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Somalia: Solar water treatment plant to provide clean drinking water

ESI Africa
Tuesday May 10, 2022

Aptech Africa recently commissioned a solar-powered reverse osmosis water treatment plant in Caynabo, Somalia.

The system has a nominal flow is 6m3/s. The flexotank capacity is 45m3/s which can fill at least 4 trucks daily, while four distribution taps are operational. The photovoltaic power supply is 41.08kWp. The water is extracted by pumps through piping to the hydraulic container and, therefore, a series of valves were also installed to ensure the right operation of the pump.

Before the system was installed, the Ministry of Water Project Coordinator, Abdullahi Mohammed, reported that people suffered poor hygiene and kidney stones because of the lack of clean drinking water, with most households unable to access even five litres of water per day. It was also very expensive to buy drinking water for the whole family as bottled water costs $0.45 per litre.

Prior to the system, residents had to drive to Burco town which is about 130km away from Caynabo. As this was too expensive for some, they resorted to drinking the well water that has a high saline level and is not safe for drinking.

Now, thanks to this system, people do not need to travel a long distance to get water. This facility serves the total population of Caynabo with about 7,000 people, as well as around 3,000 people from neighbouring villages.

This UNDP-funded project uses a reverse osmosis system supplied by Genius Water. The site for this project was selected because of its nearness to the well and because of its location at the centre of Caynabo. Trucks come to pick up water, and there are water troughs for the camels, so the local authorities helped to select the site.

Though there is a water crisis in Caynabo and the Sahara region at large, those living in Caynabo and around are now able to access clean and safe drinking water from the plant on a daily basis.


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