NEW DELHI – Day in and day out millions of women and young girls living in poverty stricken areas without direct access to water, are forced to carry heavy jugs of water on foot from the river to their home, often times having to walk for miles, all the while balancing these heavy jugs on their heads or their shoulders.
Thanks to a very simplistic but ingenious invention, these women and girls can now haul water from the rivers or wells to their homes with little effort.
The ‘WaterWheel’, capable of holding up to 16 gallons of water and made of durable plastic, is the answer to making the grueling laboring task of getting water from the river much easier.
The giant wheel is pulled or pushed about by a metal bar that connects to a smaller wheel that rotates by itself inside the water wheel.
Almost effortlessly, woman can now bring much needed water to their homes with relative ease, even if the landscape is rugged. What’s more, the water wheel holds enough water to last an entire day. The women or young girls are no longer required to having to make several trips to and from the well or river every day.
The women in Rajahstan, India are already using the WaterWheel and rave about the ease with which they can now bring water home from the river without straining their backs or their necks and without being worried about spilling most of the water by the time they get home.
Cynthia Koening, founder of the social company Wello, which looks for ways to bring clean water to poor communities with greater ease, invented the WaterWheel and says she’s hopefull that 10,000 to 20,000 women and young girls will get a WaterWheel each year.
Hauling water is a woman’s job in the poor underdeveloped nations. Yet Koening says she was surprised how positive men reacted to the invention.
“The men love it, they use it as a work tool,” Koening said. “We noticed that men are now hauling water too. Four days per week they’ll go and the women will use the WaterWheel the rest of the week.”
How the WaterWheel is changing lives:
Koening tells the story of a nurse who always arrived late at her job because she had to draw water from the river each morning before going to work and carry it home on her shoulders. But since she got the WaterWheel she hasn’t been late once because her husband has offered to get the water from the river every day now.
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