Located at Santika Hotel Pontianak, Gemawan Institute held a Workshop on the Progress of Land, Water, Women’s Life Program – Action Research in Water Resources Management with the theme Improving Women’s Groups Capacity in Water Resources Management. The activity which started on Saturday (06/07) was attended by community groups from Sambas and Ketapang, the government, partners from civil society and media.
Uray Endang Kusumajaya explained that this research program aimed to build the women’s groups capacity in water resources management through active involvement, empowerment and the participation of women and grassroots women’s groups. “Female community leaders who will be supported, empowered and equipped with knowledge and skills in monitoring their water resources quality, identify sources of pollution and the range of impacts on gender, health, economy and social in regard with water pollution,” added this man who is familiarly called Uray.
Uray regretted that the large potential of water resources in West Kalimantan has not been well managed. He believed that the indicator was a decrease in water quality caused by anthropogenic activities which have taken place from year to year. “The polluted water, notably, has an impact on women and children as the vulnerable groups which have made direct contacts to the water supply management in the households,” said the lecturer at one of the universities in Pontianak. Uray added that the risk of exposure that women received from polluted water was increasing because of their social and cultural roles in cooking, washing and bathing children.
This two-day activity was expected to be able to develop and strengthen multi-stakeholder networks which involved the established women’s groups as well as government agencies or other stakeholders. “Every session is expected to give a space for the participants to share stories since every area has its own experiences in managing water, “he explained again.
Uray also explained that there were several expected outputs from this activity. Firstly, the establishment of a multi-stakeholder forum in water resources management by prioritizing the active participation of women’s groups in West Kalimantan and communal women’s groups on land, water and livelihood issues. Secondly, women’s groups will have the ability to do the lobby and advocation to represent their communities in dialogue with stakeholders and decision makers in the public and private sectors. Thirdly, the emergence of sustainable assistance in regard with the space for women’s groups to discuss issues of water, health and gender. Fourthly, the existence of information and learning from each group regarding the action programs that have been held in their own areas.