“There were days when we would spend the night by the wells or in front of the only water tower that existed at the time just to get some drinking water. With all this, sometimes we couldn’t find any.”Ms. Assitan Coulibaly stated.
Lack of economic development, high population growth, progressive degradation of the livelihoods
of rural populations in line with environmental degradation, and intensified climate vulnerabilities over several decades in countries of the Sahel have contributed to rural exodus into cities. In Mali, these trends are exacerbated by the rise in the national population growth rate from 2.2 per cent in 1998
to 3.6 per cent according to the results of the 2009 census, with 5 per cent of the population living in the city of Bamako. There was a significant decline in the national rate of access to safe drinking water from 76 per cent in 2010 to 68 per cent in 2017 due to delays in investments in the water and sanitation sector.
Thus the Ministry of Energy and Water and UNDP, with funding from the India-UN Fund, constructed drinking water wells and related structures for pumping and distributing drinking water, that is, hydraulic systems, in the District of Bamako and surrounding areas, Sikasso and Segou. The project aimed to improve access to drinking water, thereby enhancing the health conditions of the Malian population in partnering regions. In total, the project built 6 hydraulic systems for 6 villages, including 19 drinking-water distribution points.
Project activities also included production of detailed engineering studies for the works; construction of the drinking water wells, fountains and solar-powered pumping stations; and community organization to facilitate good management of the physical structures built by the project.
“This is a hydraulic system consisting of a 15-cubic-metre tank on a 7-metre tower with panels to feed the pump into the drilling. There is also a small house that serves as a guardian’s lodge and a lamp post next to it that is used for light at night. Each system has 3 fountains, except in Dialakorobougou, which has 4.”M. Guindo, Technical Director of Hydraulic.
“After the hydraulic system was set up, we were trained, and we established a 10-member committee to ensure good management of the fountain.”Mr. Lamine Dembele from the Village Management Committee.
“We sell a can at 10 CFA francs and the barrel at 100 CFA francs, which is incredible today because before, the barrel was sold at 600 CFA francs.”Mr. Souleymane Diabate, a fountain maker.
“Where there’s water, there’s life. Now we have it at our disposal at all times; even at night we can use it easily and take a peaceful shower. The whole family is clean and healthy now.”Ms. Tenimba Coulibaly from Kouliniko.