USAID in the Sahel Publishes: “When Women Manage Water”
A USAID in the Sahel Exposure piece recognized the flourishing involvement of female leadership and representation through USAID’s TerresEauVie activity, implemented by Winrock International.
The activity focuses on improving access, education and community awareness-raising on the importance of including women in management with 96 local Water User Associations. In Burkina Faso, women and girls are primarily responsible for retrieving water, and for maintaining drinking water points without being given a voice at association meetings.
As a result of TerreEauVie’s support, 10 women were elected presidents, 17 became secretaries, and 58 became treasurers throughout the 96 associations.
“Before being elected president of our Water User Association, I used to go and take water from the borehole, just like all women in the village, for my family’s needs,” explains Ms. Tene Bourgou for the Exposure piece. “I was very attentive to the cleanliness around the borehole, and I chastised those who wanted to wash their children or do their laundry there. I guess this intransigence on cleanliness made me well-known. I was still a little surprised to be elected as president because, in our communities, it is not customary to see a woman in this kind of position.”
Bourgou’s leadership has secured several victories, including a system for community dues, which help fund improved management of water points, reducing contamination and improving cleanliness.
The five-year TerresEauVie activity is improving access to sustainable and safe drinking water in Niger and Burkina Faso by supporting management and systems that strengthen natural resources and climate resilience.
The full story can be found here.