by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – SOME 4 000 members of the community from a village in Mpumalanga are benefitting from clean water supply – thanks to the intervention of Innovation: Africa, the global non-governmental organisation (NGO).
The NGO has collaborated with Mdluli Safari Lodge to complete the project in Makoko village, in this eastern province of South Africa.
The project is creating an ecosystem of possibility and opportunity for the people of Makoko, from agriculture, to business, to job creation or education.
The villagers join the millions of people across Africa whose lives have been transformed by the installation of Innovation: Africa’s solar water pumping systems.
The recently completed water project, sponsored by Mdluli Safari Lodge, includes a borehole drilled to more than 80 metres that yields over 2 litres of water every second and delivers up to 60 000 litres of water each day to the community members.
The system includes a 10-metre tower, solar panels, an alarm system, a solar-power water pump which provides water to distribution points throughout the village.
“We are truly so grateful to the Mdluli Safari Lodge who have sponsored this water project and gifted this community with access to safe and clean water,” said Sivan Yaari, Founder and CEO of Innovation: Africa.
“With the installation of our solar water pumping systems, we are able to empower communities and free them from the burdens and illnesses that result from searching for and consuming contaminated water,” the official explained.
Yaari noted that clean water improves the health and wellbeing of community members and supports enhanced food security throughout rural communities.
“Women are empowered as they are no longer required to spend hours each day searching for water, but instead, can now attend school or work,” said the executive.
Aside from the social impact, Innovation: Africa’s water projects are giving many villagers the chance to become economically empowered through local job creation.
Construction of the water towers and installation of solar panels and pumps requires contractors, construction workers, pump attendants, security guards and even local community members who obtain work throughout the construction process.
Chris Schalkwyk, Executive Manager of the Mdluli Safari Lodge, believes the official opening of the borehole at Makoko is a milestone in the journey of the lodge, which has pledged to have a far-reaching social and economic impact as a travel destination of choice in the Kruger National Park.
“The multiplier effect of a project of this scale has no limit,” he said.
“By vastly improving the community’s access to safe and clean drinking water, we can create an ecosystem of possibility and opportunity, be it in agriculture, business, job creation or education.”
Inkosi MI Mdluli, Senior Traditional Leader of the Mdluli Royal Family and Mdluli Traditional Council, echoed the sentiments.
“This beautiful project, and all that it has to offer tourism and travellers in South Africa, will continue to uplift and develop members of our community for decades to come,” Mdluli said.
Innovation: Africa believes renewable energy is the key to break cycles of poverty.
“With every new solar and water system installed, we are one step closer to combatting Africa’s water crisis,” Yaari said.
The mission for 2023 is to reach the next “1 million in impact” mark through sustained water and solar projects.
The NGO aims to complete 240 additional projects across Cameroon, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
“With more sponsorship partners, coupled with our experienced team of managers, field officers and civil, water and electrical engineers across our countries of operation, we are confident we will reach this goal,” Yaari concluded.
– CAJ News