We’re excited to share that Florence and Eunice of Orphans and Widows Association of Development (OWAD) and 2011 GWWI graduates have been offered a government contract to build rainwater harvesting systems and tanks for schools all around the District of Amuria! We at the Global Women’s Water Initiative are extremely proud since one of our primary goals is to support the graduates to be able to earn income for WaSH (water, sanitation and hygiene) services they can offer their community. They applied to the GWWI Women and Water Training last summer, because they knew that securing water and sanitation would greatly benefit their members as well as their communities.
OWAD promotes rural women’s empowerment, alleviates poverty, and eliminates homelessness among widows. With a membership of 2,000, OWAD provides housing for rural women and young mothers among other legal services. After attending the GWWI training, they were able to add water and sanitation solutions to their roster of services for widows and orphans and the community at large.
When Florence and Eunice returned home from the GWWI training they took quick action. They showed 20 women’s groups how to clean water and cook with the sun using the Solar CooKit, a solar oven made from recycled cardboard boxes and reflective material.
The women also learned to test their water using the Portable Microbiology Lab, some discovering that 4 out of their 6 water sources they were using were contaminated. People were so shocked with the results and took immediate action. Florence and Eunice were able to support the widows by helping them raise money in the local community to protect one of their springs from further contamination.
But the most exciting news is that some of the women learned to build rainwater harvesting systems and have since built 3 tanks benefiting the Amuria primary school. Women learned to make interlocking bricks using the ISSB machine and then used the bricks to build the tank. Even young girls at the Amuria school helped make the bricks!
ISSB or Interlocking Stabilized Soil Blocks are bricks made out of clay earth, sand and a little cement and water. They create a much more stable foundation since the blocks are interlocking and there is a major cost savings because it uses less cement for bonding, is more durable and requires less repair and the machine can produce hundreds of bricks per day requiring no electricity – just sheer muscle power.
OWAD intends to buy a machine so they can double their impact - they would not only build more tanks in their communities, but also construct traditional roundhouses for their beneficiaries – the widows and orphans. They are currently seeking funding to buy the $2,000 machine so they can expand their reach providing housing and clean water to the widows and orphans of Amuria District!