Clean water is a rare resource in some regions in Mali. the weather can become extreme, with droughts alternating with flooding at increasing frequency. Rains are irregular, leading to poor harvests, rising food prices and food insecurity. When floods occur, roads are washed out and villages are cut off entirely from larger towns and the social services they offer.

The Senegal River is in close proximity to the community of Hawa-Dembaya, however, irrigation and professional water usage is barely known. People live in poverty and finding water is constant concern in many areas. Illnesses such as cholera can proliferate quickly when water is contaminated. Unclean, stagnant water can be a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Diarrhea, which is already one of the main factors of child death in Mali, it is an even greater threat.

In July 2018 Albatros Energy Mali conducted a socio-economic study to understand the most urgent needs of Hawa-Dembaya. It quickly materialised that the quality and supply of water was one of the most pressing issues. Certain infrastructure existed in the community, most of it badly maintained and very old. Some of the villages have not had water in 50-60 years.

Since 1952, the 200 inhabitants of this village had to walk long distances in very hot temperatures to get water.

Says the oldest man of Médinacoura Village

Almost all communities had to walk long distances to the river to cover their basic needs. Many of the public buildings (schools, health centers) did not have running water . To make drinking water accessible to the entire hawa-dembaya community, Albatros and its partners developed a water master plan for the area. The plan was based on the realization on of the need for new water infrastructures, the rehabilitation of existing ones, the implementation of a water quality assessment procedure and the setting up of a water access sustainability program. The Hawa-Dembaya municipality is composed of 10 villages located on both sides of the Senegal River and the goal was to provide the villages with the urgently needed clean water.


 To ensure sustainability of the water project the following measures have been taken:

  • A stock of critical spare parts has been obtained
  • A maintenance plan has been established with trained local artisans
  • A fee structure accepted by the villagers operational Water User Association solving conflicts and preparing investment decisions.

We no longer fear when our children are playing outside by the well. The water wells are now secured, and we’ve all been informed on the importance of sanitation around pumps, borehole and wells

Says Djeneba Coulibaly, a housewife of Seroumé Village

The first borehole in Medinacoura since 1952

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