ABOUT THE PROJECT
This project builds on existing work being undertaken by the Women’s Leadership and Training Programme (WLTP) around awareness and education on the importance of water sources for girls and women in rural areas in KwaZulu-Natal, in particular improved access to good quality water in streams, rivers, springs and wells for 900 rural and 150 urban households in Hlokozi, Centocow and KwaMashu. The lack of water and has exacerbated community vulnerability under COVID-19.
ATLANTIC FELLOW INVOLVED
The Women’s Leadership and Training programme (WLTP) has about 35 years of experience in building, supporting and strengthening girls and women’s leadership from disadvantaged rural, townships and informal settlements in South Africa.
WLTP has operated in the six provinces of South Africa and is now based in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. WLTP believes society won’t fully transform without the participation of girls and women in decision making processes. To bring about transformation and to achieve this emancipation, girls and women have to create their own safe spaces, to support each other and to engage meaningfully with all the structures in society. We use the core modules of Leadership and Life Skills, Strategic Gender Analysis, Climate Change, Biodiversity, Culture and Heritage, Economic Literacy and Ethics and Morality in our trainings.
Being in the Atlantic Fellowship helped me to understand how Water, Gender and Security are Determinants of Health. It helped me to frame my personal experience of abduction for early marriages and the vulnerability of girls today ‘on their way to fetch water’.
The current project with TEKANO is on Access to Quality Clean Water for Rural Girls and Women. This project aims to build and support girls and women activism in their struggle for access to clean water during Covid-19 and Beyond. It equips girls and women to use scientific tools to understand the water situation in springs, wells, streams and, eventually, in rivers. The project engages with stakeholders like Traditional Leaders, Municipalities, Government Departments and Civil Society to address the issue of water shortage in communities. At the same time the project documents the stories, findings and processes as resources for other communities. Its ultimate goal is to demand water as a basic human right in the oncoming Local Government Elections – to make sure that the infrastructure development in rural, townships and informal areas addresses water issues, actively involving the affected groups like girls and women.
We are supporting girls and women in Hlokozi, Centocow and KwaMashu in KZN. They have formed Water Custodians groups in their areas that educate communities about climate change, household waste (as it affects water) and biodiversity preservation as a way of securing water.