Uganda Baati Limited (UBL), a leading manufacturer of Building Solutions and member of the Safal Group, has launched the “Safal Eye in the Wild” Photography Competition 2023.
The competition, running from July 28 to September 15, 2023, aims to ignite conversations and raise awareness about environmental conservation through the power of photography.
Speaking during the annual official virtual launch held at Uganda Baati Offices in Kampala Industrial Area, George Arodi, UBL Chief Executive Officer, said the competition serves as a powerful platform to reach a significant portion of the population and create an impact on environmental change.
“As a business, UBL is committed to giving back to the community through participation in the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda,” he noted.
Andres Lindgren, CEO of The Safal Group, emphasised the significance of the photography competition, encompassing three key aspects: supporting photography, showcasing the beauty of Africa and addressing the challenges involved in preserving the beauty.
Sarit Shah, the Chairman of Safal MRM Foundation, said the theme for this year is “Drought in Focus” which has severe consequences for agriculture-dependent communities in Africa.
He invited photographers from diverse backgrounds to capture and present the environmental challenges and changes brought on by drought within various communities.
Sunil Lalvani, the Founder & CEO of Project Maji, said the project will provide agro-kits to schools to provide them with tools to have little gardens for vegetables and fruits and for them to be in school.
“Project Maji is about providing water as a basic household need to families,” he noted.
Kenyan photographer Tatiana Karanja who is also the competition’s head judge provided valuable winning tips for participating photographers.
These include; technical proficiency, creativity and originality, emotional resonance, effective visual storytelling and impact and memorability.
She warned against gory images saying a drought theme doesn’t mean that photographers should present piles of dead bodies.
Anthony Ochieng, the winner of the 2021 competition, who secured the grand prize of $3000 by capturing captivating images centred on wildlife conservation, also shared some insights to encourage potential participants.
National Forestry Authority (NFA) Director, Dr Tom Rukundo, said the “Safal Eye in the Wild” competition plays a pivotal role by presenting compelling photographic evidence of various environmental issues.
“With valuable partnerships like UBL, we drive sustainable environmental change and aim to restore the forest cover to its former glory.”
The annual campaign, launched in 2017 under the name ‘MRM Eye in the Wild Photography Competition,’ has seen tremendous growth and engagement, capturing the attention of participants from Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Tanzania.
The competition aims to highlight the effects of drought on communities and the power of resourcefulness and innovation in combating the issue.
The esteemed panel of judges will evaluate photographs that showcase the effects of drought, aiming for images that evoke emotions, tell compelling stories, and convey the urgent need for environmental conservation and sustainable solutions to mitigate the adverse effects of drought.
“The competition will recognize the winners with generous cash prizes, with Gold award winners receiving USD 5,000, Silver award winners USD 3,000, and Bronze award winners USD 2,000,” said UBL Head of External and Corporate Affairs, Ian Rumanyika.
He invited professional photographers and amateur enthusiasts to submit their captivating images through the competition’s dedicated microsite by September 15, 2023.