The African Women and Water Conference-- Nairobi, Kenya June 2008

Building Relationships and Self Reliance to Support Technology Transfer


The Project

The African Women and Water Conference is a 5-day intensive that will equip thirty African women with the technologies, skills, and networks they need to dramatically improve the water conditions in their communities. Thirty women from throughout Africa have been selected to take part in this conference based on their proven leadership and their commitment to community development. By participating in this gathering, these women will gain the skills and leadership they need to become powerful water stewards.

The Need

    • The average distance a woman in Africa and Asia walks to collect water is 6 km.
    • The weight of water that women in Asia and Africa carry on their heads is equivalent to the baggage weight allowed by airlines (20 kg).
    • One in ten school-age girls in Africado not attend school during menstruation or drop out at puberty because of the absence of clean and private sanitation facilities in schools.
    • High prices charged for water, whether by private or public companies, force poor women to buy from vendors or use contaminated, unsafe water.
    • A woman living in a slum in Kenya pays at least five times more for one liter of water than a woman in the U.S.
    • Many women face the threat of violence or rape when they engage in daily tasks such as fetching water.
    • Both in rural and urban settings, women have an important, but often unacknowledged role in water management, as collectors, porters, storers and users of water.

    The Results

    Upon completion of the workshop, every woman will walk away with:

    • The training and skills to implement a community-based water service project from start to finish (ie. household water filter, solar pasteurization, rainwater harvesting)
    • A $1,000 seed grant to launch a project in her community
    • A set of organizational development, grant-writing, and entrepreneurial skills
    • A global peer network of women leaders with whom to share information, best practices, and support
    • A new level of credibility and leadership in her community

    Who Will Participate?

    Women from throughout Africa have been nominated in teams of two, based on their proven leadership in community organizing and/or water issues. They must have shown a commitment to starting a water service project when they return home. Read about the thirty selected women here.

    How You Can Help

    For More Information



    The lives you touch will never be the same. We invite your partnership--for women, for water, for a thriving planet.

    "Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man."
    -Margaret Mead
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