The affected region of Aït Baamrane, located in the Anti-Atlas Mountains near the city of Sidi Ifni, borders on the Sahara and is one of the driest regions of Morocco due to its semi-arid climate. For years, the drought has been increasing, the desert is spreading more and more and the groundwater level is continuously sinking. The villages on the slopes of Mount Boutmezguida are connected by bad roads. Here, indigenous Berber groups live on subsistence farming: beekeeping, occasional wheat cultivation, barley, goats, chickens. To improve their living conditions, men try to find work in the city. As a result, for many months of the year the villages are inhabited only by women, their children and the elderly.
The improvement of the water supply and drinking water supply was urgently needed. The rainwater, which was collected in small house cisterns, was used for watering cattle and for cooking. However, it was often not enough and every day long distances had to be covered by girls and women to the valley to buy municipal well water. The explosiveness of the situation was shown by an analysis of the well water, which has shown elevated levels of uranium, which is hazardous to health.
In spring 2016, the BMZ (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) approved our application for funding for a CloudFisher installation at Mount Boutmezguida (1225 m), in the Antiatlas Mountains in Morocco, thus clearing the way for what is currently the world’s largest fog catcher installation (1,590 m²).
From spring 2016 until the end of 2018, thanks to several hundred thousand euros in funding, we were able to supply a total of 16 villages with clean drinking water from fog, accompanied by educational measures, for women and their children in particular.
The CloudFisher plant provides drinking water for around 1,300 people and a school, as well as water for agricultural cultivation and around 7,000 livestock. The fog water obtained is of drinking water quality according to WHO standards. Four cisterns on the mountain ensure that the water is available well into the dry season.
In addition to the construction of 31 CloudFishers, a total of 26 km of pipes have been laid and five cisterns (100, 210, 2 x150 and 250 m3) have been built. Per square metre, 22 litres are “harvested” on an annual average. With 31 CloudFishers, this makes 37,092 litres per foggy day.
Thanks to the fog collectors, up to 12 litres of water are constantly available per day and family member. It is up to the family to decide what they use the water for that they do not need for domestic purposes: for watering cattle or for irrigating small areas of land. Due to the improvement of the water situation and the new income opportunities that come with it, some men have already returned to their villages.
Project executing agency on site
The Dar Si Hmad Foundation, which has been active for many years in the Aït Baamrane region with water and education projects.
March 2016 to December 2018
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Munich Re Foundation
German Association of the Gas and Water Industry /DVGW)
See this video for more information