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Art Sale to Help Fight Water Shortage in Africa

An art sale has resulted in the contribution of R800 000 which will fund the provision of clean drinking water to a village in Africa, positively impacting the lives of approximately 3 000 individuals.

Africarare, Africa’s pioneering metaverse and non-profit organisation, Innovation: Africa, collaborate to tackle water scarcity through their Drops of Life campaign.

The sale of ‘Blue eyes sapphirus falco columbarius’ at Art Basel in Switzerland raised a staggering R8.2 million, with 10% of the proceeds committed to supporting Africarare’s campaign.

The collaboration aims to empower rural communities by addressing their water shortage.

A contribution of R800 000 resulting from the art sale will directly fund the provision of clean drinking water to a village in Africa, positively impacting the lives of approximately 3 000 individuals.

‘Blue eyes sapphirus falco columbarius’ was created by artists Conor McCreedy and Suzanne Syz.

The art combines artistic design, philanthropic impact, and innovative NFT technology. The painting by McCreedy showcases a falcon, known as the fastest-flying bird, with its eye adorned by a custom-made sapphire brooch designed by Syz, boasting around 170 carats. Notably, the sale featured a soulbond NFT named Drops of Life, demonstrating the capacity of NFT technology to extend beyond aesthetics and create a tangible social impact.

Africarare co-founder and chief executive Mic Mann expressed his deep gratitude for the contribution.

“Through dedicating a portion of the proceeds to the Drops of Life campaign, we reaffirm our commitment to making a meaningful impact and transforming lives across Africa. This convergence of art and philanthropy establishes a new standard for creativity and innovation for the greater good,” Mann said.

Mann said they have always been huge supporters of Innovation: Africa founder and chief executive Sivan Yaari, and Innovation: Africa and align with their mission to transform lives for the better.

He said their partnership with Innovation: Africa began when they invited Yaari as a thought leader to the SingularityU South Africa Summit in 2019. Embracing mixed reality and web3’s potential for global good, they introduced the Drops of Life NFTs to visually depict and bolster their impact.

“This aligned perfectly with our vision to #futureproofAfrica, further promoting our commitment to ensure clean water for Africa through Innovation: Africa,” Mann said.

He said that Africarare is working on a number of initiatives from supporting students and putting them through university with Maharishi Institute to supporting conservation and we are working with the Virunga National Park on something special.

They have also developed a unique tokenomics model for when they launch the $Ubuntu token, which will be the currency of Africarare, Ubuntuland. Ten percent of the transaction fee will go back into a charities pool to help support Innovation: Africa and Maharishi Institute as an example.

“Further to this, we are working on a number of free courses to take in the metaverse to help upskill Africans and the world in an immersive learning experience,” Mann said.

Yaari lauded the partnership and art sale as a tangible example of technology innovation changing the lives of countless Africans.

“We are immensely thankful for the support and belief in our mission. Together, we can effect lasting change and establish a world where access to water is a fundamental right for all,” Yaari said.

She said that Innovation: Africa is a non-profit organisation which uses solar energy to provide light and electricity to off-grid schools and medical centres and crucially, to pump safe and clean water throughout remote villages across 10 African countries.

“To date, Innovation: Africa has completed over 900 solar and water installations, impacting over 4.2 million people across Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, South Africa, and Cameroon and over the next four years, aims to complete an additional 1 200 projects to impact 10 million people,” Yaari said.

“For this initiative, Innovation: Africa will identify villages that are in dire need of support. Following extensive review and surveying sessions, we will then pinpoint a village that would benefit from this collaboration.”

Yaari said Innovation: Africa operates in remote rural African communities that do not have access to any electrical or water infrastructure and focuses on marginalised communities with populations of at least 3 000 people.

“In order to identify these villages, we first meet with the local authorities to identify the existing electrification and water network plans to ensure we serve communities that will not be assisted otherwise. Our local teams of managers and field officers identify villages, schools and medical centres in need and undertake an extensive evaluation process ensuring that the communities meet our stringent criteria,” Yaari said.

Breaking down how long it takes to provide clean drinking water to a village, Yaari said that ensuring sustainable and equitable access to clean water for the communities we support is a process that typically spans 3-6 months.

Innovation: Africa has developed a comprehensive 8-step approach to streamline and optimise this critical endeavour. The first step is to drill into the aquifer and install a submersible solar pump, which pumps clean water up into a 10-metre tower. The water is stored in a 10 000-litre tank and through gravity, the water falls and is distributed throughout the village.

“Innovation: Africa believes in the empowerment of local community members. At each water point, ten villagers are hired, paid, and trained by the contractors and assist with the construction of the system. Upon completion, they receive a certificate which will assist with their future employment opportunities and will ensure the long-term success and sustainability of the project as they are able to independently maintain, fix and operate the system.

“Moreover, the community signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) confirming their ownership of the system and commitment to ensuring its long-term success,” Yaari said.

“The impact of clean water is felt by all community members and most poignantly by the women and young girls, who are responsible for walking kilometres each day in search of water from open and contaminated sources. With Innovation: Africa’s water projects, the women are relieved of this burden, regaining time and their independence and their children can now attend schools, helping them reach their full potential.”

Yaari added that with access to water, economic stability begins to take place across the villages, as businesses are established, including brick-making and agricultural programmes whereby community members grow vegetables to feed themselves and sell the surplus in local markets.

She said that the construction of solar water pumping systems is simple, cost-effective, and instantaneously transformative. To construct these systems, Innovation: Africa has engaged over 40 local contractors across its countries of operation to drill into aquifers and to construct storage tanks which house the solar panels, water tank and solar pump required to harness the energy from the sun and pump clean groundwater. Taps are constructed throughout the village to ensure that all community members have equitable access to water.

“Innovation: Africa’s solutions focus on improving resilience for those who are most vulnerable and are experiencing the adverse consequences of climate change,” Yaari said.

“This project will offer an innovative, small-scale modern energy solution for communities that are so isolated they will never have access to large grid extension projects, and too poor to attract market-based and other small grid solutions. The energy provided through these projects is 100% renewable and the clean water pumped via the solar systems does not require the burning of materials for its purification through boiling.

“Innovation: Africa will provide sustainable solutions while promoting the clean provision of energy to rural African communities without the need for fossil fuels or the extension of the national grid.”

Yaari added that the Drops of Life Campaign collaboration commenced in 2023. The Drops of Life campaign is an initiative by Africarare and Innovation: Africa, aimed at providing clean drinking water to communities in Africa. The campaign is committed to transforming lives and creating sustainable solutions for water scarcity in the region. By purchasing a soulbound NFT, digital collectors can contribute to this cause, demonstrating the potential of NFTs to drive social impact.

Source : IOL