When winning the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Paris last week, I dedicated my award to the women and children that are most serviced by our water system.
Right now African women lose 20 billion hours each year walking for water! I am not even talking about treatment time for the water or dealing with waterborne diseases... just pure hours lost to the activity of walking to find water.
Let me expand on this.
The water walk, on the individual level, looks like an accepted 1-hour to 4-hour daily routine (in some extreme cases even more). This is putting rural women and children at a major disadvantage against their urban area counterparts. In this world, time is money and to survive, rural families must do more with the same amount of time on their hands.
Can you imagine having to walk for water and perform other basic chores? basic needs activities taking away 100% of your day? You wouldn't have TIME.
But when INUMA-serviced women share their feelings about having INUMA water near, they always talk about having something like a big stone removed from their heart. They know a big burden was just lifted, they can feel it, even as they may not have the words for it.
They now have time to play with their kids, time to educate their kids and time to just BE.
No longer suffering for a basic need but having time to spend as they want and wish.
As humans, this is the happiness we work for, the comfort of having this free time to do the things we want to do, not the things we need to do to survive.
It is a pleasure to see how water is unlocking time for these women and children to do more.
Isn't it a blessing that with just water in their homes we can free millions in hours for women to do more of what they like to do and not what they need to do?