A prerequisite for installing water filters and building roof top water tanks is the presence of a well-functioning women’s group in the village. The strength of a women’s group is necessary for organizing and preparing the new water supply. Women determine where the tank or filter is most urgently needed, they help with the construction and construction, and also provide maintenance for the new facility. After all, they have a great interest in clean drinking water in the neighborhood and irrigation water for agriculture and animals. The women work hard on land and often have to walk kilometers per day to get clean drinking water at a source further up in the mountains. This allows them to spend several hours a day.
How do the women’s groups work?
The women are trained by our local partner HIMCON to develop skills to work together and to develop initiatives.
The women meet regularly and save small amounts on their own bank account. They also discuss what is needed for the village.
Together they have agreed how high the contribution is and each family contributes the same amount. The secretary makes a report of the meetings in a script and notes the agreements. All attendees put their signature or fingerprint under the report. The women’s groups create a piggy bank and decide with each other how they spend the money. This may involve joint activities such as planting fruit and nut trees, but also private loans for the treatment of a sick family member, a wedding or a cow. This is decided jointly.
Women are supported by HIMCON in jointly taking all kinds of initiatives at village level.
For example, when planting deciduous trees, selling agricultural products at a good harvest and maintaining drinking water filters. Through the women’s groups money is spent on, for example, the transport of various materials upwards (gravel, sand, cement for the construction of a water filter) and the water pipelines. Some residents of the village get a paid job. Here the women’s groups look at who needs the money the most.
Himalaya Resources supports training courses for women’s groups that are the driving force behind economic development in the remote villages in the Himalayas.