By Robin Wilding
In the predominantly rural country of Mali, where over 80 percent of the population lives in rural regions and only 50 percent of the people have limited access to potable water, Africare and the African Well Fund recently built and rehabilitated five wells. These wells pre-existed or were built in the Goundam and Dire circles of the Timbuktu region, in northern Mali where access to potable water is was limited to say the least.
The Africare Mali African Well Fund Project selected four deserving communities in which to build wells. These four communities serve 6,185 people.
"In my village we use to ask every household to pay $10 per week to install a water system in the village but it didn't work because people couldn't afford that amount, so we didn't have any choice than drinking untreated water from the river 3 kilometers away from the village. During dry seasons, we sink holes in the riverbed to get water to drink," said Sindibla Ag Mohamed Assaleck, president of the well committee in Timbaradjen.
This well project had three specific goals: to make clean water available; to reduce the overall rate of diarrhea and other water-borne diseases; and to train villagers to manage their wells.
The five wells were completed by December and began supplying potable water to the four communities. Each well had an average water-level depth of 2 meters and the wells themselves sunk safe depths of between 4 and 21.5 meters into the earth. Each community that received one of these life-savings wells formed a well management committee to ensure the on-going safety and security of the wells. In total 16 people (four people per committee) were trained in well management, maintenance and water treatment. While it's too early to conclude that diarrhea and water-borne diseases have been reduced, the safe potable water from the five installations will undoubtedly bring these problems into check, and with the on-going safety of the wells secured by their respective committees, water-security in the region is ensured.
"With this precious jewel that you constructed to us, that is behind us. Hope is restored in the village and you can see how women and men are happy today. We miss words to express our satisfaction in collaborating with Africare. Our especially thanks go to African Well Fund who has made this dream come true," said Assaleck.
To learn more about the Timbuktu Region Project, click here.