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Women Helping Women: The Wello WaterWheel


Women are wonderful repurposers. Ladies have an uncanny ability to transform old, seemingly useless items into helpful tools. One woman who's repurposing old barrels and moving mountains -- well, moving water, really -- is Cynthia Koenig.

Koenig, New Yorker and innovator, created the Wello WaterWheel. The WaterWheel is a barrel outfitted with a handle. The Wheel allows a village's water collector (traditionally women and children) to roll the barrel, which can hold up to 25 gallons of water, back to town. This method of collection is less tiresome on the water collector's body, and cuts down on water retrieval time.

According to the organization, "millions of women and children in the developing world spend untold hours daily, collecting water from distant, often polluted sources, then return to their villages carrying their filled 40 pound jerry cans on their backs. And though women are responsible for the majority of food production in their villages, their productivity is severely limited by this constant struggle."

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From the Organic Authority Files

Women and girls spend about 25 percent of their time each day collecting water. This time could be spent on earning an education (

The Wello WaterWheel could do wonders for women collecting water in developing nations. Also, future WaterWheel models may come with these awesome, sustainable adaptations:

  • Filtration device
  • Drip irrigation kits
  • A charger (as the water churns, the electricity is produced)

Pretty nifty, huh? A woman helping women become efficient, educated and engaged.

image: magnusfranklin

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