNO and Elemental Water Makers receive prestigious MBR Global Water Awards for desalination, 27 April 2017
● First solar-driven desalination plant by Elemental Water Makers up and running on Virgin Islands, 17 July 2015
● Expertise: Water for all
Elemental Water Makers
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Video showing how the community of the coastal village Efoetsy is securing it’s water supply.