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Community members from Makoko Village empowered by Innovation: Africa

More than 3,800 community members of the Makoko Village in Mpumalanga now 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 m that yields more than two litres of water every second and delivers up to 60,000 litres of water each day to the community members. The system which includes a 10 m tower, solar panels, an alarm system, and a solar-power water pump provides water to distribution points throughout the village. Besides social impact, the water projects sponsored by Innovation: Africa are offering villagers the chance to become economically empowered through local job creation. Moreover, community-based entrepreneurs can now make a living, growing and selling fresh produce from their gardens and community farms.

Sivan Yaari, founder and CEO of Innovation: Africa explained that the installation of solar water pumping systems would help empower communities, while freeing them from the burdens and illnesses that result from searching for and consuming contaminated water. In addition, this initiative also supports women empowerment and encourages women to pursue school and work. 

Chris Schalkwyk, executive manager of the Mdluli Safari Lodge believes that the official opening of the borehole at Makoko is a major milestone in the journey of Mdluli Safari Lodge, which has always aimed 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. 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. The opening of these taps today reflects our belief that the true responsibility of tourism in South Africa, above and beyond a magical experience for each and every guest, is broader community impact,” said Schalkwyk. 

“We believe that renewable energy is the key to break cycles of poverty and because with every new solar and water system installed, we are one step closer to combatting Africa’s water crisis. Our mission for 2023 is to reach the next 'one million in impact' mark through sustained water and solar projects. We aim to complete 240 additional projects across Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa and Cameroon. 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,” concluded Yaari.