More than 600 million people in Africa live without access to electricity, and with no electricity, there is often no clean water. Innovation Africa is a nonprofit organization that brings clean water to rural Africa.
Innovation Africa is an Israeli company that Sivan Yaari founded in 2008. Since then it has been bringing solar energy to rural villages all across Africa. The problem that these rural villages face is the access to the technology that would allow them to use the sun’s energy. Innovation Africa is solving this problem by installing solar panels in these villages. The energy provided by Innovation Africa helps pump clean water and bring electricity to villages that were previously without it.
Helping the Local Community
When a rural African village has no access to energy, it means that they are unable to pump clean water into the village. Not having a clean water pump means that villagers have to find other ways of obtaining safe drinking water. Methods include walking miles to the nearest water source and building surface dams or catching rainwater, both of which are very unreliable. A clean water pump, however, is a reliable source of clean water.
When a village has access to energy, it begins to thrive. Not only does health improve with access to clean water, but the overall well-being of the village improves. Women and young girls are relieved of having to walk miles each day in search of water. This allows them more time to pursue other opportunities and allows young girls the time they need to attend school. With a reliable clean water source, a community will also begin to become more economically stable, which allows for brick-making and agricultural projects to increase.
Innovation Africa enlists the help of local villagers to drill wells and install solar panels. Each project hires 10 locals who are paid and trained. Once a well has been drilled and the project has been completed, these locals are given a certificate that allows them to assist in future projects and gives them other career opportunities. A village that was once struggling can now become economically independent with the help of Innovation Africa.
How it Works
The process of installing solar energy and water pumps involves eight steps and ensures that a community has a reliable source of clean water. The first step of the process is drilling the well. Innovation Africa drills up to 820 feet in order to reach the aquifer. Next, a water tower of roughly 30 feet is built. The water tower houses the pump and the water tank. Solar panels are installed on top of the tower, and a solar pump is installed inside. The solar panels harness the sun’s energy and power the water pump.
A water tank is then put on the top of the tower and holds up to 10,000 liters of clean water. The contractors dig trenches that expand in a 4-8 kilometer radius and bring the water to 10-15 taps placed around the village. Next, technology that monitors the water is installed. This Israeli technology can track how much water has been pumped, as well as any malfunctions that may occur. Finally, the locals can enjoy clean and fresh water right from their village.
Innovation Africa has started and completed more than 900 projects in Senegal, Cameroon, DRC, Zambia, South Africa, Eswatini, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Ethiopia, helping more than 4 million people get access to clean water. Innovation Africa plans to continue providing rural villages with a clean and reliable water source. The organization is able to complete its work through donations on its website, where 100% of the proceeds go toward bringing clean water to rural Africa.
– Jack Wells