The Global Women’s Water Initiative is so excited to announce that Catherine Wanjohi, GWWI 2011 Graduate has been elected as the Chairperson for the Water Company Board for Naivasha District in Kenya!
Catherine is the Director of Life Bloom, an incredible organization that uplifts ex-commercial sex-workers by offering training and support so they can generate income through dignified vocations such as craftwork, tailoring, hairdressing, beauty therapy and such. In 2011, after attending our Women and Water Training where she learned how to educate the community about clean water, sanitation and proper hygiene (WASH) practices, how to test water to see if it is contaminated and how to build the Biosand filters to provide clean water for their communities, she was able to add this powerful service to Life Bloom’s stable of vocational trainings.
When Catherine and her partner Susan Njeri returned home from the GWWI training, and shared the technology with their team, they were able to gain a contract to install Biosand Filters in a local women’s prison to provide clean water for the prisoners and guards.
As a result of Catherine’s new and successful water program, she applied for an open position on the Water Company Board for Naivasha District. In one of our past blogs
, Catherine expressed how shocked and excited she was to have been selected as one of two women on the nine person Board. And now to have been elected as the Board Chair is a testament to her leadership, her understanding of her local water issues, and her vision for a future of water security in her region.
We are not only thrilled for Catherine as a powerful voice for women and leader for her local water issues, but also for Naivasha District for recognizing the importance of women being included in the decision-making process regarding community water actions. Although the majority of people on a district-level policy Board are men, to be led by a woman, it is clear that the local government understands that an efficient way forward is to put the leadership into the hands of those who are most affected by lack of water and sanitation – women. This is a huge step for women as changemakers in their communities, and GWWI is so proud to have been able to support Catherine to step into her leadership as a Water Champion! Brava!