A vertical structure made from bamboo and mesh, otherwise known as the Warka Tower, is helping rural populations in Africa that face challenges in accessing drinkable water to collect and harvest potable water from the air and rain.
The Warka Tower, designed by architect Arturio Vittori, collects water from the rain and harvests fog and dew. Made from biodegradable and 100% recyclable materials, the vase-shaped structure consists of a lightweight triangular frame made of bamboo, that encloses a thin polyester mesh that captures droplets from high humidity in the air, collecting up to 100 litres of water daily.
The Warka Tower can also generate electrical energy from sunlight serving as a charging station, allowing villagers to power mobile phones, tablets, and laptop computers, while offering an illuminated place to study and socialise after the sun sets.
Arturio Vittori and his team came up with The Warka Tower to provide an alternative water source for rural isolated populations that face challenges in accessing drinking water, such as Dorza in Ethiopia, where the first Warka Tower pilot was installed in early 2015.
The name of the project comes from the Warka Tree, which is a giant, wild fig tree native to Ethiopia. Like the tree, the Warka Tower serves as important cornerstone for the local community, becoming part of the local culture and ecosystem by providing its fruits, shade and offering a gathering place.
Warka Water Inc say: “Warka Tower is designed to harvest potable water from the atmosphere (it collects rain, harvests fog and dew). It functions only by natural phenomena such us gravity, condensation and evaporation and doesn’t require electrical power. Warka Tower is designed to be owned and operated by the villagers, a key factor that will facilitate the success of the project. The tower not only provides a fundamental resource for life – water – but also creates a social place for the community, where people can gather under the shade of its canopy for education and public meetings.”
In the creation of the Warka Tower, Arturio Vittori and his team looked to nature, insects, plants, local craftsmanship and construction techniques, African vernacular techniques and indigenous wisdom as sources of inspiration.
Other Warka Towers have been constructed in Togo and Haiti.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyles including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com