Water Security Is Women's Empowerment! PRESENTED BY: CHINA FOUDATION FOR PROVERTY ALLEVIATION, XCMG, AND ERHA Collaboration Women are a very important part of every community, especially in rural Ethiopia, where women are most likely to have the task of fetching water. However, fetching water is a very tiresome and time consuming process that takes precious time away from women being able to do other domestic and agricultural activities, which could improve the livelihood of their households or generate income. Women's' role with water means they have a direct impact on households' livelihood and overall community's welfare. Unfortunately, many women in E. Africa are negatively affected by water insecurity, and women are the most detrimentally impacted by climate change and natural disasters. In Minjar-Shenkora Regional woreda- a dry arid region- in North Shoa zone of Amhara Regional State of Ethiopia, women everyday struggle to provide water for their families! Yleku Tedla, is a 60 year old woman who heads a household which includes her disabled husband, 3 sons, and 1 daughter. Yleku stated "After a hard time collecting water at the distant ponds, I would get exhausted, on top of that, I would also have to take care of my family and tend the fields." Women doing the strenuous task of fetching water, all while maintaining their gender role expectations in domestic and agricultural task, creates discord among the households between husband and wife, caused by disagreements on water fetching responsibility. Fasika Mola, a 25 year-old wife and mother of 2 states " Me and my husband would fight often over who would fetch the water, I would say, 'I need water!' and he would yell for me to fetch it." The Ethiopian Rainwater Harvesting Association along with Chinese Foundation for Poverty Alleviation, launched a project titled "Water Cellar Project"-which constructed rainwater harvesting cellars (RWH) on the property of 40 households. Special consideration was given to women and women headed households. This large project which directly benefits 240 residents, greatly reduces the burden of many women and promotes a better livelihood. Now many women say they have more time to engage in income generating activities like using the RWH cellars for small scale irrigation. Yeleku stated " I planted a peper, papya, and geshu garden near my house. I use this water cellar for irrigation." Yeleku continues "This technology for a person my age is good for me. I will call my two youngest sons for maintenance if needed" Fasika mentioned " The price to buy water from town is 1 birr per jerrycan, to transport the jerrycan is 5 birr. With a total of 8 jerrycans it becomes expensive for me. Having this water cellar saves me money and time and helps keep harmony in the house."