Water from thin air? Tunisian startup takes up challenge
The concept is to replicate the phenomenon of morning dew", said Kumulus co-founder, Iheb Triki, while filling a paper cup with water coming out of a machine he said can help find solutions to the problem of water scarcity in Tunisia.
"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, that lacks proper access to drinking water, according to the school's principal, Hasan Aoubdi.
The machine has been set up in the school but the startup is still waiting for approval from the government before starting to use it, according to Triki.
The costs of setting up the first machine in the El Bayadha school were covered by Orange telecommunication company.
Triki hopes that the startup will develop and provide not only Tunisia but the wider region with solutions to produce drinking water in times of water scarcity.
According to the startup's website, the Kumulus-1 machine, which they call an Atmospheric Water Generator, can produce between 20 and 30 litres of drinking water per day.
According to World Bank data, 21% of Tunisians, 20% of Moroccans and 28% of Algerians did not have access to safely managed drinking water in 2020.