What is Fog?
Fog comprises large density of water droplets which are small enough to “float” in the air. Scientifically, fog is really a cloud that touches the ground. These tiny droplets are easily blown by wind, making fog harvesting possible. But what is fog harvesting?
What is Fog Harvesting?
Fog harvesting is an innovative technology based on the fact that water can be collected from fogs under favourable climatic conditions. The small water droplets present in the fog precipitate when they come in contact with objects. The fog has the potential to provide an alternative source of freshwater if harvested through the use of simple and low-cost collection systems known as fog collectors. Present research suggests that fog collectors could supply water for multiple uses in mountainous areas should the water present in stratocumulus clouds, at altitudes of approximately 400 m to 1,200 m and winds between 3 – 12 m/s and with no obstructions to wind flow. Fog can also be harvested in coastal areas where the fog moves inland driven by the wind. The water in fog is harvested through simple systems known as fog collectors.
JKUAT Professor Leads Fog Harvesting in the Ngong Hills
In March 2013, a participatory project to assess the potential of fog harvesting and he subsequent promotion for its adoption by the local people was started in the Kiserian and Corner Baridi areas of the Ngong Hills. Pioneered by Prof. Bancy Mati of WARREC/ JKUAT, the project has partners from the Pastoralists Organization for Water and Environmental Research (POWER), Kenya Meteorological Department (KMD), and the Ped-World (Germany). The local people are beneficiaries. The trial Fog Collectors have been installed at; Olteyani Primary School, Olteyani Village, Ilmasin Primary School and Kiserian with plans to install full scale fog collectors when funding becomes available. Already, the beneficiaries are excited as some water has been captured from fog, while during the rainy season, the equipment collected a lot of rainwater.
Project Objectives and Outcomes
This project intends to improve knowledge and facilitate adoption of fog harvesting as a way of providing drinking water to communities in suitable areas. The Specific Objectives include:
- To mobilize the local community to effectively and efficiently be able to understand and manage the collection of fog for drinking water.
- To strengthen the capacity of local community to plan and effectively use of resources like FOG and rainwater.
- To Increase water availability particularly in the dry, yet foggy months and thus reduce water scarcity and incidences of preventable waterborne diseases through improved access to safe and reliable water for households and schools.
- Capacity built of post-graduate researchers through testing of local materials for use in fog collector designs, as well as other relevant scientific research inputs.
- Promote policy support for fog harvesting technologies as an important water resource, and thus facilitating access to affordable equipment (nets/kits) through awareness creation countrywide.