A Spanish engineer installed in Namibia generator that will supply drinking water to a population ravaged by extreme drought.

African tradition says that rain is a sign of blessing, especially when a big event is expected. It rained copiously on the Independence Stadium in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, during the inauguration of the new president, Hage Geingob, who vowed before thousands of his followers to confront the remaining challenges, including the serious problem of shortage water in a country gripped by drought and deserts of Namib and the Kalahari.

Since then, he is waiting with open arms the arrival of Aquaer generator, the first machine to produce water in extreme conditions, with percentages of humidity not less than 10% and temperatures above 40 Cº.

A Spanish patent engineer Enrique Veiga, whom the head of state received with full honors. However, the pump will be more for whom the only picture that has been waiting all his life is the smile of a boy holding a glass filled with drinking water in a sea of ​​sand. “That he affirms image compensate all efforts. Then I’ll know that it will be worthwhile. “

Specialist cold processes, extended studies at the Sorbonne in Paris and traveled to Norway and Canada to learn more advanced techniques. In 1965, with 25 years, he comes to Seville as director of refrigerator called Barriers river port. Soon, this installation becomes the second largest in Spain in terms of unloading frozen fish. In 1996 he quit his job, gathered the money that had been saved and focused on developing its project, spurred by the drought that had suffered the country and led, in 1995, severe restrictions and cuts in supply. If being a dreamer is to bring happiness to man, Enrique Veiga feel most quixotic dreamers.

After success as a refrigeration engineer, with a bright professional perspective, waiver of a promising career and embarks on a huge task convinced that it is possible to obtain water from the air where you can not get otherwise. In this endeavor, he develops a prototype generator water vapor condensation in the air. This is the same principle is observed in the condensation process is displayed on the air conditioners.

Although it is dry in appearance, the water content of air, in vapor form, is considerable. If the temperature is lowered to exceed the dew point, which is when it begins to condense, like the rain that has all the characteristics to be drinking untreated water is obtained.

From that first patent, experts from the National Institute of Aerospace Technology and International Cooperation Agency begin to appear to certify the invention. “When I explained what it was looking at me strangely, but the thing worked and they did not quite believe it. I never had doubts. The difficulties were others. “

The investigation was stalled by financing difficulties. the first industrial leap, with the creation of the company Aquaer Generators, thanks to the knowledge acquired by the family firm Consulting Refrigerator and the entry of a company industrial refrigeration in whose workshop with 25 workers, is then produced prototypes are mounted in series . Manuel García and Luis Fernandez, managers Altecfrío, join the dream. According to John Veiga, son of the founder, the development was based on three pillars: technology, resources and confidence. The generator can produce up to 3,000 liters of water per day in the most adverse conditions.

There are still people who say, “This guy is crazy.” Actually, it is a miracle and, as any event beyond reason, is possible because it has faith and determination. Enrique Veiga has gone bad times, when everything seemed to fall apart when the research work of a lifetime to problems whose solution foundering resisted. Incomprehension and grief to those who left him speak, when it was clear they were not understanding anything. He is convinced that the important thing is the basics, the basics.

It does not take Einstein’s mind, but the timing of Leonardo da Vinci. Inventions that have meant great advances are based on simple principles, simple mechanisms that we have before our eyes and we fail to see until we realize. There are innovations that change the world.

That has already done a German

Enrique Veiga is difficult to lose patience. As a researcher who has made innovation its hallmark, he is accustomed to waiting. However, if there is something that pushes your buttons is heard when the turn exclaims to his work: “That has already done a German”. These recalcitrant enemies of talent, never understood that the Government of Namibia has commissioned three thousand generators and other Latin American countries such as Chile, have been interested in ingenuity. The invention creates jobs and wealth and also saves lives.

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