Women and Water in Africa
Every day it is the duty of women and girls in sub Saharan Africa to walk f
or miles to creeks, lakes, or rivers, most starting their journeys
before sunrise, in order to obtain water for their families.
They endure poverty and untold suffering as a result of the lack of safe water.
Women labor hours a day getting water, time that could be spent on gainful
employment, gardening, and caring for their children and families-- if they had
safe water. Along the journey to get water, they often face dangers from
For a typical woman in Sub Saharan Africa, since she was a child and
physically able to carry the container and walk the journey to a water source,
her life has entailed many hours every day carrying water.
As a young girl, she would have missed educational opportunities that young
boys have --all because of a lack of clean water. Education is valued, and
girls want to be afforded the same educational opportunities that the
boys have, but many girls drop out because their household responsibility to
get water for their families requires many hours of their time each day.
Typically, the girls who are determined to go to school
are able to attend less than half a day of classes. Then
because there is no improved sanitation, many more
girls drop out of school when they reach puberty.
Because their hours are spent obtaining water, young girls do not
have educational opportunities or any sense of a hope for their futures. But
having a well in their village changes that.
Can you imagine how having a hand-pumped well --a readily available source
of fresh, clean water -- would improve the lives of women and girls in a
Because it improves everyone's lives, when a well is dedicated in a village, it
is a community wide celebration!