News / Science & Technology

Fog Collector Transforms Maasai Water-Harvesting in Kenya

Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenyai
X
July 17, 2014 4:42 PM
The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle.  But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks.  In the village of Kiserian, the Maasai community is embracing a new piece of water-harvesting technology with marked results.

In the early morning in Kiserian, a town 30 kilometers from Nairobi, the Lotuno family go about their daily chores - with their matriarch, Hannah, checking on the health of her flock.

"I wake up as early as 5 a.m. to tend to the cattle before they are taken out to pasture," she said." I then check on the sheep's health and I tend to the sickly ones.  For them to be productive they need lots of water."
 
Kiserian is dominated by Maasai cattle herders.  During dry spells, they must go far to find enough water and pasture for their animals.
 
Anthony Purkei is a community organizer who said lack of water is a major issue.

"We experience a lot of problems because we depend on livestock in our livelihood.  So when there's drought, our cattle die as a result of there's no water and this area where we live is Kajiado County," he said. "We experience a lot of drought during the year as a result of climate change."
 
But that problem now has a solution: the fog catcher. Professor Bancy Mati from the Jommo Kenyatta University of Agriculture & Technology developed her variation on the device last year.

The fog collectors look like tall volleyball nets slung between two poles, but they are made of a polypropylene or polyethylene mesh that is especially efficient at capturing water droplets.  When the fog rolls in, the tiny droplets of water cling to the mesh, and as more and more cluster together, they drip into a gutter below that channels the water to a water tank.
 
"Fog is water. But very few people treat it as water because fog is a cloud that is touching the ground and is small droplets of water," Mati said. "The need to collect fog is because fog season follows the rainy season. The foggy season -- that water, instead of letting it go to waste, it is possible to do equipment which will collect fog and the good news is that same equipment collects rain water quite well."
 
Daniel Lotuno's fog collector was installed on his homestead in April.  He said he does not regret spending the $850 for it.

"When there's fog, or some rain, there's some water that we collect,' her said.  "Definitely this shows that we get some water because when it was raining or there's fog we still have to go to our fetching areas.  But now since there's a fog collection, then we have water."
 
And for the Lotunos and other Kiserian families, that water -- captured by this revolutionary device -- is making a major impact on daily life.

You May Like

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: joseph Tuleto from: kajiado, kenya
July 18, 2014 7:20 AM
fog water harvesting is so fantastic and need to spread out to most remote areas like isinya among other areas in kajiado county

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs