Tag Archives: Mali

WASH Debates – Sustainable WASH service delivery in fragile states: how far can you get?

What can actors in the WASH sector do to provide long-lasting and sustainable drinking water and sanitation services in the most fragile contexts? Should focus be on basic infrastructure delivery outside the state structures, knowing that conditions for ongoing service delivery would be weak? Should focus be on WASH systems strengthening, knowing that these systems are likely to remain weak? Should support go to the state, or rather to civil society organisations?

This edition of WASH Debates on “Sustainable WASH service delivery in fragile states” seeks to explore and discuss these questions on 20 November 2019 in The Hague, the Netherlands, from 17:00-18:30 CET.

Those unable to attend the WASH Debate in The Hague can follow the live stream on IRC’s Twitter page

Speakers include:

  • David De Armey, Director of International Partnerships at Water for Good, who supervises the organisation’s water sector partnerships in the Central African Republic
  • Dr. Afou Chantal Bengaly, Programme Manager at Wetlands International and lead of the Watershed empowering citizens programme in Mali
  • Ele Jan Saaf, founder and managing director of the Dutch consultancy company SaafConsult B.V and working for Wetlands International at the Watershed empowering citizens programme
  • Annette Rozendaal-Morón, policy officer at World Waternet, where she manages a team responsible for the Blue Deal Dji Don project in Mali, focusing on improving urban wastewater treatment.

For more information on the WASH Debate go to the IRC WASH website.

Global Waters: In Mali, Communities Take Health and Well-Being into their Own Hands

In Mali, Communities Take Health and Well-Being into their Own Hands. Global Waters, July 18, 2017.

In the center of Simaye village in Mali’s Mopti Region, men, women, and children gather under a large tree to listen. Two USAID-trained facilitators discuss the health challenges facing the village.

Tackling open defecation in communities is a starting point for improved health. Ensuring the drinking water sources are clean is another. USAID works with local artisans in communities like Anga to repair or rehabilitate artesian drilling, such as this one, as an incentive to become ODF-certified. Photo Credit: CARE Mali

Tackling open defecation in communities is a starting point for improved health. Ensuring the drinking water sources are clean is another. USAID works with local artisans in communities like Anga to repair or rehabilitate artesian drilling, such as this one, as an incentive to become ODF-certified. Photo Credit: CARE Mali

Only three latrines serve many families, so more than half of the people are practicing open defecation; the water point no longer functions, so most families are pulling dirty water from the river; many of the infants and young children are not benefitting from exclusive breastfeeding or a diversified diet, so they are malnourished.

Holding a glass of clear water and pointing to feces on the ground, the facilitators paint a clear picture of the health risks associated with leaving feces in the open — contaminated drinking sources, diarrheal disease, and poor outcomes for children and their families.

Their objective: to trigger a sense of disgust, a determination in the community to control their own health and well-being, and to set in motion plans and solutions to create open defecation free (ODF) communities through a process known as community-led total sanitation (CLTS).

Read the complete article.

Water and sanitation in health centres in Mali – podcast

Water and sanitation in health centres in Mali – podcast | Source: The Guardian, April 28, 2015 |

Lucy Lamble presents this edition of the Global development podcast, looking at how the lack of water and sanitation is affecting health centres in Mali. Just 20% of the country’s health facilities provide clean water.

Photo from WaterAid

Photo from WaterAid

She visits Diatoula, 15km south-east of Bamako, a community of 1,000 people which has one health centre, and hears from Nurse Vinima Baya about how they cope with the lack of water within the facility, with patients and their families gathering buckets of water from the village well.

At Kalabancoro town on the outskirts of Bamako, Lucy visits a clinic opened in 2013, which has done much to improve healthcare for local residents – but where staff still have to buy safe drinking water or ask patients to bring it in.

We hear from experts including Mamadou Diarafa Diallo, WaterAid’s country representative in Mali, and Maggie Montgomery, from WHO’s Water, Sanitation and Health unit, on the problems the country faces in improving access to safe water.

UNICEF – Hygiene education for a village in Mali


FADIEDA, Mali, 14 December 2009 – The village of Fadieda is at the forefront of a new pilot programme in Africa. It’s one of 15 villages selected by UNICEF and the Ministry of Environment and Sanitation to change the way it approaches sanitation.

VIDEO: Watch now

Until recently, the inhabitants of this village did not use latrines, a very common occurrence in Mali. About 61 per cent of the rural population does not have access to improved sanitation facilites, causing serious health issues, like diarrhoea or eye diseases.

To put an end to this practice, UNICEF and its partners chose an approach that relies on the people themselves and on community leaders such as Sho Traore.

Disease from poor hygiene

“People were very affected by diseases like diarrhoea and they didn’t realize that it was related to their hygiene practices until people came and explained the problem to us,” said Mr. Traore.

The villagers did not understand the problems associated with open air defecation until UNICEF and its partners arranged a graphic demonstration.  Putting excrement and everyday food close together so that the villagers could see how flies travelled from one to the other provoked a strong reaction and helped them realize where their diseases were coming from.

