In May 2022, Aptech Africa, a solar energy and water pump specialist based in Kampala, Uganda, installed a new water treatment system in Caynabo, Somalia. Funded by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), this reverse osmosis solar-powered desalination system will increase access to clean drinking water for people in Caynabo, an internationally unrecognized state in Northwestern Somalia.
New Plant Operation
The new water treatment in Somalia can provide for the drinking needs of many people as the “flexotank capacity is 45m3/s,” which can fill up a minimum of four water distribution trucks daily while operating four distribution taps. Pumps that lead to pipes directly into the hydraulic container withdraw the much-needed clean water provided by this new system. As result, valves needed to be installed in order to make certain that the pump operates smoothly.
Ongoing Health Concerns
Prior to the installation of the water treatment system in Somalia, Abdullahi Mohammed, the project coordinator of the Ministry of Water, stated that many people in this state “suffered poor hygiene and kidney stones” due to inadequate access to clean drinking water. Most of the households could not even access five liters of water in a day. Bottled water is not an option for the impoverished people of the area, with a cost of about $0.45 per liter.
Clean Water Inaccessibility
Before the new water treatment system in Somalia came about, the Caynabo residents requiring clean water had to travel to Burco town, a town more than 80 miles away from Caynabo. Traveling these long distances is unaffordable for many, therefore, many people resort to consuming well water in Caynabo. In addition to containing high levels of saline, the water is not safe for human consumption.
Kidney Stone Aggravation
Health issues may begin to subside as access to clean drinking water improves. Kidney stone disease (KSD) is one of the prominent diseases that many citizens of Caynabo endure. A low intake of fluids directly correlates with the formation of kidney stones. The recommended amount of water that individuals should consume is three liters per day at a minimum. This prevents the formation of kidney stones and aids in many other functions of the body.
A Bright Future for Residents
The new reverse osmosis system has brought much-warranted relief to the citizens of Caynabo. People no longer have to travel extremely long distances to acquire clean water. The new system is able to provide the town with enough water to serve the entirety of its population. The 7,000 people living in the area now have relief from the impacts of a very prominent issue. Located in the center of Caynabo, the site even has troughs for camels to drink water. In addition, the water treatment system in Somalia can provide 3,000 citizens from neighboring towns with clean water on a daily basis as well.
The new water desalination system provides a sustainable solution to water inaccessibility in Caynabo and upholds the right to water access for all.
– Christina Papas