MEDA receives grant for innovative water solution

A grant from Grand Challenges Explorations will enable MEDA to pursue an innovative water project with women in Ghana

November 27, 2013 | Web First
Mennonite Economic Development Associates
Waterloo, Ont.
Women in Ghana will benefit from the new water project.

Mennonite Economic Development Associates announced today that it is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. MEDA will pursue an innovative global health and development research project in Ghana, Water Catchment, Storage and Irrigation for Women.

Effective, affordable water catchment, storage and irrigation systems will help women in Ghana to extend their growing season and produce more food to feed their families. MEDA will test models that can be assembled with local available components and easily used by women from varying locations and agricultural yields. Commercial suppliers will offer demonstrations and introductory discounts to stimulate early adoption, strengthening both supply and demand.

If women farmers in Northern Ghana can raise food, specifically vegetables and legumes, during the dry season they can improve their families’ nutrition and earn income to buy supplemental food, cover health, education and household costs. With low-cost, appropriate and effective systems readily available, women farmers can harvest water during the rainy season, store it and use efficient yet simple irrigation mechanisms for dry season cultivation.

“This grant will allow us to bring our knowledge of providing irrigation solutions in Zambia, Afghanistan and elsewhere to Ghana, where we already have experience working with women in agriculture” says Rachel Hess, senior consultant/project manager for MEDA’s Women’s Economic Opportunities department. “It’s great to be recognized as a leader in providing global health and development initiatives and to use this research opportunity to truly make an impact.”

Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE) funds individuals worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. MEDA’s project is one of more than 80 Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11 grants announced today by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

To receive funding, MEDA and other Grand Challenges Explorations Round 11 winners demonstrated in a two-page online application a bold idea in one of five critical global heath and development topic areas that included development of the next generation condom, agriculture development, and neglected tropical diseases.

--Posted Nov. 27, 2013 

Women in Ghana will benefit from the new water project.

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Well done meda! May this project bear much fruit.

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