When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Enjoy unlimited access to quality journalism.

Limited time offer

Get your 30-day free trial!

LIMA - You've seen highway billboards advertising some rest-stop or hotel: "Oasis, Next Exit." Now in Peru, there's a billboard that actually is itself something of an oasis.

The Technology and Engineering University of Peru has installed a billboard panel along the Panamericana Sur (PanAmerican highway) highway that generates 96 liters of drinkable water a day with a built-in humidity condenser.

Under the slogan “ingenuity in action”, the Lima university team designed the billboard and installed it on kilometer 89.5 of the Peruvian section of the major Latin American highway.

(UTEC'S video of the panel)

Alejandro Aponte, the project’s chief explains the inner workings of the panel: “Inside the panel are five machines that absorb environmental humidity and then, through an electronic multi-filtering system (activated carbon, antistatic filters and UV lamps), the water is purified and turned into a ready-to-drink source."

Aponte says each machine produces 28 liters of water every day, and needs a minimum humidity percentage of at least 70% in the environment, which is normal in Lima.

The water produced is available for anyone who wants to stop and take it. A storage tank holds the water that neighbors or spontaneous thirsty drivers stop by to collect -- or just have a drink.

“The concept of this project is to show people how technology and engineering can change the world," says Juan Donalisio, from the Mayo agency, which launched the campaign together with Humberto Polar and Aponte. "This is why I wanted to expose one of my applications live and in public. So it is tangible and useful for people."

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Migrant Lives

When Migrants Vanish: Families Quietly Endure Uncertainty

Zimbabweans cling to hope even after years of silence from loved ones who have disappeared across borders.

illustration of a woman in nature contemplating a framed picture of an older woman
Illustration by Matt Haney, GPJ

HARARE, ZIMBABWE — Blessing Tichagwa can barely remember her mother. Like hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans, Noma Muyambo emigrated to South Africa in search of work, leaving baby Blessing, now 15, behind with her grandmother.

The last time they saw her was nine years ago, when Blessing was 6. Muyambo returned for one week, then left again — and has not sent any messages or money since.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest