- Founded in 1999
- Founding member of WfWP
- Mission: To promoting gender mainstreaming and holistic water management in the water sector in Sri Lanka
- Focus area: Sri Lanka
- Level: local and national
- Main themes: Integrated Water Resources Management and Women’s Empowerment
NetWwater (Network of Women Water Professionals) was created in 1999 as a forum for Sri Lankan women water professionals from all sectors and disciplines. Its creation was spurred by the realization that only two percent of Sri Lankan women participated in the World Water Vision Exercise leading up to the 2nd World Water Forum held in The Hague in 2000. NetWwater is committed to promoting gender mainstreaming and holistic water management in the water sector in Sri Lanka. NetWwater objectives include:
- capacity building, sensitization and management skills training for women water professionals;
- inter-generational equity and youth awareness programmes;
- the creation of an interface between women water professionals and communities for forging knowledge linkages; and
- the facilitation of Jala Hamuwa (water dialogues) to democratise governance by bringing together stakeholders and especially to facilitate women's voices for building awareness, decision making and common action.
NetWwater provides a forum for peer interaction, a medium for information exchange, a means of linking up with the mainly male decision makers and for the creation and implementation of gender-sensitive water projects in drinking water, agriculture and irrigation, river rehabilitation and water literacy.
The target of NetWwater activities is an experimentation with sustainable micro initiatives that have a catalytic impact in communities. As an Asian initiative, the NetWwater experience holds lessons for promoting other such initiatives in countries that face similar conditions. A strategic link up can lead to network building between women water professionals in both developing and developed countries.
Jalavahini - Program on Adaptation to Climate Change for women in Community based organizations
Jalavahini is a pioneer pilot initiative of NetWwater to empower women community leaders in rural Sri Lanka in climate resilient water resources management with support from a private sector partner. Sri Lanka oscillates between floods and droughts with extreme weather events taking a high toll on communities. High use of in organics, pesticides and weedicides in agriculture is compounded by leading to loss of soil fertility due to extreme events. The Jalavahini programs has led to a pilot project targeting year round supply of food from home gardens through eco-friendly organic agriculture. Jalavahini promotes user friendly simple techniques adapted for home gardens to be carried out through the dry seasons. Droughts are combated with simple irrigation techniques using buried pots. Drip lines made of empty bottles and saline tubes simulate expensive drip irrigation systems. Enhanced knowledge leads to selection of best crops and improves-post harvest management.
The Jalavahini programme builds capacity of women community leaders in climate change related resilience via a series of interactive training programmes. The capacity building activity introduces water friendly approaches in climate change adaptation. The programme provides livelihood security for communities especially female headed households. Up to date, 15 programmes trained 300 rural women leaders in 7 regions all over Sri Lanka on:
- Climate change adaptation and disaster risk resilience
- Enhanced food security through eco -friendly agriculture and Non-toxic home gardening
- The use of modern and appropriate water conservation and agriculture technologies
"Sanitation is a closed subject. Nobody wants to talk or complain about it and nobody is trying to promote a sustainable sanitation culture. Lonely Planet just said that Sri Lanka is the best place to travel but our toilet culture is bad. For example, in Down South we have sanitation apartheid because there are toilets only for foreigners." NetWwater founder Kusum Athukorala in W@W
For more information visit the NetWwater website: www.netwwater.org