WaterAid/Nyani Quarmyne/ Panos

WaterAid, together with the HSBC Water Programme, are working to provide clean water and sanitation to communities living in rural Ghana. The accessibility of clean water is empowering women to join the workforce and start their own business, which is driving entrepreneurship and contributing to gender equality. 

Vida, 32, is an entrepreneur and mother of two, living in the community of Pobaga in the Upper East Region of Ghana. Vida runs a small business called Batik Tie & Dye, through which she hand makes batik (dyed cloth which has been made using melted wax) and later sells it at a local market.  A new water kiosk installed by WaterAid near her home has allowed her business to thrive. 

Vida’s business requires a lot of water use; she needs around ten buckets each day in order to produce the batik fabric. Before the water kiosk was installed, access to clean water was very limited and Vida could only produce around two batiks per day. She had to fetch water from long distances from expensive vendors. With each day consumed with the task of fetching water, Vida struggled for time to work, prepare meals, and spend time with her family.

With vital support from the HSBC Water Programme, WaterAid and local partner Rural Aid installed a water kiosk close to Vida’s home, meaning she no longer has to travel long distances to fetch water. Instead of buying water from vendors at 60 pesewas per bucket (around £10), community members now pay 20 pesewas per bucket (around £3) which goes towards the maintenance of the water kiosk.

Vida said “as I need up to 10 buckets of water for my work, it took up almost the whole day to collect water. But now that the water kiosk is close, it takes me under an hour to collect my 10 buckets.” Vida can now produce more batiks each day to sell, allowing her to support her family even better. 

WaterAid/Nyani Quarmyne/ Panos

Vida doesn’t just want to use her business to increase her own income; she wants to train other women in her community to make batik as well. Vida said “there are lots of girls in this community that have dropped out of school or do not have any skills. I want to be able to train them in batik-making too, so they can have something to support their families.”

 

WaterAid/Nyani Quarmyne/ Panos

Over the past five years, WaterAid and HSBC have worked together to transform lives in six countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Ghana and Nigeria. Together, we have reached 1.65 million people with safe water and 2.5 million people with sanitation and hygiene.

Find out more about WaterAid’s work in partnership with HSBC.

 

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