CONGRATULATIONS are in order! Global Women’s Water Initiative is thrilled to share that our resource partner Katosi Women’s Development Trust (KWDT) has just won the 3rd Kyoto World Water Grand Prize at the World Water Forum in Marseilles, France!
KWDT is such an incredible organization. KWDT enables rural women to effectively manage their social, economic and political development processes for improved livelihoods. It started out as a small fish farming project with a single women’s group in Katosi and has since evolved into a network of 16 groups with 365 women! Since its inception 15 years ago KWDT has listened to the voices of their women’s groups and expanded their focus beyond fish farming into organic farming and sustainable agriculture production, animal husbandry, women’s maternal health, HIV/AIDS and of course WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene). They further enhance these programs by supporting the women to create livelihoods with these skills and tools.
In terms of WASH, KWDT takes the provision of water and sanitation to a whole other level as they train some of their members in basic masonry skills to be able to build various WASH technologies. Through KWDTs micro-credit program, women can purchase a rainwater harvesting tank, a biosand filter and/or a composting toilet which will be built by their fellow members. The implementing members challenge gender stereotypes and get paid for their construction services and even dress the part!
For their innovation, KWDT was awarded the Best Performing WASH organization in Uganda two years running in 2008 and 2009!
In our partnership, both GWWI and KWDT knew there was so much we could learn from each other. At the GWWI training in Kampala last year KWDT contributed and participated in a multitude of different ways. Margaret Nakato, Co-ordinator of KWDT shared KWDTs inspirational evolution and hosted our Advanced Training Team who paid a visit to some of KWDTs women’s groups. GWWI Trainers in Training were able to interview some of the women implementers who built the technologies, and were also excited to see how many women were able to access all of KWDTs services. We were able to visit schools and households where KWDT implementers built tanks, filters, hand-washing stations, dish dryers and toilets. We also delighted in homemade frozen yogurt made from cow and goat milk that was bought from women who benefitted from the KWDT animal husbandry project. It was so thrilling to see women helping women in a way that was demand-driven and benefitted the entire community while providing livelihoods for women to uplift themselves and their families.
Also, KWDT sent Immaculate Nansubuga, KWDT Junior Project Officer, who attended our Advanced Training Program as a Trainer in Training whom I hope you met in one of our past blogs from July 2011. Immaculate deepened her skills as a WASH facilitator and trainer adding more tools to her stable of WASH skills like water testing with the PML and the construction of the Biosand filter.
Finally, the Founder who started the original KWDT Program, Namaganda Mastula and her colleague Namukasa Rose participated in the Grassroots Women’s Training. Mastula and Rose attended to learn the Biosand Filter, which is currently only offered in a few KWDT target areas with the intention of spreading it across the regions of all 16 KWDT teams who are interested. More about Mastula and Rose in a future blog!
With the kind of endurance, innovation and stellar leadership that KWDT exemplifies everyday, it’s no wonder they are being honored at the highest level of recognition in their country and the world. Brava KWDT!