Solar Energy in the Sahara

Mauritania - a country with 4,5 million people, scattered across over a million square kilometres, 2/3 of which are covered by the Sahara desert. Most of the people live in the coastal cities of Nouakchott (the capital) and Nouadhibou (the economic capital), but there is also life in the desert. That is what we were looking for here - to understand how people use modern solutions to maintain the traditional way of living in these regions.

One of the solutions to tackle water scarcity in the desert is the use of solar energy to power the pumps, that bring water for multiple villages in the area for both the people and the animals.This is where CDS comes in - they develop these solutions in villages across the country.

Such sustainable solutions bring life to distant areas in the Sahara desert. One such solar pump can supply multiple villages and their cattle as well.

Camels are famous for not needing to drink water for a very long time. Take for example the camels, which you see in this video. Contrary to a popular myth, the hump of the camel (one or two, depending on the species) doesn’t contain water - instead it stores fatty tissue, which the camel uses when it can’t find food in the desert. Such a concentration of fat in one place helps the camel minimize body water loss throughout the day. It is true, that a camel can go without water for almost a week and that is because…(sound of drum roll) they have a unique shape of their blood cells - it is oval!

The cells are more elastic and can easily change shape, allowing the camel to consume large amounts of water. That is why such initiatives helping the animals have a continuous supply of water in the desert are really important. Because a camel can drink up to 113 litres of water in one go!! Great job CDS!

The water gets delivered into the water tower with the use of pumps, powered by solar energy during the day and then distributed to the neighboring villages. Mauritanian company CDS has installed 18 such water towers across Mauritania. Way to go!

It is inspiring how there are so many people in the world, who dedicate their lives to helping others - especially in finding long term solutions to existing challenges. Go sustainability!

Let's make smart initiatives famous together! #meridianexpedition

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