Improving access to water can reduce gender-based violence

Improving access to water can reduce gender-based violence
Improving access to water can reduce gender-based violence in communities. Lack of access to water exposes many women and young girls to gender based violence as they strive to address water challenges. In a recent visit to Jambawe Village, Group village Mtata in Traditional Authority Tombindiya in Mulanje, Habitat for Humanity Malawi was following up with the community to appreciate the impact of a borehole drilled in the community in July 2022 with funding from Gales family from the United States of America.
Whilst many were appreciating how the water point has increased access to water in the area, Mai Margret, a divorced woman broke-out and revealed that her marriage would not have ended if the water point was provided a year ago. She narrates her sad story and states that when the village had no access to portable water, they used to fetch water from the unprotected shallow well which didn’t have enough yield particularly in the dry season. On that fateful day, she went to the draw water from the shallow well around 7oclock in the morning and found a long queue at the well and waited there until she accessed the water and returned home around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. When she returned home, her husband misinterpreted her long stay at the well for her having an affair and divorced her immediately. Today Margaret is a divorcee and she has 4 kids. She concludes narrating her story by claiming that the improved to access to water is helping build stronger marriages in the area.
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Habitat for Humanity Malawi, with funding from Gales Family and US affiliates are providing an integrated approach to housing and water solutions to the most vulnerable hard to reach communities in Mulanje. Since 2009, Habitat for Humanity Malawi has supported over 300 most vulnerable poor families with decent housing and supported worst communities lacking water with 5 new boreholes and rehabilitated 12 boreholes.