Martha and Angella have been friends since they were young children. In 1979 during the Liberation War in Uganda, most people of Moyo, the town on the northernmost tip of Uganda, had to flee their homeland across the border of Sudan to safety. Angella and Martha’s families with their young children left with only their documents, no money and whatever belongings they could carry on their backs. They walked across the border into Sudan and lived as refugees in separate areas wherever they could find shelter. After 8 years, during the resettlement they had a teary and bittersweet reunion when they returned to find that their town of Moyo had been completely destroyed. No houses or buildings anywhere.
As they restarted their lives back home, they were committed to help rebuild their community. They helped start the Marindi Cooperative Society, an organized group composed of women and men to carry out small scale credit and savings services to its members.
Angella and Martha, as a retired nurse and midwife, respectively, wanted to provide more services to improve the health of their community. In 2011, they were selected to participate in the GWWI Women and Water Training in Kampala, Uganda. When they learned about WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) and how to build WASH technologies, they knew that this was one way they could meet their goals. Because lack of access to water was a very big issue for Moyo citizens, they elected to learn how to build rainwater harvesting systems (RWH) with an ISSB tank (interlocking stabilized soil block) to provide water to their community.
When they brought the RWH technology back to Moyo, their organization was so impressed with it and their capacity to build it, they supported them to build a RWH system and tank at a local school serving over hundreds of students and some neighboring families. After seeing how easy it was to build and training other Moyo women to be able to construct the technology, the MCS chair helped the women members form a new organization called the Moyo Women’s Water Initiative (MWWI), inspired by the work of the Global Women’s Water Initiative.
The first order of business was to mobilize over $1200US from the community to buy an ISSB machine so they can make their own bricks, sell them and construct more tanks. The 30 women members of the MWWI have registered with the government and are now well on their way to realizing their collective dream!
And don’t forget:
SAVE THE DATE:
Thurs, Oct 25 in Berkeley, CA
“Women Making Waves: GWWI Report Back from Africa”