Since the end of last year, the first atmosfair solar-powered water purification system is running in El Kefah, around 600km southwest of Cairo. The drinking water plant operates fully energy-self-sufficient and filters heavy metals like iron from the water. The project was made possible thanks to the support oft he hotel group Deutsche Hospitality which financed the construction of the plant under their sustainability program.

There is now a video in which the inhabitants of El Kefah are directly heard. Please click here to watch the 2.5 minute video:

Om Mohamed, inhabitant of El Kefahr, for example says:

„Even after two to three days the water is still as fresh as it was on the first day, without any contamination.“

The first plant, which was completed at the end of last year in the small town of El Kefah, is already supplying up to 10,000 litres of clean water a day. This is enough to meet virtually all of the inhabitants’ requirements. Following positive feedback from users, two further plants are now planned. The water treatment facilities being installed are self-contained units which are operated decentrally. They have been developed by the Kassel-based company Autarcon, a spin-off from the University of Kassel. Innovative and multi-award winning “SunMeetsWater” technology filters out all heavy metals and disinfects the water, which then meets the standards laid down by the World Health Organisation. No external electricity supply and no additional chemicals are required. Photovoltaic modules located on the roof of the plant enable it to operate in an energy self-sufficient way without producing any emissions.

The Sustainability Centre at the American University of Cairo coordinates both the commissioning of the unit and any maintenance or repair works that are required. Technical operations are monitored by an inhabitant of El Kefah, who has undergone special training to perform this role. This means that the water treatment plant is also helping to create local jobs as well as reducing the risk of disease. In order to secure the long-term future of the project, the residents of El Kefah have taken on the responsibility of creating a reserve by paying a fee for the water they draw. They set the amount themselves, and the fund will enable them to meet the costs of maintaining and repairing the plant in future.

The town of El Kefah is located 600 kilometres to the South West of the Egyptian capital Cairo. It is home to 4,000 people, most of whom work in agriculture. Because the water available locally was contaminated and contained too much iron, it previously had to be filtered through clay pots. This manual process was time consuming and also failed to remove hazardous germs and other pathogens.

Find out more about the project on our project website: