How the women of An-Oston became key drivers for improving livelihood by initiating drinking water supply infrastructure and community based water management

Implementing the right to water in An-Oston, Kyrgyzstan – a film!

Kyrgyzstan is a beautiful country with high mountains and gorgeous landscapes where horses still run freely. Most of the population is living in rural areas, with 70% of the country located above 1500 m of altitude, in very harsh conditions. Water often has to be pumped from a fountain in the street and collected wood is the main fuel for heating and cooking. These daily burdens rely mostly on women, who have to fight hard to improve their living conditions. As in many rural villages, the water supply system in the village of An-Oston was in awful condition. Out of a total 33 taps, only 6 were functional. Drinking water from these few taps was only available for 2 hours per day, one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon, creating long queues and tiresome unproductive waiting periods.

Discover in this film how the Kyrgyz Alliance for Water and Sanitation (KAWS) and WECF supported the women of the village of An-Oston, in Kyrgyzstan, to rehabilitate not only the old dilapidated water network, but also set up a committee of water users providing local water management, including the collection of fees and network maintenance, and finally introducing wastewater treatment solutions.

Together with WECF and local partner, Kyrgyz Alliance for Water and Sanitation (KAWS), the women of An Oston initiated the renovation of the water distribution system in the village, bringing safe drinking water into each household, and creating a water users village committee (CDWUU) to ensure sustainable water management for a safe future. With the support of the Artois Picardie Water Agency, the Water fund of the community of communes of the Pays de St Omer and several international foundations such as Natracare, WECF and KAWS enabled the connection of more than 300 households with water improving the health situation in An-Oston.

“Water is not our biggest sorrow anymore”, shared a villager.

Young parents are moving back into the village, now that there is drinking water. Water use has increased, some families even have installed washing machines. Over the past years WECF and KAWS helped 1700 men and women in An-Oston to access safe drinking water, 7 days a week, while at the same time affirming women’s rights and role in the process. We are proud of the achieved results and will continue working with An-Oston inhabitants for a gender-just, sustainable future.

The film ” Implementing the Right to Water in An-Oston, a participatory and gender-just approach” is also available in French.