Mali, the sustainable emergency of water !


Testimony of Mahamadou Ayouba Maiga, head of the “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene” program for SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL in Mali

Well of the village Zoueïne commune of Tilemsi in the circle of Goundam in Mali December 2021. @Solidarités International

I am a rural engineer and a graduate in “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene” humanitarian project management from the 2iE University in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. I recently joined SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL to take up the position of manager of the “WASH” program of the NGO in Mali. As part of this mission, I had the opportunity to coordinate and monitor the construction/rehabilitation of improved village water systems (VWS) in the Timbuktu and Segou regions of Mali. These projects are funded by the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA).

An IVHS is a rural water supply infrastructure for drinking water and water for animals. It usually consists of a borehole equipped with a pump, a power source (solar and/or electric), a reservoir, and a small distribution network via standpipes (and sometimes watering troughs for animals). To illustrate the relevance of the construction/rehabilitation of these systems in Mali, I will use a concrete example. The site of Boumodi, in the commune of Nampalari (less than 30 km from the Mauritanian border), is a village of about 1,500 inhabitants, most of whom are Peuhl and large-scale livestock breeders. Before SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL’s intervention, the village had only one large-diameter pastoral well to meet the population’s need for drinking water and watering animals.

The NGO carried out a pre-targeting mission of water points to be rehabilitated during which the EAH team noted the presence of a non-functional and abandoned well on the site. Given the size of the population and the number of livestock, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL decided, in agreement with the local authority, community leaders and the technical services of the water authority, to pre-select this structure. Blowing operations, pumping tests and bacteriological and physico-chemical analyses were carried out. The “PROVIDE A CONCRETE, EFFECTIVE AND SUSTAINABLE RESPONSE TO THE POPULATIONS AFFECTED BY THE CONFLICT IN MALI” Testimony of Mahamadou Ayouba Maiga, in charge of the “Water, Sanitation and Hygiene” program for SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL in Mali 22 WATER BAROMETER 2022 8th edition, March 2022 WATER BAROMETER 2022 8th edition, March 2022 23 CHALLENGES TO BE MET The results of the analyses and the technical characteristics of the borehole proved to be very appreciable (flow rate of 25 m3/h) and of sufficient quality to carry out a SHVA.

Domestic animals drink from the water tower built by Solidarités Internationale in the village of Elgar, commune of Alzounoub in the circle of Goundam, Mali, December 2021.@Solidarités International

SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL, in collaboration with its partners, has equipped the borehole with a solar pump, a water tower with a capacity of 20 m3, four standpipes and two rectangular troughs to meet the acute needs of the population and facilitate the watering of animals. Our organization also participated in the establishment of a management committee for this water point. The infrastructures are maintained in good condition thanks to regular and periodic maintenance. The method of payment established by the committee in a general assembly is respected by the users.

This intervention was possible thanks to the active collaboration of the direct and indirect beneficiaries as well as the mobilization of community leaders, the local community and local and regional technical services. A framework of collaboration and partnership made it possible to define the roles and responsibilities of each party in order to guarantee an effective intervention.

It should be noted, however, that SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL and its partners faced several challenges in this intervention. The first is related to the deteriorating security context: the commune of Nampalari is not far from the border with Mauritania and is often confronted with incursions by armed groups. Thanks to a close dialogue with the actors on the ground and the strength and anchoring of its local employees, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL was able to mitigate the security risks. We also had to deal with damaged roads, making it difficult to transport equipment and materials to Nampalari. However, we were able to reduce these constraints through advance planning and close collaboration with local contractors.

These efforts have provided a concrete, effective and sustainable response to the populations affected by the conflict in Mali.

Article published in the 2022 Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Barometer published by Solidarités International. 

Barometer 2022