WaduLink: Empowering women who protect the river

Wadulink: Empowering women who protect the river

Women take action for a clean river

Women along the Brantas River want a clean and healthy river. They monitor the pollution, fight the waste in the river with zero waste initiatives and develop green initiatives to protect the riverbanks. In the AksiBrantas project, we work on empowering these women and their green initiatives, so that they have more say in the management of the river.

Upscaling green initiatives on riverbanks

One such inspirational initiative is from Wadulink (Women Care for the Environment): a group of women from Sumengko, who have united because they want to protect the riverbanks by using them as public green areas. They manage botanic gardens on the riverbanks that prevent those spaces from being used as waste dump sites and that enhance biodiversity. The garden also helps them meet their food needs. Some women use the harvest to make healthy snacks and herbal drinks for local sale, such as prawn crackers from the moringa plant (kelor).

Towards a gender-sensitive community participation approach

AksiBrantas aims to strengthen community participation in policies related to water quality protection, waste management and biodiversity conservation, especially at the village level and in river basin platforms (TKPSDA-Brantas). We work towards a joint approach to make the way in which the Brantas River is governed more inclusive for communities, so that they can actively participate in the above-mentioned policy processes.

To ensure that women are not left behind, this approach is being developed with forerunners from Koalisi Perempuan Brantas (Brantas Women Alliance): a movement of women’s groups that protect the river with waste banks and waste bins for diapers, and green initiatives. The forerunners are experienced in participating in village meetings and have inspiring activities in the field of water quality protection and biodiversity.

Voice for women in village councils

The AksiBrantas project includes a women empowerment program that aims for recognition by the village government of women. It includes training in public speaking and negotiating their interests, and scaling up green initiatives that contribute to biodiversity conservation and water quality protection.