Can you imagine what it must be like not being able to turn on the tap and have clean running water? For millions of people around the world that is the norm. Today is the UN World Water Day and the theme is groundwater, making the invisible visible. We are mostly unaware of groundwater as it is under our feet and underground, but aquifers are fed by ground water and in areas that have drought it is even more important to keep the aquifers replenished. In rural Kenya the weather is unreliable and often goes from drought to flooding. Most people get their water from bore holes or wells, which tap into the aquifers. According to The Sphere Project, which is a Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response, the minimum amount of water necessary for drinking, hygiene and cooking is 15 litres per day per person. Admittedly this is in disaster response but it seems to be a tiny amount especially when you realise that modern washing machines use 50-70 litres per cycle!
In most rural areas in Western Kenya water is a very precious commodity. It has to be collected daily from local bore holes and it is mainly women and girls who undertake this responsibility early in the morning before school, carrying 20 litre jerry cans up to 1/2 a mile or more. Girls are disadvantaged in many different ways, society often see them as the home maker for whom education is not always considered necessary. As we are all aware this attitude is not specific to Kenya but the more girls that attend school regularly and achieve academic success the more these attitudes will change, which is why we are working so hard at Power Of Pads to be part of that change. Our aim is to keep girls in school, even if we can’t change the current cultural attitudes we can work together to reduce some of the inequalities that girls face.