Hope for the youth of Mahaiza
WaterAid’s partner SAF FJKM has been working in the Mahaiza province since 2005 to implement water infrastructure including family and school latrines. They have hygiene education programs in and outside schools and teach people how to make tippy taps.
They also have an advocacy program where they collaborate with the communes (local government). They have established a local law about hygiene with the local communes and animators (people who facilitate the changes).
The community contributed to the project by providing materials such as rocks and wood for the construction and also by contributing their labor.
I think the clean water and the latrines will bring new opportunities
to the village and young people especially – because we have seen
that it’s possible to make big changes.
Jean-Charles Razafindrakoto, who is sixteen years old, has lived in the
village his whole life. He lives with his father, mother and eleven
year old younger brother. He used to attend school in the past but
does not do so anymore as his
parents cannot afford it. He notes that he used to enjoy attending
He notes that his family used to have a hard time
before the new water point was installed because they had to walk far
away to fetch water. Now that they have a nearby water source, it is
easy to fetch water even late at night.
Ready access to clean water has allowed Razanakolona to grow vegetables in her kitchen garden.
He recollects, “My
mother takes care of the house. I work here and there. My younger
brother is the one who is in charge of fetching water. I work in the
fields – planting potatoes, sweet potatoes and things like that. My
brother is very happy now the water is close to our home and even our
health is getting so much better now we have clean water.
used to have very bad stomach disease. It was very painful, we couldn’t
go to school – we had to stay in bed for a week at a time. My dad used
to get the medicine – I don’t know how much it cost – because my mum
was often sick too. My mother is much better now – sometimes she is ill
but it’s not connected to the water.
“My brother has to wake
up very early in the morning to fetch water before school for preparing
food. When he comes back he fetches more water for general use.
were happy when we heard that the clean water was coming. We didn’t
have to pay anything, we just had to help the partners to build the
Jean-Charles continues that in the past his main
concern was his own health and that of his family, and after the
tapstands were installed, they have all enjoyed good health. He
continues his explanation of how life has changed since SAF FJKM has
been working with his community:
“I have a latrine near my
house. It’s made of brick. To build the walls only took two days. We
had one mason, someone to help get the water and one person to mix the
cement. We used to have to go far away to go to the toilet because
there is no real forest here. We had to always go with someone when it
was night time. The first time I used our new latrine, I was so happy
that I didn’t have to go far away.
“All the people who got new
latrines gathered and received a hygiene lesson. The people who
received latrines were the ones who volunteered for them – we didn’t
have to pay, we were just taught how to build it. The other people just
didn’t want them.
“We were taught to clean everything before
leaving the latrine and to wash our hands. We were also taught to use
the water in the plastic bottle. It wasn’t difficult for the technician
to teach us this stuff, but some people still just don’t want to do it.
I try and convince people that it’s important but there are more of
them – and they try and tell me that I’m doing a bad thing! But I
wouldn’t go back to the forest – no way! I really enjoy using my
latrine near my house.
“I think the clean water and the
latrines will bring new opportunities to the village and young people
especially – because now we have seen that it’s possible to make big
Nearby safe water sources allow children more time for attending school and other activities.
WaterAid and its partner organization have been working with communities in Nefadji, an area in the capital city Bamako, to set up safe water supplies. Having a ready supply of clean and safe water has greatly benefited the women and children who are mainly responsible for collecting water.
Read about WaterAid's work in Nafadji on our Mali page
The village community of Takkas in the Plateau state of Nigeria have
been greatly impacted by the water, sanitation and hygiene education
project WaterAid and its partner implemented in the community.
Read full story on our Nigeria page.