WARKA WATER INC. IS A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION BASED IN THE U.S. THAT FOCUSES ON INNOVATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS TO SOME OF HUMANITY’S MOST ENDURING PROBLEMS THROUGH THE FUSION OF LOCAL KNOWLEDGE AND RESOURCES, VISIONARY DESIGN, AND ANCIENT TRADITIONS.
Visiting small isolated communities up on the high plateau in the North East region of Ethiopia, we witnessed this dramatic reality: the lack of potable water. The villagers live in a beautiful natural environment but often without running water, electricity, a toilet or shower. To help improve this drastic situation, we made it our mission to find solutions and help these people.
Warka Tower was the first project we designed as we began working with some of these isolated communities. Early on we recognized that there were other important issues to be solved, so additional projects such as Warka Drone, Warka Toilet, and Warka House have evolved and are well into development.
Warka Tower is a vertical structure designed to collect and harvest potable water from the air, providing an alternative water source for rural populations that face challenges accessing drinkable water. The canopy creates a shaded social space where the community can gather for education and public meetings. With photovoltaic panels, the Tower serves as a charging station, allowing villagers to power mobile phones and laptop computers, and offers an illuminated place to study and socialize after the sun goes down.
Warka House is an alternative sustainable shelter that is inspired by Ethiopian vernacular houses. By improving on drawbacks while keeping important cultural features, a better, modern house can be constructed, one that maintains the ancient local traditions of working with bamboo and other natural materials, while offering a higher standard of hygiene and comfort for the villagers of such rural communities.
Lack of modern transportation infrastructure leaves many remote communities extremely isolated. Located across inaccessible highlands, they are very difficult to reach and the delivery of supplies is slow and expensive. Warka Drone is intended to facilitate the transportation of potable water from the Warka Tower across extended communities and also transport medical or other emergency supplies.
Warka Tower can olso generate electrical energy from sunlight. It be equipped with innovative solar pannels prodiuced by the Basilian company Sunew. The technology is based on Organic Photovoltaics, also known as OPV (Organic Photovoltaics) and the product is a thin film, light, flexible and transparent.
This modular edible garden can serve the food needs of one to three families using only a part of the water collected by the Tower. It features an integrated gravitational irrigation system that is design for efficiency and precision.
After the installation of the first Warka Tower pilot in Ethiopia in early 2015, we rapidly realised that similar issues were present in other communities in different geographical areas. Currently we are undertaking the first steps to bring help to different isolated communities in places such as Haiti, Madagascar, Colombia, India, Sumba, Nepal, among others.