In less than a month, villagers had built no fewer than 40 latrines, and Fadieda has become the first village to receive ‘Open Air Defecation Free’ status.

Celebrating cleanliness

Villagers celebrated their achievement with a large ceremony. And the village now proudly displays a sign at its entrance: “Clean village, where good hygiene practices are the rule.”

“Villagers themselves have committed to building the latrines. It’s their own initiative and their own strength. No external funding has been brought in,” said Ministry of Health spokesperson Diarra Diadouba.

Since the construction of the latrines, diarrhoea cases have dropped in the village. Now, the community takes responsibility for its health and sanitation. It has also promoted handwashing with soap – a practice that can save lives.

A big surprise

“People were telling us ‘no, you can’t talk about poo with people in Mali, you can’t make them build their own equipment because they are too poor.’ But on the whole, we have had a really strong impact. In three months only, the coverage in latrines in the test villages went from 30 per cent to 100 per cent, and without any subsidy. This was a big surprise for us,” said UNICEF Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Manager Nicolas Osbert.

In the 15 pilot villages, 272 new latrines have been built and 95 have been rehabilitated. All latrines have been equipped with handwashing facilities.

Sho Traore will now has the task of spreading the news about good sanitation to other community leaders – the programme is being expanded to 175 other villages throughout Mali.

Source – http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/mali_52039.html

Mali – Sustainable Interventions Key for Schistosomiasis Control

Schistosomiasis is a parasitical disease spread by poor sanitation. It’s widespread and causes both acute and chronic injury. For decades, governments and donor nations have devoted countless dollars and hours to controlling this disease – mostly without success.

Epidemiologist Archie Clements from the University of Queensland in Australia wanted to know what works, what doesn’t and why. He looked at the example of control efforts in the West African country of Mali.

In the 1980s, the Malian government initiated a widespread program to control schistosomiasis. It repeated the program again between 2004 and 2006.

Clements examined data from both control efforts. He was able to create maps of the distribution of the disease before and after both programs and he found that the distribution of schistosomiasis after 2006 was similar to the distribution before the original 1980s control program.

“[This] suggests that even though that control program might have been very successful at reducing illness as a result of schistosomiasis in the population that they targeted, there has not been an ongoing effect in subsequent generations of Malians,” Clements says.

Read More – Voice of America

Mali: Raising money and hygiene standards

Women in one of the poorest areas of Mali’s capital, Bamako, have found a way to tackle hygiene issues and earn money at the same time – by making soap.

Djibril Coulibaly, Project Coordinator for JIGI, Mali. Photo: WaterAid.

Djibril Coulibaly, Project Coordinator for JIGI, Mali. Photo: WaterAid.

[…] “Hygiene standards in the Nafadji [slum] area of town were very very low, due to lack of infrastructure and because of ignorance,” Djibril Coulibaly, hygiene coordinator of Malian non-profit JIGI, told IRIN. “We carried out research that showed contaminated water and a lack of water were causing disease, but also that behaviours surrounding hand washing had an impact.”

JIGI (hope in the local language Bambara) has been collaborating with the international charity, WaterAid, for the last eight years to build public faucets and install household latrines in Nafadji.

But when JIGI began its hygiene education programme focused on hand washing [people said] “that they could not afford industrial soap, it was too expensive at 300 CFA [57 US cents].” Coulibaly added. “So we decided to work with a women’s group to look at the problem.”

[…] JIGI and WaterAid supported the Nfadji Women’s Association (AFSAN), a group of some 20 neighbourhood women, to set up a soap-making business in 2003. […] The number of soap pieces made per week has risen from 150 to 225, and demand is increasing, which has prompted plans to expand the business, said Coulibaly.

[Some] long-held traditional beliefs discouraged individual hand washing [for example that handwashing makes you poor]. [Therefore JIGI runs] weekly awareness meetings on washing hands with soap.

Source: IRIN, 26 Feb 2009

Mali’s water and sanitation champion

A jocular former paratrooper, Amadou Toumani Touré was once dubbed Mali’s “soldier of  democracy”, the man who ousted a dictator in a 1991 coup before organising elections and handing power to a civilian administration the following year. toure

He was elected president himself in 2002 and has since acquired a new title: he is, in the pantheon of world leaders, the biggest champion of clean water and functioning lavatories. That is what development workers call him and he describes it as a compliment.

“Water is life, as we say here, and sanitation and a clean environment are the basis of human development,” he says. “A poor man who is clean can become rich. But a rich man who is sick can easily become poor.”

In Mali, a parched west African country dominated by the Sahara desert, Mr Touré has made sanitation a focus of government policy and launched the first national version of a global charity campaign to “End Water Poverty”. But the harsh reality is that if there were a contest to put the most political muscle into promoting safe water and lavatories, he would face little competition from other heads of state.

Read More – Financial Times