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In developing countries, women spend over 200 million hours carrying water each day. This is a collosal waste of time. And up until now, it has been women who have shouldered the burden, and paid the price of this time.

The UN Children’s Agency stresses “that the opportunity cost of lack of access to water disproportionately falls on women.”

This is mostly because in many developing countries with limited access to water, while men spend the day in their traditional role – to persue job opportunities and provide for their families – women are left to travel the ususually vast distances to ensure the family has access to water for the day. It is staggering the amount of time this takes in remote areas with limited access to water. “When water is not on premises and needs to be collected, it’s our women and girls who are mostly paying with their time and lost opportunities.”, says UNICEF’s global head of Water, Sanitation and Hygine – Sanjay Wijesekera.

“Just imagine: 200 million hours is 8.3 million days, or over 22,800 years… it would be as if a woman started with her empty bucket in the Stone Age and didn’t arrive home until 2016…”

Perhaps ironically one year later in 2017, Kenyan woman Nzambi Matee founded Gjenge Makers – a recycle based company that upcycles plastic waste into bricks.

‘“Our product is almost five to seven times stronger than concrete,” said Matee, the founder of Nairobi-based Gjenge Makers, which transforms plastic waste into durable building materials.

“There is that waste they cannot process anymore; they cannot recycle. That is what we get,” Matee said, strolling past sacks of plastic waste.

These are high density polyethylene, used in milk and shampoo bottles; low density polyethylene, often used for bags for cerals or sandwiches; and polypropylene, used for ropes, flip-top lids and buckets.’

Women are arriving in force from this long walk back and bringing with them real ideas and solutions to some of the problems in the world today, and Plastics Pirate – along with our partners Elemental Water Makers and ScarabTech – wish to join the fight, and hope to help speed the process along.  With safe water access made a reality with the potential for desalination plants established in villages wherever we land, and vast opportunities for costal communities involved in plastic waste recycling – we hope to enable better use of that time and opportunity, and bridge the gap of equality in opportunity, wherever we find it.

To read more about Nzambi Matee, and Gjenge Makers, click on the link below: