top of page

Finally! The complete guide of the Dew Greenhouse Project is ready.

From the time that I published my first sketch about the self-watering greenhouse project, I was inspired by many existing projects such as the OPUR dew collectors, the fog catchers of Warka water, Fogquest, as well as Groasis which is a self-watering plant pot that harvests dew to irrigate the trees. They all contribute into solving water issues in the arid areas and countless communities have benefited from these low-tech and low-cost technological solutions.

There are few other high technologies which condense water from thin air and they require solar panels to empower the dehumidifiers to extract the water from the air. These technologies come at a high cost and due to that, local communities cannot afford to maintain them.

The concept of the dew greenhouse captured a lot of feedback. We have also received many e-mails from people asking questions concerning the steps of building the greenhouse. At the time we could not provide specific answers as we did not yet have a prototype and was not convinced by the efficiency of the pyramid shaped greenhouse. Again the challenge was finding the perfect combination between cost and efficiency.

Why a greenhouse?

In August 2014, I was volunteering in an eco-village. For almost two months in the summer season we grew cucumbers, tomatoes and other crops inside highly humid greenhouses. Continuous ventilation in a greenhouse is necessary in order to cool down the environment by circulating in fresh air and pushing away the warm humid air. Excess humidity is a health hazard: dew can form on the foliage of the food crops as a result of rapid decrease in temperature at night, creating fungal diseases.

So the reason why I chose to research and learn more about greenhouses was because of the high presence of humidity, which was a challenge for other technologies, and I wanted to find a simple solution to these challenges. The dew formation in the arid climate is seasonal and does not always form due to low relative humidity levels.

Our first campaign via Indiegogo in 2015 raised around 8000$ from friends, family and supporters. It enabled us to build our mini institute which provided training in composting, earth bag building, water conservation practices and bio-diversity. The goal was to link students in the Agriculture Faculty from the University of Gondar with the small-holder farmers.

Prototyping the greenhouse was part of our original plan, however, the design was incomplete and it was difficult to implement a new technology that hasn't been researched well in terms of cost, design and efficiency.

Unfortunately, after our program gained momentum, the formation of a new university administration that aligned itself with industrial farming ended up dismissing our efforts and our presence in the university campus was also denied. Due to this situation, a visa renewal was also not granted.