We keep in regular contact with the people in the village of Tojquia, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, where we have worked since 2006. The 35 large fog collectors, each with an area of 40 square meters, have provided a valuable water resource in the dry season for the villagers. Last year we identified five homes for the next stage of the project and installed new water tanks at the homes.
This year we will build five new Large Fog Collectors for these homes. The work will take place in September with the construction guided by Nicolas Zanetta from Chile, with the actual work being done by the people of the village. Two other FogQuest volunteers from Canada will participate and help with a variety of additional tasks. We hope to have a daily blog from the site during the two-week period in the field. If you can help support this project, we would greatly appreciate your donations.
This project has been ongoing successfully since 2006. There are 35 large fog collectors (LFCs) that FogQuest and the villagers of Tojquia have built in the high mountains of Western Guatemala. Each of the LFCs has a surface area of 40 square meters and produces an average of about 200 L of water a day during the winter dry season.
In December 2016 Nicolas Zanetta, a FogQuest volunteer from Chile, visited the site to assess the status of the fog collectors and to meet with the villagers and members of the village water committee. This committee was established a year ago to coordinate the use of the fog collectors and to collect a small fee from the users to use in the maintenance of the fog collectors. The family income in the community is only about one dollar US a day, so the collection of funds from the community is a significant commitment.
Nicolas found that all 35 collectors were in good condition with no major problems. Eight of the collectors needed minor maintenance to their troughs or the mesh. Funding from FogQuest donors was available to buy four new water tanks each of 1000 L capacity. The tanks were installed at four homes to collect rain water during the wet season. They will be moved to receive water from fog collectors when new ones are built for the families. It was the water committee that decided which families would receive the new tanks and this was based on the work they had contributed to the project in previous years; however, the entire community had to agree to the location of the tanks before they were installed.
A major change that Nicolas noted during his visit was the greater involvement of young people in the community in the fog collection project. This is the 12th year of the project and they are gradually taking over leadership and maintenance from their parents.
Before Nicolas left Tojquia, the community organized a celebration for what was achieved during the past year, the success of the water committee fund, the new beneficiaries, and a new visit from FogQuest to the community. As Nicolas says “It was a lunch where it was possible to share a pleasant afternoon with the whole community and one which provided an opportunity to strengthen trust and commitments.”
Nicolas Zanetta, from Chile, will be travelling to Nicaragua and Guatemala in the middle of December. In Nicaragua he will spend a few days working with the NGO, Apapachoa, to begin the evaluation of a new site in the mountains south of Managua. Nicolas will set up Standard Fog Collectors to see whether there is sufficient fog water through the winter time to support market gardens for the local people. He will then go on to Guatemala.
The images above were taken at our project site in Tojquia, Guatemala, where we have a installation of 35 large fog collectors. FogQuest is using this system to help provide clean drinking water to this rural mountain community. The large fog collectors have provided about 7000 L of water a day during the dry season to the people of Tojquia for over 10 years.
The community has asked for help with an expansion of the current system and we are providing two more water tanks, similar to those pictured here. Nicolas will also work with the community to assess what maintenance night be needed on the existing fog collectors and will discuss the construction of new fog collectors with them. The tanks cost about $360 USD each, and a roll of mesh is $150 USD. Some of the funds for the trip came from our recent Gofundme campaign.
A donation of any size is appreciated and will help this successful project to continue to grow. The work of installing the tanks at two new village homes will be done by the villagers themselves.
Two donation links can be found on our homepage – you may use either CanadaHelps or PayPal – thanks!
We are very fortunate to have a new and vigorous young volunteer from Chile. Nicolás Zanetta Colombo, is a geographer from the Centro del Desierto de Aatacama of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. He traveled to Guatemala to work at the FogQuest village fog-water collection project in Tojquia in early September.
His main tasks were to interact with the people of the village through group meetings and personal discussions in order to establish their views on the status of the water project and also to assist with some needed repairs to seven of the large fog collectors. The 35 LFCs have now been providing water for 10 years since their construction in 2006 and some of the mesh required replacement or repair. The LFCs produce an average of about 7000 L of fog water a day during the dry season when there is no rain. This water is provided directly to individual homes and farms.
The families remain very grateful to FogQuest for the project and one of the major benefits is the time saved by the families by not having to walk big distances looking for water in the dry season. There is a general motivation within the community to organize in order to maximize the benefits. After the meetings with Nicolás a water committee was organized and endorsed by the families in the village.
Their ideas on how to advance will be reported back to FogQuest and we will continue to work with them in the year to come. There are many social and technical tasks still to undertake but the village needs and the benefits of the water are both very real.
Fog Collection | Rainwater Collection | Rural Water Projects