SEATTLE, Washington — In many African nations, periodical and ongoing water shortages impact large percentages of the population. Across Africa, as many as 40% of the population does not have access to clean drinking water. While temporary aid such as bottled water can help some African communities, this does nothing to create a lasting break for the issue of unsafe water. However, larger relief may be on the way to some of Africa’s most water-deprived nations as Rainmaker Worldwide announced a joint venture with Sphere 3D.
Water Shortages in Africa
There are many factors at play that impact the lack of safe drinking water in many African countries. Much of the issue comes from an inability to purify water at a large-scale level. In Kenya, for example, a growing population makes it difficult to meet the water demand, leading to around 41% of the population not having access to adequate water. Senegal has similar issues, with communities seeing interspersed shortages of water over the past years. Even when some communities acquire water, civil unrest and lack of basic sanitation cause constant interruptions to the supply.
Even in some of Africa’s smallest nations, these issues persist. Togo, with a population of just over 7 million, still sees a quarter of its population a half-hour walk from the nearest safe drinking water. Much of the issues of water acquisition in Africa are the lack of sanitation and wastewater management.
With only 10% of African wastewater correctly recycled, this leaves a large amount of water unusable. Without proper funding and practices, there is no possible solution for these communities. Outside assistance from organizations and humanitarian efforts can provide large amounts of drinking water, but the struggle has been to provide an ongoing source.
Rainmaker Worldwide intends on diverting some of its technology and water strategies to infrastructure projects of Sphere 3D, with whom they are currently merging with. This involves a start-up that will take place in Togo, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Kenya. The startup will use the Rainmaker’s hybrid technologies to work around many of the difficulties of providing water to African communities in need.
This announcement could mean a solution for many African people suffering from a low water supply, as well as a long-term push toward water abundance for the region.
Rainmaker Worldwide and Air-to-Water Technology
Rainmaker Worldwide intends to work closely with humanitarian groups already working in African nations to provide water to the communities most in need. Rainmaker especially highlights the versatility and easy mobility of their water purification units. With these units, Rainmaker Worldwide is confident in being able to provide water to communities of up to 30,000 people without the need to create grid-style plants. In the past year, Capital Finance International has recognized Rainmaker Worldwide as Best Community Impact Water Global, and they intend on continuing in this direction.
Much of Rainmaker Worldwide’s strategy to combat water shortages in African nations revolve around the use of “Air-to-Water” technologies. Air-to-Water units are powered through solar and wind energy, and they can create large amounts of water in a short time.
The fact that electricity is not required for these units to operate increases accessibility. Depending on the size of the units, Rainmaker claims that these machines will be able to create as much as 20,000 liters of clean water in a day. Moreover, the issue of creating more drinkable water can be alleviated by building more units in a given area.
With the acquisition of Rainmaker Worldwide by Sphere 3D currently underway, the organization intends to provide Air-to-Water units to Kenya, Sierra Leone, Togo and Senegal. Using their urban initiative and focus on the environment and socially-friendly solutions, Rainmaker believes they will be able to provide more to communities of people in need.
Their focus on innovative fixes and listening to groups already working in these nations could allow for a larger impact than in the past. Ensuring that communities have sources of water they can return to on a daily basis provides water security that most of these populations would not otherwise have experienced. As the organization sets off to begin providing water to these start-up nations, it is very possible that the number of Africans without safe water will drop in the next few years.
– Matthew McKee