Author: A Spring of Hope

The Role of Water in the Struggle for Rights

While A Spring of Hope’s mission is to bring water to impoverished rural South African schools in order to provide sustainable economic development to all in the community, our work has a significant and unique impact for girls and women. One very critical area that is affected by lack of water is school attendance. Girls’ absentee rates are significantly higher than boys due to their role as water collectors. They often have to trudge several kilometers with jerry cans to unreliable government pumps or unsafe, polluted sources in order to acquire water for cooking and washing, losing days of school and work. If the water is of questionable quality and makes them ill, more work or school time is lost, with medical costs adding economic burdens they can ill-afford. According to the UN Women Commission, women and girls represent 75 percent of household water collectors. In some countries, the proportion is as high as 90 percent. A fresh, clean water source at schools can be used for food preparation, sanitation and growing prolific gardens that …