Brewery Praised for Providing Clean Water in Communities

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Statistically, it has been established that there is an estimated 2.1 billion people who lack access to safe water and have the ability to pay for safe water.
The Sierra Leone Brewery as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility to the Wellington community where it operates has done so for communities including the Peacock Farm community which has been a great help to women and children.
Gender mainstreaming in the water sector could help to fix water issues and address the lack of gender parity. Empowering women to participate requires specific actions to reform policy, build capacity and fund these initiatives.
It is important for stakeholders and particularly policy makers, Government, multilaterals and other funders to invest in women by addressing the societal reforms needed — investing in training and capacity-building programs for women, providing equal access to resources, and supporting the continued building of an evidence base to look at water more directly and closely through the gender lens. When such actions are taken there is the possibility to realize an equitable solution to one of the most pressing global issues of our time.
Expanding safe water and women’s participation in its provision through small water enterprises — businesses that provide safe, reliable, affordable water to communities in need — increases economic opportunity for women, benefits communities and contributes to the health and well-being of families which is exactly what the Sierra Leone Brewery Limited has been doing .
Water scarcity poses ‘fundamental risk to stability,’ new report finds. Water scarcity can for example strain food production systems. When affordable and safe water supply exists in a community, women and girls have more time to engage in other activities, including education and employment. It opens avenues for greater income generation and a better quality of life, including better health and nutrition.
It takes an innovative corporate social responsibility initiative, combined with support from the proactive local administration, to enable women to be in charge of their own access to safe, affordable water.
Brewery’s provision of safe water to communities have greatly helped to reduce typhoid and other water-related diseases., less spending on medical expenses, overall improved health, more income saved for the family, improved quality of family life, more time for other household activities, improved financial situation at home, and improved life for the community. With the clean water provided by Brewery, the results are further amplified — with economic and societal benefits to families and communities where Brewery has extended the service to.
The solution to the water crisis in the Western Area and the entire country is not simple and along with the potential benefits, there are also challenges. Small water enterprises can play a significant role in improving women’s lives, but women have not been sufficiently “mainstreamed” in the water sector.
General, the challenges of safe water are nothing new to women around the world, particularly those in low- and middle-income countries. Women and girls disproportionately bear the burden of caring for their families and collecting water. In households without access to water on premises, women are responsible for 80 percent of water collection. Globally, women spend 200 million hours every day collecting water.
We know that women-owned SMEs face unique and significant hurdles in starting and growing their businesses across much of the world. Women are often shut out by financial institutions. Unfavourable business and regulatory environments, along with a lack of networks, knowledge, and links to high-value markets, further constrain female entrepreneurship.
More evidence is needed to understand the difficulties and challenges that women face with small water enterprises. However, it is known that these include cultural constraints, lack of role models, limited access to information and resources and a lack of training and technical skills.
Contributing positively to improve standards of living forms part of Brewery’s Corporate Social Responsibility and it is doing so commendably.

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