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Individual Water Transport

In the most basic of systems, people simply walk to a source and carry water back to their homes. This ancient distribution system is still common in the developing world because it is free and needs no infrastructure.

These systems have a major impact on the people, nearly always women, tasked with transporting water. Providing water in this manner is physically taxing and very time consuming—it may take several hours each day.

The average woman or girl in a developing nation walks six kilometers a day to retrieve water. A typical 20 liter water container weighs some 20 kilograms—the equivalent of the standard airport luggage allowance. The burden of such a weight, commonly carried on the head, back or hip, often has severe health implications.

This time-consuming responsibility also robs many women and girls of the opportunity for education, earning a livelihood, and other initiatives that could allow them to break the cycle of poverty so common in this type of community.

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