This week: Molins de Vent TARRAGÓ: Water for the Sahrawi civilians

Montblanc-Tarragona, 05.08.2011. After the fall of the wall in Berlin it is difficult to image that there are still countries divided by a wall. Since 1982, and currently with a length of 2500 km, the so called “Hassan Wall” is being built with sand, mines and barbed wire in West Africa. West Africa borders in the North with Morocco, in the South with Mauritania, in the West with Algeria and Mauritania and in the East with the Atlantic Ocean, one of the coasts with most abundance of seafood. The wall separates the rich seafood regions, the location of Bou Craa (the largest sulphat mine in the world) and the potential locations for two large solar thermal power plants from the so called Liberated Territories.

The Liberated Territories are in the desert, with scare vegetation and rare raining. The approximately 500.000 inhabitants (2010), known as “sons of the clouds” due to its originally nomad agricultural activity, are now concentrated in six refugees in Algeria (Rabuni, Smara, Awsard, El Aaiún, 27 February, Dakhla) and in the cities Tifariti, Mehaires und Bil Lehlu in the Liberated Territories.

In these cities is focused the activity of the labor union, UGT, through the Agro-alimentary Federation of the regional community of Aragon in Spain. Since the year 2000 they have build several green houses (of about 400 m2 each), dogged wells, constructed water reservoirs and installed drainage systems.

Within the frame of the projects of these non-profit organizations, several windmills TARRAGÓ to pump water have been sent to West Africa at the beginning of the summer. On 22 September, as soon as daily temperatures drop from current 45ºC and increase from -20º at night, the construction works shall start.

The Sahara has, in general, soft wind speeds which are highly suitable for the start of the functioning of multi-blade windmills. In exceptional cases, wind speeds increase to 140 km/h, so that the mills have to be prepared. The wells were excavated per hand and with a depth of about 2 meters.

The ground waters are quite salty with 3,5 ms/cm (for comparison: 1 ms/cm salty in the Ebro River in Spain), thus it was necessary to identify the vegetables capable to grow up. Till now it has been possible to successfully obtain, tomatoes, garlic, onion, calabash, beetroot, carrots and cucumbers.
With a higher amount of water pumped by the windmills and drainage with dropping and sprinkler systems, it is the intention to increase the growing of vegetables and cereals for self-consumption and for the farm that mainly counts of camels, which milk is used to produce cheese and yogurts.
Molins de Vent TARRAGÓ

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