Clean drinking water for 1.28 million people

On World Water Day: 38 municipalities in Mali benefit from significantly improved drinking water supply.

World Water Day on 22 March serves to remind people that clean water cannot be taken for granted. In Mali, for example, over 40 per cent of the population has no access to clean drinking water and only one in five has access to sanitation. This is also due to the fact that since 2002 the rural water supply in the West African country has been organised decentrally; however, the municipalities continue to lack the required knowledge and infrastructure.

The reliable supply of drinking water and sanitation is a key prerequisite for a country‚Äôs economic and social development. At the same time, functioning institutions and infrastructures contribute to a stable and peaceful situation. This is why the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH supports 38 partnering municipalities in rural regions in Mali in professionalising their drinking water supply and thereby making it more economically viable and efficient.

On behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the municipalities are given advice on strategies and concepts for improving water supply and sanitation. For instance, a standard service agreement for operating the water infrastructure has been developed. Moreover, mayors and councillors learn how water supply utilities and groups can be commissioned properly and transparently and how these services can be monitored.

A total of about 1.3 million people benefit from improved access to safe and affordable drinking water. In addition, 20 trainers have been trained in pump mechanics, generator maintenance and specific repair services. They pass on their know-how: a total of 1,200 people are being trained in the proper operation and repair of the systems to ensure a permanent and stable water supply.

More clean drinking water at socially acceptable rates also means that the municipal and state institutions can regain public trust. Access to improved basic services thus contributes to reducing poverty and improving living conditions.