Water for Tonoumassé


(1987) 28 minutes

During the long, dry season in the south of Togo, in West Africa, a woman’s day began at 1:00 a.m. with an eight-hour trek for water. Unbeknownst to her, the water so arduously collected was contaminated.

Water for Tonoumassé shows the efforts of a group of villagers to get clean water by drilling a well nearby. It chronicles the success of this project in which women played a key role. To the surprise of the village men, the women were capable of making decisions, handling money, and learning the mechanics of keeping the pump in working order. We share their joy as they celebrate when water pours forth.

By taking responsibility, these women have transformed daily life, both for themselves and their families. They are able to care for their children better, and have more time to grow food. This vivid example of a development project that works is an excellent resource for exploring issues relating to women’s roles in developing countries.

ADATE educational film award in Quebec; Golden Sheaf, Yorkton, Saskatchewan; finalist, American Film and Video Festival.

Broadcast on TV5.

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