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9th International Rainwater Catchment Systems Conference
"Rainwater Catchment: An Answer to the Water Scarcity of the Next Millennium."
Petrolina, Brazil - July 1999

Section 6: Gender and Community Related Aspects of Rainwater Catchment

Paper 6.8

The Role of Women in Water Development

Millie N. Ouma & Julius M. Wanyonyi
P.O. Box 72387, Nairobi, Kenya
Fax: 254-2-577337


In rural areas of developing countries, such as Kenya, women understand the urgent need for improved accessibility to water sources. It is estimated that most rural women spent more than 80 percent of their time drawing, carrying, managing and using water. In most cases this water is inadequate and unsafe. About 67.5 % of the rural and 6.7% of the urban households have access to unsafe water sources. (CBS's Housing Survey 1994).

Most women may not be aware of water related diseases nor do they see a direct relationship between improved water supply and health, but once water sources become available, they quickly evaluate the benefits in terms of improved sanitation, personal hygiene, increased food security and reduced workload.

Clearly, women have much to gain from an improved water supply through rainwater collection. The additional time gained will ensure its sustainability, because the time saved can be used for income generating activities, such as growing more food crops, commercial activities, and promoting their family health.

PDF of full document (4pp, 17kb)

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