Presentation ofCAPACITY BUILDING OF WOMEN FOR WATER MANAGEMENT By Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) At : "National Conference on Women-led Water Management," 5-6 November 2012
SEWA - AN INTRODUCTION SEWA is a member based organisation founded in 1972 which has grown today as a family with more than 13,25,138 members (from nine states of India). Two-thirds of its members are from the rural area and they are small farmers and agricultural labour.• SEWA’s two main goals are: • Full employment, • Self - Reliance
SEWA’s Water Campaign• Seeks to give poor women access to a reliable and safe water supply• To build their capacity to become the owners and the managers of the local water supply instead of mere users.• Spearhead teams, teams of grassroots women, play a leading role in the water campaign• Today more than 460000 women spread over 1500 villages and 14 districts of Gujarat (India) have joined the water campaign.SEWA’s water campaign include two types of activities:• Activities that increase the capacity and awareness of grassroots women• Activities that directly improve the quality of the local water supply
Problem• Women and water are closely interrelated, as women are the main users of the local water sources.• women are spending up to 6 hours a day during summer to fetch water.• women loose valuable time and energy that could have been used for income generating activities;• health suffers due to the heavy loads they have to carry over long distances;• the water is often of an inferior quality.• entire villages are forced to migrate in search of water.
Objective of the water Campaign• Access to clean drinking water is the primary right of every human being as it is basic necessity of life, livelihood, health & progress.• Creation of new water resources• Revival of old dry local water resources• Up gradation of water management tools• Ownership of water resources for women• Alternative employment option for women in Arid areas• Development of sustainable resources for natural disaster prone villages
Demands & Massage Demands MessageWe want to develop Clean water is our basicsources of drinking right, we cannot live withoutwater in every village. water, without water we cannot be healthy, ourLocal women should employment is severelyhave control over and affected because of lack ofmanage our water water, we migrate with oursources. families and animals,We want to collect and leaving home and health,save rain water. because without water we cannot survive.
Working Strategy• Mass mobilization-through gram Sabhas• Regular meetings, exposure and advocacy for policy change• integrated approach of women, water and work.• Activities such as deepening of lakes, well recharging hand pump repairing &installation of new hand pumps• Increasing awareness among the committees about the present scenario of climate change and global warming and equipping them toe stand• Working closely with the local government.• SEWA does not believe in creating parallel structures.
The Water Campaign has up till now organized• Gramsabhas – 973 village• Video replay – 214 villages• Street play – 25 villages• Rally & Prabhat Phery – 307 villages• Water committees – 700 villages• Spear head team meeting – 252 meetings• Exposure visits - 21 visit
Detailed Activities• To develop, maintain, revive and manage traditional and modern sources of safe water with women controlling the same.• Education and Awareness Building at local levels.• Building community capacity to manage and maintain water systems.• Building women’s technical cadre to make them efficient resource managers. Impart trainings pertaining to technical and managerial aspects which include• Establish partnership with private sector organisations and corporatize women’s organisations to make them commercially viable entities.• Water–related advocacy at District level – liasoning with Government agencies to influence water-related policies
Rally for AwarenessRoof Rain Water Harvesting With Small Hand Pump
Impacts of the Water campaign• The quality of the local water supply has improved; hence, women need to spend less time and energy on fetching water.• The capacity to cope with drought periods have improved and families no longer need to migrate in search of water.• Women have grown from mere users of the local water supply into owners and managers of the local water supply.
Main effects of the Water Campaign• Women became leaders in both water distribution & management. They were finally the owners and managers of their work for e.g. Hand Pump Repairing and The Group Water Supply Scheme.• Quality of the local water sources and their management improved.• Increased employment generation opportunities for the Women.• Women’s health problems decreased.• Women have become capable of fighting against natural calamities like drought and earthquake.• Increased hours of work leading to higher income generation.
Sanitation• Sanitation in rural Gujarat, perhaps must be one of the most neglected areas.• Almost all houses in a village without latrines and bathrooms.• There is no waste collection truck, which will clean the streets and fields of human excreta.• Outbreaks of diseases like Cholera and malaria even in this day.
SEWAs initiative• While SEWA was designing houses that would accommodate the villagers taste, needs and also be earthquake resistant, it felt that It should have sanitation facilities also.• This idea was initially met with tough resistance from the villagers.• However, the SEWA aagyewans (leaders) in three villages took the initiative of building latrines in their own houses.• The aagyewans did not force others to follow them, rather left the decision to each one. Slowly, the villagers saw the immense benefit the latrines offer, the ease to use them and the simplicity of the whole process.• Today there are 2350 latrines already built in these villages and the plans to make 350 more
Innovative Idea’s The Blue fund• A greater number of rural women now have access to water regularly and without having to travel long distances. As a result of this time saved, economic activities have been developed in areas such as salt farming, forestry and artisan work.• Portions of the income generated from these enterprises have been pooled as a revolving fund whereby loans, Blue Credit, will be disbursed for water related activities.• This fund is known as the Blue Fund and the loans disbursed, as Blue Credit. As a result of investment in water related activities and infrastructure, average daily income will increase by Rs. 60 (1.50 USD).
