The potential for scaling up a fog collection system on the Eastern Escarpment of Eritrea

Mussie Fessehaye, Sabah A. Abdul-Wahab*, Michael J. Savage, Thomas Kohler, Selamawit Tesfay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Fog is an untapped natural resource. A number of studies have been undertaken to understand its potential as an alternative or complementary water source. In 2007, a pilot fog-collection project was implemented in 2 villages on the Eastern Escarpment of Eritrea. The government of Eritrea, buoyed by the project's positive results, has encouraged research into and application of fog-collection technologies to alleviate water-supply problems in this region. In 2014, this study was undertaken to assess the coverage, prevalence, intensity, and seasonality of fog on the Eastern Escarpment of Eritrea and consequently to identify potential beneficiary villages. Three independent methods used in the study-satellite image analyses, personal interviews, and a standard fog collector-produced reasonably similar characterizations of fog coverage and timing. The period with high fog incidence is mainly between November and March, with the highest number of fog days per year (96) on the central Eastern Escarpment and decreasing frequency to the south (78 days) and north (73 days). The fog intensity on the central Eastern Escarpment is very high and in most cases reduces visibility to less than 500 m. In this period, a light to moderate breeze blows predominantly from the north and northeast. More than half of the villages in the region currently have a reliable water-supply system. The rest depend on seasonal roof-water harvesting, rock-water harvesting, and truck delivery and, therefore, could potentially benefit from fog collection as a supplementary water source. In particular, fog water could be useful for a small number of beneficiaries, including public services like schools and health facilities, where conventional water-delivery systems are not viable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-373
Number of pages9
JournalMountain Research and Development
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


  • Eastern Escarpment
  • Eritrea
  • Fog
  • fog-water collection
  • water supply mountains

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Development
  • Environmental Science(all)


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