Israeli innovation could make water drinkable in Africa – YNET
Israel to help restore Lake Victoria -YNET
Israel, Germany, Kenya sign commercial fishing pact – Jerusalem Post

Israeli innovation could make water drinkable in Africa – YNET

Many nations find desalination facilities costly to install, but a recent Israeli discovery may spell a more affordable way, using solar energy

Anav Silverman, Tazpit
Published: 08.21.12,

In a world where freshwater resources are becoming increasingly limited, Israel – a country that is two-thirds arid – has become a leader in developing state-of-the-art desalination technology.

However, less-developed nations find that installing desalination facilities is extremely costly, as they use enormous amounts of electricity and are location-sensitive. But thanks to a recent Israeli discovery, the desalination system may become much more affordable in areas like Africa and the Middle East.

Desalination plant could make Israel water exporter / Reuters
National water company says new facility will not only meet Israel’s own water needs, it could also make it a top regional water exporter by 2014
Full story

Researchers from the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben Gurion University of the Negev and central Arava R&D, have found a way to utilize solar energy at a fraction of the cost which can be custom-engineered for the desalination process, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The new innovation uses solar energy panels to power the pumps of a desalination unit that generates clean water for crops.

More importantly, the technology utilizes unique nanofiltration membranes that enable farmers to decide which minerals should be retained from the water to feed various types of crops, a method which requires much less energy.

The new system is currently being tested in the Arava Valley, south of the Dead Sea, where the basin is very dry. The results thus far show that farmers can use up to 25% less water and fertilizer than what has usually been needed in that area.

According to Andrea Ghermandi of the Zuckerberg Institute, who is one of the system’s creators, the current environment is forcing agricultural systems to become more economical.

“The growing global demand for food and competition for resources among economic sectors compel future agricultural systems to be more efficient in the use of natural resources such as land and water,” Ghermandi said.

Rami Messalem, who was also part of the developing team, explained that, “The breakthrough here was to make the system more economical and we’ve done this using nanofiltration cleverly. Our system is compatible with electricity but is based on the premise that it can be used in poor countries, in places where you don’t have an electricity source – as a standalone system.”,7340,L-4270197,00.html

Israel to help restore Lake Victoria – YNET

During visit to Kenya, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon signs cooperation agreement aimed at purifying waters of east African lake, improving lives of some 5 million people

Nir Cohen
Published: 08.20.12

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, who is visiting Kenya, signed a cooperation agreement with Kenya and Germany that aims to improve the lives of millions of Africans who reside around Lake Victoria.

The goal of the project is to promote fish farming techniques and desalinate and purify the waters of the lake, which is one of the main sources of livelihood for some 5 million people living in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

Strategic Cooperation
Official: African countries want to revive ‘golden era’ of Israel ties / Rina Bassist
Deputy FM Ayalon to launch joint agricultural, health projects in Kenya, Uganda; Foreign Ministry official says African leaders who visited Israel recently ‘expressed disappointed at Arab promises from 70s, 80s
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According to the agreement, Israel will donate advanced technologies especially developed in the Jewish state, as well as knowledge and professional guidance.

Deputy Minister Ayalon said that “projects of these kinds show the true and beautiful side of Israel, and strengthen Israel’s ties with the continent of Africa.

“While Iran tries to get a foothold in Africa with weapons, bombs and terror, Israel brings Africa progress, as well as agricultural and economic humanitarian aid. This is just an example of the difference between the fanatic ayatollahs’ regime and the Israeli democracy,” he added.

Israel’s Ambassador to Nairobi Gil Heskel said Israel intends to develop more projects, noting that it was received with “tremendous appreciation.”

“We have since received many requests from other heads of African states to expand the project to their countries as well,” Heskel added.,7340,L-4269836,00.html

Israel, Germany, Kenya sign commercial fishing pact – Jerusalem Post

08/22/2012 23:22
Agreement aims to increase tilapia (St. Peter’s fish) population and improve wastewater treatment in Lake Victoria.
Israel, Kenya, Germany sign fishing agreement. Photo: Courtesy MASHAV
Israelis, Germans and Kenyans have teamed up to increase the tilapia (St. Peter’s fish) population and improve wastewater treatment in Lake Victoria.

Last week, high-level representatives from the three parties signed a trilateral agreement in Kenya for a project that has been in the works for roughly a year, to upgrade commercial fishery and wastewater purification systems in Africa’s largest lake, officials from the Foreign Ministry told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

The Post initially learned about the project in November, when members from all sides of the team made a preliminary visit to the region to begin strategizing solutions for the various goals of the program.

“Lake Victoria has regional influence – it’s very important water-wise,” Ilan Fluss, director of policy planning and external relations at MASHAV, the Foreign Ministry’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, said then. “Lake Victoria is a small lake that is three times the size of the State of Israel.”

Present at last week’s ceremony from the Israeli side were Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon; Ambassador Avi Granot, head of the Foreign Ministry’s African Department; and Ambassador Daniel Carmon, head of MASHAV. German Economic Cooperation and Development Minister Dirk Niebel was accompanied by a delegation of 50 people, including four parliamentarians, Carmon told the Post on Wednesday.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga presided over the ceremony, and was joined by four members of his cabinet.

The signing event was held at the team’s brand-new excellence center for research and development, on the grounds of at the Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology in the lakeside town of Kisumu in western Kenya.

Before the signing, professional work had already begun to increase the commercial strength of tilapia in fish ponds around the lake. In the lake itself, tilapia have been facing fierce competition of a predator of theirs, Nile perch. Two or three projects relating to the fish growth have already begun, and Israeli experts on fisheries have been to the region to help instruct the trainers of the local men and women who work at the lake’s fisheries, according to Carmon.

He emphasized that the Kenyans were not simply receiving help, but were active partners in the endeavors.

“The Kenyans, who are also participating, they are not only recipients – it’s a trilateral cooperation,” Carmon said.

Infrastructure for raising tilapia in the ponds around the lake already does exists, but agriculturalists get much higher yields of fish get in Israel, he explained.

“We are trying to somehow better the yields of fish in a way so that first of all, the fisherman will get a better income,” Carmon said.

This way, the team can help “industrialize the region so Kenya as a country can have a better tilapia export industry with the technology Israel has,” he said. “Israel has a lot to offer with its experience.”

Carmon also explained that Lake Victoria is suffering from “uncontrolled growth of vegetation that is harming the livelihood of the fish,” causing “an ecological imbalance that has to be corrected.” The hope is that the team will be able to indirectly improve this, he said.

If successful, the team may carry out similar projects in Uganda and Tanzania, both of which also rely on the lake, and representatives have already started talks with Ugandans about the idea.

Wastewater treatment this will be the focus of the second stage of the project, after the fish growth stage is further along, according to Carmon.

“The issue is to better the water quality both around the lake and in the development city of Kisumu,” he said, noting that MASHAV is doing quite a bit of other development work in Kisumu, unrelated to the trilateral project.

Carmon said MASHAV, as a government institution, had a power that NGOs did not have in participating in such an intergovernmental project.

“We are part of something called the government of Israel,” he said. “We come and speak with our friends for the sake of their well-being and their citizens, but it’s also part of a strategic branch that the government of Israel has – which is called MASHAV.”

Not only does the work help improve Israel’s image in Africa, it also strengthens the bond between Israel and Germany – a very important relationship in Carmon’s eyes.

“To have Israel and Germany coming together, hand in hand, helping out a third country – a developing country – on an issue they need [help with], sends a very strong message,” he said.