Innovation in sanitation in the hands of women

New York, Mar 27 (EFE).- The crisis of drinkable water in a changing climate environment and sanitation gaps are accelerating the search for solutions in which the public and private sectors come together, along with innovation often linked to women’s ingenuity.

This was evident in the innovation panel organized by the FEMSA Foundation on Friday in New York, during a parallel event to the United Nations Water Conference held earlier in the week.

At the event, a memorandum of collaboration was signed between the World Meteorological Organization and the Inter-American Development Bank to better use sector indicators at a time complicated by climate change. Data indicators are one of the elements on which innovation is based.

This is one of the tasks undertaken by Gabriela Maldonado, head of the Research, Development, and Innovation Department of the Metropolitan Public Water and Sanitation Company.

In Quito, this Ecuadorian company has developed an innovative model that includes, for example, satellite images for leak identification. The company works on better measurement in parishes to account for water use.

Maldonado explained that women are the ones who best use the water resource, and therefore innovation and optimization projects focused on them allow for greater impact.

And women showed how to find solutions to daily problems caused by a lack of sanitation. Clara Ruiz presented her company Wayru Peru, which offers portable showers that do not need pipes or electricity.

The goal is to provide a hands-free shower experience for those who do not have a water network in their homes. The showers use less than 10 liters. The company has 30 permanent users and wants to reach 3,000 families by 2025 with a solution that saves the equivalent of 10 Olympic pools.

Jennifer Colpas, of the social company Baño Grato, has been bringing recycled plastic and modular design bathrooms to different communities for seven years that do not use water because they use a mixture of sawdust, lime, and ash.

This saves about 26,000 liters of water per person annually and organic waste can be used as fertilizer, closing the nutrient cycle. Baño Grato, funded by grants from private organizations, has reached 14,000 users. Its goal is to bring solutions to more communities faster and scale production.

Colpas explained that the bathroom incorporated a shower after conversations she had with women in rural communities who only opened up to talk to her about motherhood and menstruation when she shared her own insecurity when she lacked a bathroom.

The role of women was highlighted by all the entrepreneurs. Ruiz explained that they see women as the ones who attend their workshops and share their experiences. “They tell us that what they save on water, they use to buy food.” She added, “With these solutions, more time is given to themselves.”

Maldonado said that investing in projects for women “will bring us better returns.” EFE



Related Articles

Back to top button