Cont…• The fund will be utilized to implement the activities in the villages as per the needs and the demands of the villagers.• Increase in employment and revenue generation.• Building collective organised strengths of women as water users, managers and owners would reduce their vulnerability to natural calamities
Climate Change• Over the last few years, the rainfall pattern has changed; the incidence of flooding has increased, and the areas affected by floods have increased.• It is the poor farmer who is affected most by the effects of climate change – a fact corroborated by the increasing trend of farmer suicides.• Availability of drinking water has become a major concern due to receding water table.
Cont…SEWA undertakes the following activates to equip thecommunities to stand in the scenario of climate change.• Member-based educational programs.• Organize national level policy dialogues.• Identifying mitigation and adaptation policies.• Undertake activities with a view to reducing the CO2 emission. Organize round table with private sector with a view to poverty eradication and sustainable natural resource management• Participatory decision-making must be encouraged to make sure that all affected groups are involved in decision-making on climate change.
SEWA’s Water Campaign - A Water Company Model• A unique model of a grass roots water company in the Peoples Sector.• This makes the Company Sustainable.• Thus while the campaign builds the capacities of the local women, the company helps in providing them access to information technology tools and fund to undertake the activities.
Sustainability• Active involvement of the grassroots women and their capacity building ensures that the outputs and impacts of the campaign are sustainable.• For instance, women are trained how to maintain the roof rainwater harvesting structures, water committees have been established in many villages.• SEWA links up with local water board to generate additional funds for the maintenance of village water sources. the maintenance fund is governed by the village water committee itself.
Commitment• Initiating and running the water campaign has only been able because of the commitment from all the involved stakeholders, especially grassroots women.Future challenges lying ahead of SEWA• Widen—involve more women—and deepen—include more activities such as micro watershed development— the water campaign.• Explore ways to replicate the water campaign elsewhere in India and the region of South-Asia.• Grassroots women need to be prepared for and included in current developments such as globalization, privatization, and decentralization.
Lesson Learned• Unless organizations owned by women water users come up to manage water resources, the water sector will remain unbalanced in favour of men and exploitative, overused and over consumed.• Simultaneously, the existing water institutions – Gujarat Land Development Corporation, Gujarat Water Supply and Sewerage Board, etc. must refocus on poor women’s water needs and build their capacity.• When men owned land, ownership of water by women has provided counter balancing economic and gender power. Think of water in relation to land and vegetation.• Key to women’s effective involvement in forestry is through their access to water. Tress cannot grow without water. Let women own water in forestry sector.
Cont….• Key to biodiversity is through diverse range of water management initiatives: private, public, joint and other.• The focus should be on the watershed users, the poor women anong them, to make it integrated. This means addressing credit, market, social and other needs of the users of watershed.• Equity not only between women and men but also between poor women and not so poor women is important. This means, recognizing poor women as watershed users in individual capacity as well as in a group.• The most important method or tool for mainstreaming is parting with financial and management powers: without that no tool or method can mainstream poor women in natural resource management
Recommendations• The state has to recognize and enshrine the right to water as a human right that entitles everyone to safe, adequate, and physically accessible water for personal and domestic uses.• Local communities should own, control and manage their water resources, in which women’s participation at all levels - decision making, implementation and management should be at least 50% Institutional mechanism should be provided to women for that.• Local water resources should be built and strengthened by creating new catchments and using the existing ones.• A multi-source approach should be adopted for domestic and drinking water supply.• All water policies and programmes (state and the national level) should be examined from the gender perspective
Cont…• Wherever women’s groups and women’s water user’s organizations are effective in managing local water resources, the state should develop a long term partnership and not a annual contract and tender system.• There should be a holistic approach to water resource management with a view to coordinate among different departments such as watershed, drinking water, agriculture, forestry and environment, health, rural development and urban development. Drinking water department may take the lead in coordination.• Clear financial allocations for the following:• capacity building, gender sensitization and community management for grassoots communities (priority for women), government, NGOs and other stakeholders in the water sector• awareness camps mostly at the grassroots level on issues relating to degradation of environment with a focus on water
Cont…• building local water source structures and its distributive systems• Special attentions need to be given to sanitation and hygiene integrating the component of safe drinking water.• Develop a participatory monitoring system with adequate representation of all stakeholders including grassroots women.• Appropriate representation from civil society, particularly women’s organizations working in the area of water in decision-making bodies of water management at the state and the national level.• Establishment of National Water Resource Centers, easily accessible to all stakeholders.