GWWI supports African women leaders to become water and sanitation technicians, educators, and entrepreneurs through sustainable, community-driven clean water initiatives. We also work to stimulate local economic development by investing in women's long-term entrepreneurial leadership and expertise. As technicians, women are trained and supported to build self-supply WASH solutions such as rainwater harvesting systems, toilets, and water treatment technologies. As educators, women offer hygiene education in the community to encourage proper hygiene practices to reduce the risk of water-related disease. As entrepreneurs, women earn income by making and selling water and hygiene rela... read more GWWI supports African women leaders to become water and sanitation technicians, educators, and entrepreneurs through sustainable, community-driven clean water initiatives. We also work to stimulate local economic development by investing in women's long-term entrepreneurial leadership and expertise. As technicians, women are trained and supported to build self-supply WASH solutions such as rainwater harvesting systems, toilets, and water treatment technologies. As educators, women offer hygiene education in the community to encourage proper hygiene practices to reduce the risk of water-related disease. As entrepreneurs, women earn income by making and selling water and hygiene related products like soap, shampoo and reusable sanitary pads as well as earning income as masons hired to construct various technologies. GWWI selects teams who have proven track records implementing projects in their communities. They are selected from a competitive pool of candidates who have been highly recommended by international funding agents such as Global Fund for Women, American Jewish World Service, The World Food Program, and Women's Global Connection. To date, the three Women and Water Trainings have yielded the following results: 46 teams of African women have been trained to launch viable water projects (rainwater catchment systems, biosand filters, storage tanks, solar pasteurization, toilets etc.) 61 seed grants totaling over $90,000 have been awarded to women launching sustainable, local water projects in 11 African communities 2 international peer exchanges were developed to strengthen the training program's impact Overall, nearly 35,000 people have access to improved water access and/or sanitation Over 15,000 people are benefitting from WASH education including proper hygiene practices, source protection and health through clean water In the WASH Service Center cycle alone, 100% of the teams have accessed additional funding to expand their programs In this cycle, 80% of the women have increased their income through promotions and contract work as technicians and WASH educators The Need According to the United Nations, the lack of access to water affects 783 million people globally. Sub-Saharan Africa, in particular, faces some of the most acute and devastating water problems in the world with less than 35% of populations in at least eight sub-Saharan countries having access to safe water. A rural woman can walk over 4 miles carrying 44 pounds of water on her head, traveling dangerous paths and risking violence or rape to access water for her family. It is estimated that on a single day, women worldwide can spend over 200 million collective hours fetching water. Because women are often in charge of procuring water for their families and communities, making sure that they have access to information about proper hygiene practices and have the ability to implement them is crucial to promoting public health. Women are the most disproportionately affected by this crisis. Yet in many places across the world, they are also the least able to plan and implement water solutions in their communities. The Food and Agricultural Organization recognizes that the "exclusion of women from the planning of water supply and sanitation schemes is a major cause of their high rate of failure." Women in water-scarce regions in the Global South are beginning to demand effective water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) solutions but still lack access to the technical skills, financial resources, or political positioning to implement these solutions in their communities. Women as the Solution The UN maintains that for every $1 invested in water and sanitation solutions, there is a return of up to $4 in increased productivity. The World Bank estimates that with low-cost appropriate technologies, community participation, and conscientious procurement of materials, the costs of implementing water services can be reduced by up to 25% and sanitation by up to 50%. GWWI trains women in self-supply WASH solutions such as rainwater harvesting systems, toilets, and water treatment methodologies. According to the Water and Sanitation Program of the World Bank, self-supply encourages the improvement of household supply through user investment and stewardship. Local women gain expertise in construction, advocacy, leadership, business and WASH so they can go on to train and build capacity of their grassroots counterparts. Unlike other clean water initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa, which focus on installing wells or supplying communities with technology that they may not be able to maintain, GWWI invests in the existing leadership and knowledge of women who know what their communities need most. Statistics show that because women face higher barriers to entering the formal labor market, they outnumber male entrepenurs in developing economies. Women community leaders learn to be water and sanitation technicians, gain business skills, and receive seed funding to launch their own lasting water projects. Because women with established leadership introduce these technologies and assess their viability, the projects tend to be well-received and sustainable over time. Stories of Success Kakamega, Kenya - Women in Water and Natural Resources Conservation (WWNRC) built 2 tanks on a local clinic. Before the water tanks were installed, the clinic was ill-equipped to serve many people. If a medical treatment required water, the practitioner would have to walk hours to fetch water just to provide treatment. Insufficient water resources prevented practitioners from offering maternal health and delivery services as well as maintaining proper facility sanitation. The clinic's new water storage system has paved the way for delivery services, a more hygenic clinic, and an increase in patient service. The first baby was born in their center in May 2013. Naivasha, Kenya - Catherine and Susan from Life Bloom Services in Naivasha offer counseling, leadership development, vocational opportunities and other livelihood alternatives for commercial sex workers and survivors of abuse. Recently, Life Bloom members brought clean water and hygiene education to a women's prison in Kenya. This project has transformed the lives of prisoners and has also given them an incredible sense of pride. Catherine, having no knowledge of WASH prior to attending the GWWI training has since been elected as the Board Chair of her local water board managing thousands of dollars in water projects with the goal of integrating women into the program implementation. Life Bloom Services trained 5 commercial sex workers to construct rainwater harvesting systems with tanks. After having attended an on-site training, Phionah Mbugua was so inspired that she quit her commercial sex work. She has since been hired as a full-time WASH Program officer by LBSI and now spearheads their entire WASH program. Moyo, Uganda -Angela Tassas and Martha Adong launched their own community-based organization, "GWWI Moyo" in Moyo, Uganda after attending the first year of the Global Women's Water Initiative training program. The community was so impressed by the new knowledge and skills this team brought back from the training that they supported the ladies to start GWWI Moyo with 30 other women. They were able to mobilize an additional $10,000 from an international funder, as well as be hired to construct the technologies by local institutions like schools and mosques. Bukoba, Tanzania - "Can you train my wife to do what you do?" was a common question Grace Mushongi of Bukoba Women's Empowerment Association would hear from local men while she was building rainwater harvesting systems and tanks in villages around Bukoba. Even her husband bragged to the masons who were building their house to seek help from his wife, because after all, she was a mason too! She and her partner Rachel Nyamukama over $20,000 to date to build more RWH systems and investing in themselves by paying for their participation in the GWWI training. Moreover, one of their tanks was built on a mill for grinding and purchasing cornmeal. As a result of the water tank, the mill saw an increase in customers and income.
Each of GlobalGiving’s nonprofit partners is required to send quarterly donor reports detailing the impact of their work.