March 22, 2019
The Hiptipico office is located in Panajachel, Guatemala, right across from the street from the beautiful Lake Atitlan, providing us with stunning views every day. However, there is more to the water than what meets the eye. Due to infrastructure and other long standing problems, the lake isn't just beautiful, it's heavily polluted. This World Water Day we want to use our platform to draw attention to not just how we can do our part to help with water issues, but to raise awareness for how water issues intersect with our fight for women's empowerment! Did you know women and children are disproportionately affected by water related issues like shortages and pollution?
Women in developing countries walk an average of 3.7 miles per day and up to 6 hours to fetch water for their families. This can lead to health problems, assault, but most commonly interference with education.
Reducing the amount of time women and children spend collecting water by just 15 minutes means 8-12% more girls can get an education.
Women make a majority of decisions surround water in their home, but typically are left out of the planning of infrastructure. Water projects that involve woman leadership are proven 6 to 7 times more likely to succeed.
World Water Day is a UN observance day to highlight the importance of access to freshwater and freshwater management, and in Guatemala where rural access is at only 87%, it seems even more important to share it's intersectionalities. For many it seems a bit crazy that the mere task of getting what flows so freely from our taps could interfere with caring for our families, going to work, and getting an education. But for millions of women around the world, it's a reality. In a region where tap water is not potable, we are fortunate to be able to empower women in the workforce and provide a better future for themselves and their families.