2018 Water, Air and Food Winners

Food Category

 The Fish Farm Project

Aquaculture Farming: 345 Women’s Businesses


People and Planet Life Foundation (PPLF)

Rural Nigeria, near the urban centers of Enugu, Port-Harcourt, Abuja, Lagos

In this area, large families are common, often headed only by women who receive no external help. Before “The Fish Farm Project”, their main source of income was subsistence agriculture.

PPLF has shifted the local economy from subsistence agriculture to aquaculture, in particular fish farming. The organization educates local women to run this business independently and profitably.

Over 600 women have been trained, and 345 have established their own fish farms. In many cases, their household income has increased by 60%. Of these 345 women, 231 have scaled up their endeavors by establishing additional aquaculture businesses. A fish farm ‘micro-credit scheme’ developed in each community has generated income, providing loans to women for establishing other aquaculture businesses.

The next step is to scale up the project with a 10,000-capacity catfish farm for 200 women in nearby communities. The farm will also serve as an aquaculture learning center.

Air Category

Family Health Program

Healthy Homes – 745 Solar Ovens 



Wood-fueled stoves, common throughout Nicaragua, pollute household air, causing high levels of lung disease and other health problems, particularly among rural children and older people.

FUPROSOMUNIC has mobilized community groups to develop healthier lifestyles: constructing solar ovens and food dryers, as well as learning about nutrition, bio-intensive home gardening, water purification, child care, and other important topics. The solar ovens have diminished indoor air pollution considerably and lessened deforestation. Successive health improvements have followed from nutrition training and the gardening program. Some households’ income has also increased from selling surplus produce. The program has empowered participating women.

The program aims to offer workshops to more families, with a focus on solar ovens and food dryers, and bio-intensive home gardens. This training will empower Nicaraguan communities to improve their well-being, creating a ripple effect to inspire their neighbors and the broader society.

Water Category

Rainwater Harvesting

30,000 Well Systems


Trichur District, Kerala State, India

72% of district households rely on wells that dry up in the summer season. Mazhapolima took up the challenge of conserving winter monsoon rainwater in the wells.

Mazhapolima harvests rainwater runoff from rooftops during the rainy season. Households install a pipeline in the roof directly connected to a well/borehole where they store the water. This sustains them throughout the dry season. Using rainwater also avoids other common problems like coastal saline ingress and high iron content in open wells.

Participating households have found that ‘well recharging’ has put an end to water scarcity in the summer. The project has installed over 30,000 rainwater collection and well recharging systems. Mazhapolima is now busy installing new systems to meet growing demand.

Mazhapolima wishes to spread the good news throughout Kerala State, India, and the world. A WAFA Award can showcase this approach to relieve the growing global water crisis.

Youth Category

Water Explorer Program

 150,000+ litres saved


Ebomvini Primary School

Godloza, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

Periodic droughts devastate rural areas like Godloza where Ebomvini Primary School is located. Ebomvini School staff and students have teamed up to develop innovative solutions for water usage, conservation, and recycling. They have also educated the wider community on these solutions.

Within the school the students have developed innovative approaches to recycling grey water, upcycling waste, developing a permaculture garden, designing an ec0-brick pond, and even creating ec0-brick furniture. They have been active in all phases of their projects: design, execution, maintenance, and monitoring.

To educate the wider community, staff and students initiated a successful Water Festival, a regional first. Students created and operated colorful stands showing solutions to a range of water challenges, including usage auditing, filtration, permaculture techniques, wetland conservation, and “secret water” within plants. Complemented by music and dance, the festival drew 875 visitors from the 1200-person community.

Despite limited internet access, Embovini staff and students created 20 blogs and 10 challenges, including MYO (Make your Own) tippy taps, alien plant removal, growing indigenous pulses, permaculture gardening, and a vegetarian cook up. They spearheaded community projects like the Emzimkhuli River cleanup campaign and a water workshop for the Ray Nzkonyeni municipality. They also showcased their achievements at the Eskom Science Expo and the municipality headquarters.

To date, the initiative has saved over 150,000 liters of water, garnered 75 water-saving pledges, established a regular wetland cleanup campaign, created a permanent permaculture garden, and launched long-term water conservation projects like a bucket system.

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