Aquiess looks to Qatar to bring rain in drought-hit Africa
DOHA AQUIESS, a company that claims to have weather modification technology plans to bring an early end to the devastating drought-famine in the Horn of Africa through its ‘Rainaid’ campaign, and is eyeing Qatar’s financial might for funding of the campaign, a top official of the company has said.
“We have made a presentation to the Qatari authorities and are waiting for their response if they could sponsor this project so that the world knows that Qatar also has a strong arm for helping those in need and relieving the pain of the land,” Aquiess Chief Executive Officer David Miles told Qatar Tribune in an exclusive interview.
Asked about the response from the Qatari authorities to the idea of sponsoring the campaign, Miles refused to give details but sounded optimistic about Qatar getting involved in the project.
The United Nations officially declared a famine in southern Somalia on July 25, 2011. African ministers, bilateral donors and representatives of philanthropic foundations, banks and NGOs recently gathered to mobilise the response to the intensifying crisis in the Horn of Africa.
Explaining the company’s weather modification technology, Miles said their plan is to break the drought by bringing gentle soaking rain to the region (Horn of Africa) well within the next 90 days, “Our technology was used in 2005 (Project Albatross) in Australia to draw oceanic rains into the Murray Darling Basin, Eastern Australia, which ended the drought there, and I am confident that we can do the same for Africa,” he added.
To further prove the effectiveness of his company’s technology, Miles said, “In 2010, during the Holy Month of Ramandan, we delivered 4 gigalitres of rain in Qatar which is equal to the volume of water supplied in the country for 10 days. And, as a follow-up of this achievement, we again delivered 35 gigalitres of rain to Qatar.” He said the company had been successful in more than 80 percent of cases, delivering oceanic rainfall to combat drought, famine and wild-fires in Australia, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the USA.
“Civilisation has always diverted rivers on the ground to water crops, we have now the technology to divert rivers of moisture in the atmosphere and deliver rainfall to where it is needed.
Tapping into these atmospheric rivers will enable humankind to turn dry lands wet to modify seasonal weather patterns for sustainable agriculture and food security,’’ Miles said.
According to him, the foremost priority is emergency relief aid to save lives as there can be no end to the humanitarian crisis until the rains come and the drought is broken. “The images of hunger and malnutrition being beamed into our homes from Somalia bring back the memories of October 1984.
That time, some 35 million people were affected. The world community promised this would never happen again and that we would tackle the underlying causes of lack of development that so often results in drought and famine,” said the former Director of Monitoring and Evaluation of the UN Office of Emergency Operations in Africa (1984-1986), Mahendra Shah. He said: “Again in 2011, we are witnessing a tragedy brought on by drought in the Horn of Africa. And this time we must not fail to deliver timely and relevant relief aid and at the same time put in place the initiatives for an early recovery.
Shah, who is also Aquiess Director of International Planning and Communications, said, “Rainaid is the key to an early recovery in the Horn of Africa, seriously affected by repeated failure of harvest and cycles of drought which have destroyed livestock and crops and left their populations without the means of recovery for years to come.”