Journey of a Water Tank: transportation of a water tank to Fermhin dragon's blood tree nursery (Socotra) – Phase II of the Plant Nursery

07/12/2020

ARC-WH was recently in Socotra and seized the chance to find a solution, together with its Focal Point for Socotra, for the transportation of a large water tank that was needed for the endemic plant nursery established in the mountainous Fermhin Protected Area – the land of the iconic dragon’s blood tree (Dracaena cinnabari).

Before it arrived in Fermhin, this water tank had already experienced an adventurous journey - from being manufactured in Aden (Yemen mainland) and then transported overland to the 800 km away Mukalla Seaport in Hadhramout, where it then started a stormy journey aboard a fishermen’s boat, crossing another 600 km through the choppy waters of the Indian Ocean. Once the tank arrived in Hadibou, it endured several heavy storms in an open-air storage unit, where it thankfully only sustained minor damages.

Finally, the storms cleared and the water tank embarked upon its journey up the mountain to reach its final destination - the Fermhin plant nursery.

Previously, the local community engaged in this project achieved a milestone by connecting the Fermhin village with a water source located 10 km away in the Skand Mountain. The transportation of the pipes was implemented barefoot, climbing the mountain. However, the strenuous task was worth it. For the first time in history, the local community finally has fresh water running in their village, which tremendously improved their livelihood. And with this second milestone, again for the first time ever, a considerably large water tank was transported from Hadibou to Fermhin which will be instrumental – together with the water from the Skand Mountain - in supporting the local endemic dragon’s blood tree to regenerate and thrive.

The water tank transportation was essential to Phase II of the International Emergency Assistance project entitled ‘Mitigation of Hurricane Impacts on Endemic and Threatened Plants of Socotra Archipelago’, which was approved by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and funded by the World Heritage Fund. Transporting the sizeable water tank up the winding rocky roads of Fermhin is no easy task, especially when trying to avoid damaging trees along the way.

There was one dragon’s blood tree in particular that the team wanted to avoid damaging during the transportation since its intricately dense crown hung over the path. Thanks to the assistance of five local men, hired to help with the transportation, the tank made it up the winding road (without damaging any local flora) and successfully arrived in the Fermhin Plant Nursery.

ARC-WH is glad to report that the nursery is in good condition. Local plants are regenerating, and seedlings are growing in designated agricultural plots within the nursery.

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