Women’s Empowerment and the Continuing Impact of the Water and Development Alliance in Nigeria

Women wash at a borehole installed with Water and Development Alliance (WADA) support of the WOFAN project. Photo credit: WADA/Nigeria

“I stumbled across one of my village women—pregnant, with loads of wood on her head, coming from the farm, some livestock—and I stopped to chat with her. And she told me the life of a woman is nothing more than being subservient to a man, give birth, get pregnant, and that is it until God takes your life.”

This exchange inspired Salamatu Garba to create the Women Farmers Alliance Network (WOFAN) an organization which seeks to sustainably improve the quality of life for Nigeria’s rural women, and empower entire communities with improved water and sanitation management. Garba is the Executive Director of WOFAN.

In this Global Waters Radio podcast, Garba explores the continued impact of WOFAN and the Water Development Alliance (WADA)’s work in Nigerian communities.

Their approach is to both provide infrastructure and change behavior in communities to improve health outcomes and advance women’s empowerment.

In 2007, she teamed up with WADA to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure in Nigeria. The project successfully implemented latrines and handwashing stations that benefited more than 33,000 people.

The project’s community-centered design has bolstered its sustainability. Today, 80 percent of the facilities created by the WADA project are still in use. WADA and WOFAN’s work, according to Garba, have contributed to the advancement of women’s empowerment in the area.

Interested in hearing more about Garba’s work, or learning about WOFAN’s continuing programming? To listen to the podcast, click here.