Since 2015, Dabane has managed to build community resilience in the Shake catchment area in Gwanda district through improved water and land management to enhance water availability and food security. The training offered to community members by Dabane has enlightened men, women, boys and girls on the need to share household duties.
According to the baseline survey that was carried out in 2015, women were the major collectors of water for both domestic and productive purposes. They travelled long distances in search of clean, potable water and this deterred them from engaging in productive income generating activities that could have enabled them to pay school fees for their children.
In 2016-17, an Action World Solidarity funded, “Resilience to the effects of Climate Change through IWRM in Southern Zimbabwe” project conducted training in water governance, Community Based Management and leadership for men and women in wards 2,3 and 4 Gwanda district to promote the recognition of the drudgery of water collection and transportation at household level and how it limited women’s efforts to engage in income generation activities. The training also sought to promote the reduction of water collection activities through promoting shared responsibility between men and women.
As a result of the project, men and women now actively participate in water collection, transportation and management at household level. Men now recognise how water collection overburdens women and restricts them from effectively contributing to income at household level.
“The training enabled us to understand how activities such as water collection overburdened and restricted our wives from engaging in activities that economically empower. This encouraged us to start working with them in water collection and transportation”, testified Ndlovu, GB1 Senior Village Head.
The shared responsibility of water collection has freed women’s time and has enabled them to engage in income generation activities such as poultry rearing, baking and samosa making. The income generated has enabled women to engage in Internal Savings and Lending Schemes (ISALS) that have promoted purchasing of household utensils and productive assets. Access to income has strengthened women’s decision-making skills at household level. Women are now able to make decision on how income is used as compared to the past where men were the decision makers.