Inventor Iheb Triki was looking for ways to ease the problem of water scarcity in Tunisia when he hit on the idea of replicating the phenomenon of morning dew.
Triki is co-founder of Kumulus, a company hoping to manufacture his machine that takes moisture out of the dry desert air.
“So what happens?” Triki asked while demonstrating the way his machine works. “We see that the air enters from here and passes through the first air filter to clean it from pollutants; it then goes into the machine to cool down the water, so we replicate dew.”
The first Kumulus-1 machine was set up
in an elementary school in the remote town of
El Bayadha, near the Algerian border, which lacks reliable access to drinking water.
The machine was set up at the school by June 2022, but at that time it still was waiting for government approval to put it into service.
Orange, a telecommunication company,
covered the costs of setting up the first machine
in the El Bayadha school.
Triki hopes that the startup will develop and provide not only Tunisia, but also the wider region with solutions to produce drinking water in times of scarcity.
According to the startup’s website, the Kumulus-1 machine, which is called an atmospheric water generator, can produce between 20 and 30 liters of drinking water per day.
According to World Bank data, 21% of Tunisians did not have access to safely managed drinking water in 2020.
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