Plans for Mali: 2006-2011
Sanitary latrines in schools ensure that children do not have to miss school due to illness caused by poor sanitation and hygiene.
Credit: WaterAid/Jules Acton
A new strategy running from 2006 - 2011 sets out the plans and activities for this period. To ensure the success of these projects WaterAid will investigate key issues and problems that prevent poor people from accessing water and sanitation services in both urban and rural areas.
In urban areas work will focus on informal settlements, which are growing as increasing numbers of poor people move into towns and cities looking for work. Typically these areas are without any essential services like water and sanitation.
Work with 7 local partners to directly provide 82,000 and 40,000 indirectly poor urban and rural people with sustainable access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene practices by 2011
Increase the capacity of local governments to achieve the Millennium Development Goals
Build alliances and partnerships to influence policies for the poor to access safe water, hygiene and adequate sanitation services through advocacy work and better consultation
Increase in-country funding to £400,000 annually by 2011
Increase its ability to manage growth and change effectively
Future projects will also look at the issue of water resource management to ensure that water is used and managed in a sustainable way.
Mali faces massive challenges to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), targets agreed by all governments of halving the proportions of people without access to water and sanitation between 1990 and 2015.
Both targets are off-track - with sanitation lagging way behind. The monthly number of people gaining access to water needs to increase by 130 percent while the number gaining access to sanitation needs to increase by 950 percent each month to reach the MDGs.
To achieve this, annual spending needs to increase by $44.8 million. Currently over 80 percent of available funds come from external donors and so WaterAid is lobbying the Malian Government and decision makers to prioritize water and sanitation so that more money is available through the national budget.
As some communities have higher levels of access to water and sanitation than others the issues of equity are also crucial. Water needs to be made available to the poor as well as the rich and financial resources must be allocated so that all regions can enjoy the same levels of service.
The responsibility for water and sanitation is being decentralized to local governments and while this does have the potential to improve the targeting of new investments and the sustainability of supplies - they currently lack the resources and the technical skills to carry out this crucial role.
Therefore, to help reach the MDGs the targets are being localized with each local government working towards providing specific numbers of people with water and sanitation every year in their area to reach the 2015 goal.
To help achieve this, WaterAid will expand to work in 20 local government areas, where it will work with partner organizations and support local governments in their new responsibilities to help them plan, coordinate and implement projects effectively.
WaterAid's advocacy work will also continue to grow. To date, as well as building networks and relationships within the West Africa Water Initiative and other international partner non governmental organizations (NGOs), WaterAid has formed a coalition with national NGOs and local communities to have a stronger voice on water and sanitation issues.
The Malian Government has been extremely supportive of WaterAid's work and it is hoped in the future that its project and advocacy work will help influence national policies to ensure that one day everyone gains access to safe water and sanitation.
"I love my work. Doing this means our whole community is progressing. Before we had so many difficulties in getting access to water. The women of the village used to suffer enormously. Many of our wells would dry up in the hot seasons. When this happened we either had to buy water from the vendors or the women and children would spend the whole day collecting water.
Now we are free. We have time to do the housework, cleaning and also small business. Now Nafadji women can go out first thing in the morning to go to market and sell things. Some women sell vegetables and some make soap to sell."