WOMEN AND WATER CONFERENCE 2014
WOMEN AND WATER CONFERENCE 2014Hamsa Iyer
The project, called Women and Water in South and Central Asia: Building International Social Capital for Sustainable Peace and Development, is a collaborative programme with six global partners. It focuses on building resilient communities through engaging women in developing countries and implementing innovative solutions to water management challenges.
The 3 year project, funded by the US State Department and run by George Washington University will bring together young, female social entrepreneurs and activists from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India to discuss their experiences and formulate innovative solutions on community-level water management. Its aim is to foster people-to-people relations and enhance capacity on water resource management as a key element in building stable and prosperous communities in Central and South Asia. The first workshop took place in Kyrgyzstan in 2013 – see http://womenandwatergw.org/women-and-water-bishkek-workshop/. The second conference, this year, was held in India- partly in Mumbai and partly in Panchgani during 23rd to 30th September.
In Mumbai, the women visited the Mahatma Gandhi Centre for Sanitation, Cleanliness and Community Health on 25th September.
The day’s session started off with Dr. Jared Buono setting the context on water in India and Maharashtra. He talked about the different geographical features and terrains of India. He narrowed it to Maharashtra’s water situation familiarizing the participants with the issues and problems with respect to water in the region. A presentation was given by Mr. Dhaval Desai, Senior Fellow from Observer Research Foundation who presented the audience with statistics on water and sanitation in Mumbai. This was followed by a tour around the successful TPM run community Toilet and the neighbouring areas. A walk through the slum the exposed the participants to the living conditions of the people and gave insight to water usage and supply, access to hospitals and other amenities. The day ended with a session with participants presenting their work on water to the Self Help Group ladies, from TPM.