“WOMEN FOR WATER:” THE MAKWACHA WOMEN GAIN POWER OVER WATER

Wednesday 14 March 2012
The second drill under process © PICHA
The second drill under process © PICHA
The six members of the association in charge of the wells, with journalist Jacky Ngongo from RTNC © PICHA
The six members of the association in charge of the wells, with journalist Jacky Ngongo from RTNC © PICHA
Even men are using the pumps... © PICHA
Even men are using the pumps... © PICHA
Before the celebration starts...© PICHA
Before the celebration starts...© PICHA
Makwacha women and the
Makwacha women and the "water dance", on March 5th, 2012 © PICHA

During his recent visit to the Makwacha village, Jean-Michel Champault had the opportunity to assess the progress of the “Women for Water” project. He has just came back to AAD with interviews from the members of the new association « l’Association des Femmes de Makwacha » (Makwacha Women Association).

 

The purpose of this visit was for AAD to officially transfer the wells’ property to the board of the association: its six members are now in charge of the water access management and the wells maintenance. In an interview with Jacky Ngongo, a congolese journalist, the women part of the association gave their first impressions on the changes brought by their new access to drinkable water.

According to them, the women come twice a day to pump water; once early in the morning and the second time during the afternoon. Carrying the water using 20 litres tanks, they bring to each family close to forty litres of clean water for their essential needs and domestic tasks.

 

Even if they became owner of the three wells just recently, these women demonstrate a very thoughtful management. Though not every Makwacha villager pays the tax covering water access, the board enables everyone to use them: “Everybody thinks on its own way, we’re not going to force them to pay. They’re paying little by little. Others won’t pay because they can’t.” Everyone is encouraged to get its water from the wells.

 

The board members are working on the unwilling inhabitants, to convince them of the benefits of this new clean water. As Fernande – the association’s president – said, the villagers will adapt at their own pace…

 

These women are themselves highly convinced about the formidable change that brings clean water to their community. In order to celebrate, they organized a party in honor of the end of the drilling. They cooked corn fou-fou and fish for all the inhabitants and neighboors and then improvised Muchenzo ya Mayù , a “water dance” celebrating the new wells.