Women Are Water Warriors

Sept. 18, 2019 Women Big Barrels . TW.png

Last year’s Day Zero scare, when Cape Town, South Africa’s taps nearly ran dry, captured the world’s attention and spurred conversations about the global scarcity of water. Now, even major cities like London are facing impending water shortages. For the first time, more people are beginning to consider what it might be like to live in a world where getting clean water isn’t as easy as turning on a faucet.

Unfortunately, too many families already know what that is like because they’ve never had access to clean water … ever.


Not long ago, I once stood on a hillside in Africa watching young women carrying water on their backs. I only watched part of their journey and can simply imagine how much further they had to walk.

As I’ve travelled the world, I’ve met many strong women and young girls like this, and I call them “water warriors.” These mothers take care of their home and children, plus they often spend hours a day collecting water for their families. And many are the main breadwinners for their household. Some wake up at 3 a.m. every day to make sure they can make the long trek to the nearest stream and be back before their children wake up!

Whoever you are, wherever you are, water is your human right.

- United Nations

Even after a woman walks hours to collect water, the heavy jerrycans she lugs back home are often filled with bacteria. And dirty water can completely break down a woman’s strength, safety, and her future.

Water Impacts Physical Strength

In order to collect water, women - and even children - have to be physically strong. A full, five-gallon jerrycan of water weighs around 40 pounds (18 kilograms), which is essentially like carrying a kindergartener for miles. And women with large families or crops to irrigate often have to carry even more.


This may be an easy task for a woman who is properly hydrated, doesn’t have any health issues, and is in her early 20s … but that’s not the case for the majority of women in impoverished countries. They’re dehydrated and malnourished. Some are elderly, or very young, and have to walk miles on rough terrain.

Water Impacts Safety

Lugging 40 pounds (18 kilograms) of water not only strains a woman’s health, but it also slows her down, making her vulnerable to attackers as she travels to and from a stream or river. Women are constantly at risk of being raped, robbed, or abused while they’re journeying for water. In some areas, women who have to walk through rugged wildernesses are in danger of being attacked by wild animals.

Water Impacts the Future

It’s clear that dirty water can put a woman’s physical safety in jeopardy. But it can also dismantle her future. Every moment a woman spends collecting water is one she’s not earning an income or learning a job skill. According to UNICEF, women and girls worldwide spend an average of 200 million hours collecting water every day — that’s over 22,800 years! Imagine if every hour a woman wastes walking for water, she was learning a trade instead!

I’ve seen the faces of women who have learned a trade and are finally able to pay for their children to go to school — an opportunity these women never had. Clean water is a gift that keeps on giving for generations!

{Written by Noel Yeatts}

Providing a Clean Choice

Finding water that will not cause death in the family is a challenge many people in Asia face. Many women and children are forced to walk hours a day to distant water sources, such as filthy ponds or lakes, and even then the water may be contaminated. Sometimes they know this may bring death and sickness to their families, but they have no other choice.

GFA World's clean water ministry is delivering safe, disease-free water to families across Asia through Jesus Wells. In 2018 alone, 4,712 Jesus Wells were drilled across the region. This clean drinking water is freely offered to all, regardless of religious or social backgrounds. Providing safe water is a practical way to show people - to show women - how much God loves and cares for them, and Jesus Wells can open the door for people to see the love and mercy of Christ.

One Jesus Well provides clean water for up to 300 people per day and can last 20 years. That's clean water for an entire village, as well as surrounding villages. This life-giving water helps rescue mothers, fathers and children from disease, poverty and death.

Jesus Wells are a wise investment that literally save lives. The cost per person served with clean water is less than $5 when given toward a well that provides water for 20 years.

There is no price tag on showing people the love of God!

Help provide clean water today!

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