Lack of appropriate sanitation infrastructures, hygiene and awareness lead to illness and disease in rural villages.
The extreme poverty of Mali has a direct impact on the village’s sanitation and hygiene practices. This can lead to serious health consequences including infections such as diarrhea or parasitic infections. Our community-led efforts effectively address these issues as villagers themselves work to improve their water, sanitation and hygiene conditions.
Our 2020 Impact
Access to clean water is crucial for promoting longer life spans, lowering infectious diseases rates and reducing infant mortality. Through our Healthy Village Workshop program, our Health Councils meet together to address the village’s needs. They understand unclean water results in diarrhea-related illnesses, even death. The councils teach the villagers to purchase bleach and use it in their drinking wells to disinfect the water. They educate them on how to avoid contaminated water sources and maintain a healthy village environment.
In 2020, we are increasing our efforts to improve access to clean water by piloting a water filtration system on a well in the village of Kaban.
Over the decades, our Mali staff has worked closely with villagers to identify the best ways to improve waste management, reduce open defecation and promote healthy sanitation practices in their communities. We have partnered with community members in the Ouelessebougou region to build latrines in the villages and at our 12 partner schools. But the effect goes much farther than construction. The villagers, young and old, now have improved habits and see the positive results of good sanitation.
In addition to our efforts to educate village communities about the importance of good hygiene, we work with our 12 elementary partner schools to create clean environments where children learn how to take responsibility for their health. Our Education Councils collaborate with the school principals and teachers to determine solutions for their students, then they partner with our Mali staff to get support and resources. One of our projects is to provide handwashing stations for each of the schools. The school is responsible for providing the soap and training the students on how to properly wash their hands. Many families have reported that their children are in the habit of washing regularly and practice at home.
We also partner with villages to provide additional training and individual hand-washing stations for families to use at their compounds.
Improve Sanitation in Villages
Water scarcity and poor sanitation affects the vulnerable communities of Ouelessebougou. Ensuring a better quality of life in Mali involves reaching more people who lack accessibility and awareness. Together we can improve clean water solutions, sanitation and hygiene education for village families.