From the Shallow to Deep – Who takes the lead?

Women, Water and Leadership: A Conference for the Asia & the Pacific
Women, Power and Disempowerment Community Women Mobilizing

Lalitha Nanamearchchi Manager, Bisowella Rural Water Supply Scheme Galigamuwa, Sri Lanka
The views expressed in this paper are the views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), or its Board of Governors, or the governments they represent. ADB does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequence of their use. The countries listed in this paper do not imply any view on ADB's part as to sovereignty or independent status or necessarily conform to ADB's terminology.

Bisowella is situated near to the Kegalle town (Only 4 Km from the town center)
Rambukkana Warakapola Kegalle Mawanella



Bulathkohupitiya Yatiyantota

Bisowella Rural Water Supply Scheme




But no drinking water facilities within the village water for domestic purposes (average over 500m to water sources).

In 1999 Asian Development Bank Assisted 3rd Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Project, construction of water supply and sanitation facilities.
 Pumping water supply scheme  Three small gravity water supply schemes  Five public wells  Seven private wells  Nine rainwater tanks  179 sanitary toilets

Negative reaction from village men who had no confidence in women capability “these are not things women can do they had better stay at home.” But much encouragement and support from project staff Most small group leaders are women. There are 146 CBOs, 105 have no women at all. The breakdown of female participation in the balance 41 is as follows 12 presidents, 16 secretaries, 13 treasurers.

Elected as Secretary 2000 and then as Manager in 2005 Secretary to the District CBO network/ Divisional CBO Network (146 CBO) Award by NWSDB as Best Manager of CBO water projects in 2006

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Support of family critical for success Support from community women ,winning their confidence Linking with external supportive organizations Willing to learn new skills

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Use all opportunities for networking Constantly update knowledge and skills Be a good listener

Project staff must be encouraged to promote community women and listen to their views. Create situations where women can come for meetings and can speak freely. More training and capacity building programs should be organized specially focusing on young women. Involvement of women in project activities - shramadana work, environment and health promotion activities must be encouraged. Networking with other NGOs, CBOs and government institutions to learn from each other and for mutual support. Supporting women for livelihood activities with the funds accrued in CBOs.


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