Isolated Island Zanzibar Archipelago Desalination


A community based on a remote island in the Zanzibar archipelago was forced to cross the open sea to collect drinking water from neighbouring islands or to burn firewood to boil the water from a contaminated well on the island. The crossing was dangerous, as the boats were small and the sea was rough. The journey was also time consuming and required fuel for the boats. In 2012, Moerk Water installed two renewable energy powered (both solar and wind powered) membrane filtration systems on the island to produce drinking water. The units are easy to use and built using locally available spare parts. With a source of clean water on the island, livestock are now kept which has improved quality of life on the island. Locals were trained in how to operate and care for the units. Servicing and cleaning of the units was performed by Moerk Water’s local servicing partner Pamoja Zanzibar. As a result of the water treatment units, the community has grown, the health of the residents has improved and they have more time for both education and economic activities.


Project Outcomes: 


  • A community on a remote island in the Zanzibar archipelago relied on contaminated wells and bringing water in from across the ocean to supply their water
  • In 2012, Moerk Water installed two dual solar and wind powered membrane filtration systems to treat the well water on the island. 
  • With access to clean drinking water, the community has been able to build another school and add additional classes. 
  • Since the water treatment unit was installed the local economy has improved as less time is spent fetching water, there is more time available for fishing and fuel is no longer required to source drinking water.
  • There have been no more occurrences of cholera, skin diseases or stomach complaints since the water treatment systems were installed
  • The limited firewood on the island is no longer cut down to boil water to make it safe for consumption
  • Capability Community Water Independence
  • Feedwater Brackish Water, Well water
  • Water Quality Red Flags Salinity, Biological Contamination
  • Primary Water Treatment Membrane Desalination
  • Project Outcomes