Giant crowd funded flag for power and employment

The village of Karoo, in an arid region between Cape Town and Johannesburg (South Africa) is transforming a patch of desert into fertile land, while generating electricity for 4,000 homes. The centrepiece of the village’s efforts is a ‘living’ national flag with the size of 66 soccer fields, big enough to be seen from space.

CNN reports that ‘The Giant Flag of South Africa’ is an ambitious project. Some 2.5 million red, yellow, blue and green desert plants, including cacti and spekboom, will be arranged in a pattern like that of South Africa's flag. The flag's black triangular area will contain a 4-megawatt solar-panel field, generating much-needed electricity for the region. The succulent plants will reintroduce nutrients to the soil and sequester upwards of 200 tons of carbon every year. Meanwhile, the solar panels are expected to power the equivalent of 4,000 homes.

The flag project is to create 700 jobs, most of them for women who can work on the botanical components. Local tourism is expected to increase by 20% to 25%. Part of the funding for the €14 million project will have to come from large-scale crowdsourcing efforts. People from around the world can adopt succulents for €8.30 each to help build the flag.

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