Twenty — eight-year-old Daniel Charles Msirikale from Tanzania, who is a freelance photographer, emerged the overall winner of the 2019 'Safal Eye in the Wild' photography competition for his piece that showed (two young boys heading home from fetching water with a third boy pumping water from a borehole).
With the win, Daniel becomes the first Tanzanian to record victory at the prestigious regional photography contest.
The photography competition organized by Safal Group - producers of steel roofing and Provider of building solutions, saw Daniel beat other entries from professional and amateur photographers and received Ksh300,000 (about Sh6.7million) cash prize.
Safal Group Chief Executive Officer Anders Lindgren said that while the competition highlighted the impact of water conservation it also celebrated humanity's ability to overcome challenges and live sustainably.
"As a leader in our industry, we have invested over Ksh30 million (about Sh670million) in this initiative so far which is our vision to raise awareness on alternative ways Africa can conserve and preserve the environment, in particular, our water resources. We believe that photography is a powerful medium of influence in the promotion of sustainable conservation actions in Africa," said Mr Lindgren.
The 2019 competition, themed 'Every Drop Counts' received a great number of submissions from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. Kenyan Kamal Shah who emerged the Silver Winner received Ksh 200,000 prize money while Kenyan Anthony Ochieng took the Bronze Award with prize money of Ksh100,000. Denish Ochieng a photojournalist with a Kenyan Media company, won The People's Choice Award with his photo that depicted (a boy cooling down his head with high-pressure water from a tap) reaching over a million people online within a few days.
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Entries to this year's contest were judged by award-winning wildlife photographer Gurcharan Roopra; Uganda's Reinout Dujardin and Tanzania's Hendri Lombard, who selected winners of the gold, silver and bronze as well as the selection of the potential public award-winning images based on the submissions' theme, message, and creativity.
"We were very impressed by the quality of submission and how they interpreted the theme by unleashing the power of visual expression to tell compelling stories of water conservation," said Mr Roopra.
The Safal Eye in the Wild Photography Competition is an initiative that uses photography, as a medium to spark conversations on conservation of nature, amidst the current changes in the environment.
With the innovations in the field of photography and the advent of smartphones, photography has become a most popular art form across the world.
This contest also provides an opportunity for aspiring photographers to present their work to a wider audience and encourage conservation.
Every year, one element of the ecosystem is selected to inspire the theme. The focus for this year's campaign was Water conservation and the theme "Every Drop Counts".
Since the first contest held in Kenya in 2017 with a focus on wildlife, photographers now look forward to the annual campaign that supports conservation through the lenses.
The campaign has now grown, and this year ran across East Africa in three countries: Kenya, Uganda & Tanzania.