Dar Si Hmad for Development, Education and Culture is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 2010 promoting local culture and sustainable initiatives through education and the integration of scientific ingenuity in Southwest Morocco. We operate North Africa's largest fog harvesting project, providing villages with access to potable water. Our Water School and Girls' E-Learning Programs build capacity in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Through our Ethnographic Field School, researchers and students engage with local communities in Agadir, Sidi Ifni, and the rural Aït Baamrane region for meaningful cross-cultural exchange.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Inauguration of Dar Si Hmad's Fog Harvesting Project

Dear readers and friends,

Sorry for the long radio silence! We have been busy preparing for the inauguration of our fog-water harvesting project in Ait Baamrane, a region of villages in rural southwestern Morocco. In the culmination of nearly ten years of research and development, Saturday, March 21st, saw 300 villagers, international researchers, supporters and national and US embassy representatives join us in celebrating the opening of a pipeline bringing fresh running water to the homes of Tnin Amellou for the first time in history.

Prior to the event, Dar Si Hmad hosted a press conference to inform local and international media about this innovative project, and we have since received considerable press coverage – check us out on L’Economiste (http://www.leconomiste.com/article/968558-experience-inedite-sidi-ifnide-leau-potable-extraite-du-brouillard), Les Éco (http://www.leseco.ma/economie/26537-sidi-ifni-recolte-l-eau-de-brouillard.html), and SciDev (http://www.scidev.net/mena/ water/news/Fog-harvest-quench-Moroccan-village-thirst.html). Project partner USAID hailed the project a great example of local stakeholders coming together to meet water needs through an ingenious alternative solution supported by the American People.”
The inauguration kicked off with a ceremonial opening of the tap at Dar Si Hmad staffer Hussein’s house. (Pictured above is US Embassy representative filling a glass of fog water.) This was followed by multilingual speeches from Dar Si Hmad president Aissa Derhem, director Jamila Bargach, researcher Vicky Marzol, village representative Belkacem IdAachour, and US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Matt Lussenhop. The event concluded with a four-course meal, showcasing the specialties of the region.

In order to prepare the people of Ait Baamrane for the inauguration, Dar Si Hmad conducted various training sessions aiming to teach women in the villages to communicate and solve water related-issues using Information and Communication Technology (ICT). In particular, Dar Si Hmad staff taught women plumbing skills and how to use mobile messaging technology as a tool to communicate problems that may arise with the fog-water system, ensuring the women’s roles as the traditional guardians of water would not be undermined by this new technology. Women and girls, who were previously responsible for retrieving water from distant wells, will now have an additional three hours every day to invest in education and income-generating projects.

Stay tuned for updates on our research as this beautiful project continues to grow (with your contributions!) and visit our Global Giving page to support our efforts to expand and improve education in this underserved region: http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/summer-water-school-for-rural-children-in-morocco/.

Also look out for our upcoming summer programs with University of Colorado in Boulder, Worchester Polytechnic Institute, University of Tampa, Seattle University, and Georgetown University!

As always, we are humbled by your unwavering support.

Jade Lansing
Ethnographic School Liaison and Manager

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