What you walk 2 miles a day for?
There are a lot of things people will walk 2 miles a day for. For some of us (like me) who "ride" a desk during the day, I'd walk two miles a day on a treadmill for my health. For others, maybe it's a walk to the bus, or to school and back. Until recently for the women of Narmada, it wasn't a question of what they wanted to walk 2 miles a day for, every day without question the women (and sometimes children too) walked two miles a day for the family's drinking water.
This week the temperatures in Meerwada are over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (~ 38 degrees Celcius) The sun is blazing and there is little relief; no air conditioned rooms, no ice, hardly any fans. Yet every day they made this treck without complaint because it was required for their survival.
I'm excited about this post because I'm using the past tense, it was, their daily reality. Thanks to their solar microgrid and the entrepreneurial spirit of two residents there is no need to walk for water. There are two pumps in the town center that provide enough drinking water for people and cattle. The two residents invested in the pumps as a business and each resident pays a nominal fee to use the pump for a specified amount of time. Without the solar microgrid, this endeavor would not have been possible. Diesel powered pumps are noisy and give off fumes that make having them in the town center unbearable.
This frees up time to do other things and is an increase in the economy of Meerwada. First light, then fans, later a television and now a water pump. I can't wait to see what's next! We recently posted "What would you do with 4 Hours a day?" about the amount of time women in developing countries spend gathering firewood. Next we'll find out what the women of Meerwada are doing with the time they used to spend trekking for water.
Do you have questions about Meerwada? Ask us and we'll get your answer. This blog is about sharing the journey!