Imagine access to safe water trapping you in a cycle of struggle, preventing you from improving your life? A research-supported self-help group took action in Wandiege community, Kenya, ultimately be coming entrepreneurs running a sustainable water company that’s transforming women’s lives.
Life in Wandiege Community
It’s a half kilometre walk to the River Auji, but the women of Wandiege, a poor informal settlement known as Manyatta B on the east side of Kisumu County, have to walk this distance to fetch their water from the river. Traditionally, women in this region are responsible for fetching water for the whole household, so bear the brunt of poor water access, and of the poor sanitation that plagues the Wandiege Community. It's not only adult women that are caught in this trap of gender norms and scarce resources that include negative impacts on health, time and energy available for investment in productive activities. Girl children are sometimes forced to be late or even miss school to help their mothers fetch water, impacting on their education.
Traditionally, women in this region are responsible for fetching water for the whole household, so bear the brunt of poor water access, and of the poor sanitation that plagues the Wandiege Community
The Wandiege Community sought to address their situation. A self-help group was formed with the initial aim of sensitizing the community to the area’s poor water and sanitation situation. Sensitization campaigns were held, community support was solicited and technical advice offered by non-governmental organization, SANA International. These interventions lead to the idea of a water supply project for the region.