COP22: Moroccan Project Wins UN Momentum for Changes Award
Marrakech, 16/11/2016 (MAP) – A Moroccan project that harvests fog from air to provide drinking water for people on the edge of Morocco’s Sahara desert has won the Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activity Award, along with thirteen game-changing initiatives from around the world.
The award-giving ceremony, which was attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Solar Impulse CEO and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Bertrand Piccard, as well as other celebrities, was one of the most exciting events of the Marrakech COP, with inspiring videos, photographs and musical performances.
In a speech on the occasion, the UN Secretary-General said he was “particularly impressed by the sustainability of the initiatives”, calling the evening winners “kings without crowns”.
Ban also deemed the Moroccan women’s initiative as “incredible” and a source of inspiration for the future.
For his part, Bertrand Piccard, who was the master of this ceremony, affirmed that “renewable energies are the market of the 21st century, the one that will generate employment, profit and green growth”, adding that: “we no longer need to be ecological, we just need to be logical”.
Dar Si Hmad, a women-led NGO in Morocco, designed and installed this project, the world’s largest operational fog-water harvesting system.
It is an innovative solution to persistent water stress where fog is abundant, a technique inspired from ancient water practices. The Dar Si Hmad project provides accessible potable water to more than 400 people in five villages, most of them women and children.
The unique fog harvesting project is a successful model of a locally-driven, participatory climate change adaptation initiative, providing an environmentally friendly water source to combat the effects of desertification.
The project includes: 600 m2 of nets to harvest fresh water from fog, 7 reservoirs of 539 m3 storage capacity, 6 solar panels and 10,000+ meters of piping.
Pre-paid water meters connected to 52 homes in 5 villages, serving more than 400 rural Berber residents, most of them women.
Dar Si Hmad’s female team leaders have conducted 20+ capacity-building workshops with rural Berber women to promote literacy and income-generating projects.
Starting in January 2017, the project will be upgraded to CloudFisher, next generation fog-collection technology, and will connect 8 more villages to the grid.