People in arid places have been suffering from the effects of water scarcity for ages. While water is abundant in other places, people in dry regions need to walk for miles everyday to fetch water for their own survival. But despite the harshness of the weather and the environment, it is difficult not to take notice of women and children being the ones given the task to do it. In places where water is not accessible, it is not unusual to see women carrying at least 20 liters of water across hot, dry lands where they have to walk for at least six miles to deliver the water home and do house work. This is just one of the many critical concerns mission water project and other water charity missions are trying to find a solution to.
Walking in the scorching heat of the sun and carrying a load of water is part of the sacrifice women do for their families. It is a role that women have been doing for ages. You might wonder why women assume this responsibility, but this has become the norm in most arid regions. It might be because fetching water is considered a part of household chores that women are made responsible for accomplishing the job.
Women might not have a choice but assume this responsibility, but it has some serious implications and consequences. Some of these are:
The responsibility of women to find and fetch water for their families prevents them from attending school, get a job or take care of their children. This can add to the illiteracy and ignorance of women and children
Women and children in Africa and other water-deprived countries walk for about six kilometers to fetch water
It is not unusual to see women in dry countries carrying loads of water on their heads that weigh as much as 20 kilograms. This can lead to severe neck or spine injury over time.
Women in water-deprived countries are responsible for water and sanitation decisions in their homes. The irony is they are rarely included in the planning and management of the community’s water and sanitation systems. Several water projects that utilize women in planning and management are successful.
People in many places around the world do not recognize women’s rights to land as well the right to access water for agricultural purposes.
Women in arid regions are given the responsibility of taking care of children especially those that fall ill due to water-related diseases. This is an additional task that takes them farther from education.
These are just some of the common problems that involve women and water. Women are an integral part of the human race. They should be granted the same rights especially when water and sanitation are concerned. We can do something about this by contributing part of our resources for the promotion of clean water technology in water-deprived regions.
Lori is a corporate consultant whose experience and area of expertise are on fund administration, debt collection, wealth management and personnel administration. He likes to share his insights about business corporate solutions, sustainability & management, and a lot of human interest stories including health, wellness and self-improvement .