Water is the basis of life, without which crops can’t grow and animals can’t survive. Heifer’s work has always focused on hunger, poverty and environmental sustainability, and this focus will not change. It has become increasingly clear, however, that without community access and management of water, Heifer project participants simply cannot achieve their goals.
Digging wells or piping in water have long been peripheral components of Heifer International’s work in dry regions. Now, a new generation of projects are being designed specifically with water access and water quality in mind. The goal is for project participants to have convenient access to clean water for irrigation, drinking, sanitation, hygiene and animal health.
While these projects are helping entire communities, women benefit the most. Women and girls shoulder an inordinate amount of the burden of fetching water in developing countries. When they have nearby, reliable sources of water, they have more time and energy for other pursuits.
In the video above, Mervis Kemphinda of Chinguwa, Malawi, talks about the huge difference better water access could make for the health of her farm and family.