CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — An average woman in Africa spends about 60 percent of her day fetching water for her household. The chore not only forces women to walk miles to the nearest water source—which is highly likely to be contaminated—but it also prevents them from using that time to pursue educational or job opportunities instead.
Providing better access to clean water, therefore, can result not only in improved health, but also in gender equality, according to Saran Kaba Jones, the founder and executive director of FACE Africa, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit dedicated to improving water quality in remote parts of the continent.
Our CEO Saran Kaba Jones was a panelist on the “Women in Africa” panel discussion today at the MIT Africa Innovate Conference 2014. Africa Innovate is an intimate showcase of the latest ideas and innovations in entrepreneurship, finance, healthcare, energy and education. The Women in Africa panel explored the expanding role of women in advancing growth and development across Africa and feature women leaders in both public and private sectors.
As the curtains came down on the 5th Annual WASH Gala, I scrambled around the various compartments of the Ball room, combing through crowds of people congregated in small groups chatting, taking pictures, being interviewed or networking. I was on a mission to find some very important people, and when I did, I rudely interrupted them, politely excusing them from whatever they were doing. They were members of the Host Committee and I needed them to take a group photo by the “selfie wall”.
What an incredible honor it was to be invited to speak at the London School of Economics Africa Business Summit where I served on a panel titled “Rethinking African Enterprise.” The Summit not only helped place Africa on the LSE road map but got commitment from the LSE to establish an Africa Center which will focus on dedicated research on African issues.
Huge & sincere thanks to everyone who attended and supported our 5th Annual WASH Gala on Saturday March 22nd at Pier 60! It was an incredible feeling to see such a diverse group of community-spirited people coming out in support of our work.
This is the last World Water Day before the 2015 Millennium Development Goal deadline. By 2015, the world was supposed to have halved the population of people living without safe water and sanitation. Although the water goal was met in 2012, much work remains to be done in ensuring that those who have water today will still have water tomorrow, as the sad truth is that many water systems fail within a few years of construction.
Our Kpor Town #Liberia project is 90% complete and today we made a trip to Foh Zohn, a neighboring town desperately in need of clean water. We spent about an hour walking to Foh Zohn and another 2 hours with the residents, learning about their clean water needs. It is clear that WASH remains fundamental to improving the quality of life for people in Liberia, ensuring tangible health and economic benefits and contributing to overall poverty reduction. My hope is that we can raise enough funds from our upcoming WASH Gala to make a difference here. -skj
USAID launched its first global Water and Development Strategy to refine and focus USAID’s approach to water programming. This five-year Strategy provides an increased focus on sustainability, scale and country selectivity, uses emerging science and technology and embraces partnerships for long-term impact.
"The future belongs to us, because we have taken charge of it. We have the commitment, we have the resourcefulness, and we have the strength of our people to share the dream across Africa of clean water for all.”
Can focusing all of our efforts and resources in one specific county make a tangible difference? We think so! Our newest initiative will work with local authorities, partners and government agencies to provide 100% clean water access to the entire county of Rivercess, one of the poorest and least developed counties in Liberia. Our goal is to construct 250 water access points by 2015 which will benefit over 60,000 residents in Rivercess County.