By Ella Hamer On International Women’s Day, Israeli Consul General Link-Raviv welcomed a group to her home where Sivan Ya'ari shared how Innovation Africa harnesses life-saving, Israeli solar technology to combat water scarcity.
Over 770 million people worldwide experience water scarcity. Women and girls are disproportionately impacted as they carry the burden of collecting water in 80 percent of affected families. Since this critical responsibility takes them away from school, the majority are unable to obtain an education, further damaging their chance of a secure future.
Since its founding in 2008, Innovation Africa has brought clean water and electricity to at least three million people across ten African countries through Israeli technology. The careful planning behind every project ensures a sustainable impact. For example, when Innovation Africa implements a water project, they hire, train, and certify a team of villagers to construct and manage the technology. This employment decision keeps trained professionals on the ground and promotes the village’s economy by creating jobs. Additionally, in November 2013, the UN Global South-South Development Expo in Nairobi awarded Innovation Africa a well-earned Innovation Award for the development of Remote Monitoring Technology. This Israeli invention provides real-time updates regarding the village’s well-being, including a satellite view and a record of how much clean water has been pumped. Thanks to Innovation Africa, over 500 African villages now have access to clean water and electricity.
In the future, Ya’ari intends to expand her projects in Africa and accelerate implementation. She and her team keep innovating, searching for increasingly affordable ways to improve lives with clean water. At the event, Ya’ari said, “Sometimes, the root of the problem is also the root of the solution.” The sun causes droughts in Africa, but it also provides an endless supply of solar energy, powering projects that allow students to attend school, people to receive effective healthcare, agriculture to flourish, and businesses to grow.
It was empowering to be invited to the Consul General’s home as a part of my TAB internship. My family has strong roots in Israel and learning what Ya’ari has accomplished is inspiring. Ella Hamer is a TAB intern and a senior at BASIS Scottsdale High School.