29 April, 2011

Idea for collecting Rainwater in Sana'a wins Award

San'a is known for its persistent, and now becoming chronic, water shortage. Experts say that Sana'a will be one of the first cities in the world, if not the first, to run out of water. With its population growing fast, finding sustainable water resources for the people of this city is not an option, but a must. How about finding a way for collecting rain water on the city's flat roof-tops, filtering it and storing the water there? That is what Canadian born and presently Sana'a city resident Sabrina Faber's idea is. Her idea has just received a huge boost from the Dutch electronics company Philips: of about 450 entries from 29 countries around the world,  it won the first price.

Philips Liveable Cities Award is a global initiative that celebrates simple solutions to improve health and well-being in cities. The award competition was designed to generate practical and achievable ideas to improve the quality of life for city-dwellers across the world.. Sabrina Faber designed Rainwater Aggregation for Yemen: a means to capture, filter and store rainwater in her present hometown, Sana'a, and thus solve the water shortages the people of the city commonly experience.

Sabrina Faber, a long-term resident of Yemen, has often faced water shortages herself. While trekking through the countryside, she came across a method used by local people to conserve water. The cisterns used by mountaintop villages led her to consider how this practice could be applied to Sana’a. Today, many of Yemen’s cisterns are in a state of disrepair, or in areas of the country that are now uninhabited.......However, Sabrina’s RAINS proposal revisits the traditional Yemeni technique of harvesting rainwater from flat rooftops. Her scheme proposes the modification of the existing structures in Sana’a to capture, filter and store rainwater. Each modified cistern would be capable of generating 10,000 to 50,000 liters of clean, dependable water for domestic use annually.......By working with local contractors and associations to identify pilot structures with decent viability, Sabrina hopes that this valuable method will be applied to any future construction in Sana’a, particularly residential building


Sana'a receives from 150mm to 600mm of rainfall every year; some years are rainier than others. By modifying existing structures in Sana’a, the project would be able to capture this rainwater, filter and store 10,000 liters to 50,000 liters of it per structure, providing a clean and dependable water source to residents.In a country that is as bloody and as full of turmoil as it is now, any good, positive news on Yemen is very comforting.  

+ BBC Sana'a Weather Forecsat
+ Wunderground Sana'a Weather Forecast
+ Google Sana'a Weather Google Directory