Construction of a water point by the Centre d’Echanges et de Ressources pour la Promotion des Actions Communautaires (CERPAC) for the indigenous women of the Mouala neighborhood in the Komono district.
In the Republic of Congo, in the district of Komono, the remoteness of water points is one more chore added to the long list of work done by rural and indigenous women. Collecting water is a daily burden that their families need for sanitation, hygiene, cooking, and thus for survival. They must therefore walk long distances to find water or sometimes pay exorbitant sums to obtain it. They are often confronted with multiple obstacles: sometimes they are chased away, or even brutalized when they are caught using water points that are supposed to be common to all. Indeed, the Teke and Ombamba ethnic groups, who are in the majority in the district, consider the indigenous people as inferior. Their “former slaves” do not have the right to drink from the same sources as their “former masters.
This is why cases of violence against indigenous people have been recorded around water points. This situation forces indigenous women to resort to undeveloped water sources, which expose households to waterborne diseases.
The Centre d’Echanges et de Ressources pour la Promotion des Actions Communautaires (CERPAC), having noticed this discrimination faced by the indigenous women of the Mouala neighborhood in the Komono district, initiated the project entitled “A water borehole for indigenous women of the Mouala neighborhood. The project was submitted to the call for proposals launched by XOESE in 2021 and was selected.
Through this project, indigenous women in the Mouala neighborhood of Komono District were able to access quality drinking water close to their homes. This has significantly reduced the rate of water-borne diseases in this community, lightened the heavy burden of household work, and significantly reduced the physical abuse of indigenous women at communal water points. As a result, they have more time to care for their families, work in the fields, and engage in other forms of activity.