Locals in unique water saver team

2017-03-07 09:38
Youth participants in a local work preparedness programme and their team members building a fog catcher, which was displayed at last week’s Design Indaba Festival.

Youth participants in a local work preparedness programme and their team members building a fog catcher, which was displayed at last week’s Design Indaba Festival. (Jonx Pillemer)

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Eight Hout Bay youngsters from the organisations Sistahood and Ikasi Youth have joined hands to build a fog catcher to help collect water.

Kathy Robins from Camps Bay, one of the fog catcher project designers, worked with Martin Willson, an engineer, and Karabelo Nkoe, a scientist, in putting the plan together after getting the idea for the fog catcher.

The fog catcher has been designed to collect dew and condensation from the air to help collect water during the current water crisis.

This educational and functional art piece, which will act as a prototype, was on display at the Design Indaba Festival in the city centre from Wednesday to Saturday.

The fog catcher was built by the Ten Project at the Workspace maker space in Hout Bay – a non-profit, public-benefit organisation that provides a platform for knowledge and skills exchange across the social, cultural and generational divides.

The Ten Project was initiated to enable school leavers from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop the physical and emotional skills to enter the workplace.

“The 28-day programme, sponsored by the Hout Bay Partnership, teaches solid values and skills that offer them the chance at a better life, as well as to earn a living,” she says.

The Workspace is a collaborative maker space which provides infrastructure for existing artisans, artists and tradesmen, while also teaching practical skills and training new artisans.

Ten participants built the fog catcher ­prototype.

Stephano Nkosi, one of the Ten project participants, says: “The experience has been great, the whole making of the fog catcher has united us and has been a lot of fun.”

Another participant, Mara Ngalwa, says: “It’s been a great honour to be a part of the project. We’ve interacted with new people and built up our networks. The Ten project has given us a lot of hands-on experience and is opening new opportunities for us.”

Robins says: “Drawing on existing fog catcher designs, the catcher works by allowing condensation to collect on the fabric. The moisture in the fabric then drips into the collection tray and is channelled into and stored in a closed tank for future use.”

“The catcher will be both a functioning system of water catchment and a conceptual investigation into society’s relationship with vital resources, particularly water.”

The design team’s longer-term intention is to roll out the fog catcher for use in rural, and potentially also in urban, water-scare areas.

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