Rosemary is a Cameroonian Geologist and Gender Ambassador for the Gender and Water Alliance. She has over 20 years working experience in the field of water, sanitation, environmental education and training across Africa. She agreed to answer a few questions about her project idea “Women Environment and Climate Action Network (WECAN) Training Centre” located at the Kponkpo Village, Ga East Municipal Assembly Greater Accra Region of Ghana.
Rosemary work as the International Coordinator for the Pan African Climate Education (PACE) Centre and the Women Environment and Climate Action Network. The PACE Centre promotes climate education across African schools and communities to build their capacity to establish resilient communities and combat the impacts of Climate Change.
What’s your project idea about?
“The idea of the WECAN Training Centre is to build the capacity of grassroots women across Central and West Africa within the area of climate change mitigation and adaptation technologies. Many communities across Central and West Africa have been affected by droughts, floods, disease and other ills. As care givers and natural resources managers grassroots women can become very active agents of change and help lift their communities out of poverty and promote sustainable development by undertaking simple technologies that would help them fight the impact of climate change within their communities.”
“I have over 20 years working experience in the field of water, sanitation, environmental education and training across Africa. I did notice that although the HIV/AIDS issues in African communities is very serious, many women and children die from water and sanitation related diseases easily, something that can be avoided if the capacities of women can be built to undertake grassroots project within the area of clean development. Hence I have dedicated 20 years of my life to ensure that communities have access to clean and safe water and adequate sanitation, and women can become a very powerful agent of change. Hence to WECAN Training Centre is a permanent centre of excellence that would help communities across Africa have access to clean and safe water and adequate sanitation by undertaking capacity building in climate change adaptation and mitigation technologies. This includes construction of Ecological Sanitation toilets instead of the flying toilets (where people use plastic bags and throw in the bush), the use of improved stoves instead of firewood, rain water harvesting for household water security etc. I have worked with several international organization such as the National Coordinator for the Stockholm Junior Water Prize, Nigeria and Cameroon, Project Water Education for Teachers (WET) Cameroon etc and I have a membership in various women and gender organization such as Women’s Earth Alliance (WEA), Gender CC, Women for Climate Justice, Gender and Disaster Network etc.”
How can travel2change help you with this project?
“The WECAN Centre is based in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. We are very happy to receive voluntary travelers and any support from travel2change members and partners such as equipment, scholarships to train women, adopting a village or a community to ensure that they have access to clean and safe water and adequate sanitation etc. Whatever support possible, we shall be very grateful.”
How can you ensure sustainability for this project?
“We seek to make the WECAN Centre a self financing centre to ensure its sustainability through using the social enterprise approach. We work with local communities and various stakeholders across Africa and worldwide. For example, we have received a donation of a 10 acre land to build the centre from Ms Georgina Svanikier, the land owner. We are also seeking to sell products like solar cookers, water purification systems etc to make money that would be plough back into the system to ensure the sustainability of the project.”
Is there anything else you would like to share with the community?
“I also have a blog site called Go Green with Green Rosemary. I educate the masses about green life styles and sustainable livelihood. I am also working on a publication “Managing Small Green Business”. I was also one of the authors of Water Voices from around the work. I have written several environmental poems and songs and I work in collaboration with my mother, a retired teacher now 74 years old, who is also an environmentalist. Poet, playwright, musician, human rights activist etc.”
Thanks for telling us about the great work you do, Rosemary! We hope that you get lots of support for your project from our community members!
Want to help Rosemary and the WECAN project? Vote for her on http://www.travel2change.org/idea.php?id=31