Close to 4,000 community members at Makoko Village enjoy access to clean water for the first time, thanks to Innovation: Africa & Mdluli Safari Lodge
Over 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 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. 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,” explains Sivan Yaari, Founder & CEO of Innovation: Africa.
“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.”
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 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.
He adds that “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.”
His views are echoed by the Senior Traditional Leader of the Mdluli Royal Family & Mdluli Traditional Council, Inkhosi MI Mdluli: “We sincerely appreciate Innovation: Africa for providing our community with immediate access to water today. And we extend this sense of gratitude to all the Mdluli Safari Lodge stakeholders that have played a key role in making this possible. Today, we also have an opportunity to celebrate the fact that the Mdluli Traditional Council has played an integral role in highlighting our community’s connection to the Mdluli Safari Lodge, which remains rooted in our historical claim to this land. 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”.
Community-based entrepreneurs can now make a living, growing and selling fresh produce from their gardens and community farms.
“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 “1 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” concludes Yaari.