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Bringing safe drinking water to Mali

In Mali, many children die before reaching the age of five. One of the main reasons is the lack of safe drinking water.

“Article 24” is a nine minute documentary about what we are doing to remedy this situation. Attention is focused on the role of children in spreading the message of good hygiene.

Our efforts are succeeding. The mortality rate for this group of young children has dropped from 23% to 19% (2005 2010).

-->> view 9 minutes documentary
A young girl speaks

"We, are very happy with the sanitary facilities you provided to us. We are well prepared to give good hygiene education in school, to our family and to the community. Our teachers and parents promise to use the facilities well."

- Participant in hygiene class.
2005 - 2009
A better future for 43,000 children

Providing Essentials for Children has led three projects in the regions of Gao and Mopti. As a result of our efforts, 43,000 children at 165 schools can drink clean water. Each school now has hygiene education and properly functioning toilets with separate facilities for boys and girls. Furthermore, the project has achieved:
  • 370 latrines have been installed or rehabilitated. Wells and hand-pumps have been installed and repaired.
  • 315 teachers have had lessons on hygiene.
  • In surrounding communities, local residents have been trained in the maintenance of their water supply and sanitary facilities.
The Guinea Worm causing deadly infections - is almost gone in the area. Recent data shows that in the first quarter of 2011 no cases have been reported.
At a glance

Life expectancy
Child mortality under 5 years
Child mortality under 1 year
Access to clean drinking water
Access to sanitation facilities
Boys that go to school
Girls that go to school

13.05 million
49 years
191 children per 1000 (218 in 2006-7)
101 children per 1000 (120 in 2006-7)
56% in 2008 (44% - rural)
36% in 2008 (32% rural)
46% (2005 - 2009)
40% (2005 - 2009)

Mali is a land of contrasts. The south is fertile with a tropical climate. The northern part is in the Sahara. The desert is steadily advancing south. The drought and heat make life hard. Many children die of diseases related to contaminated water and a lack of hygiene.

In northern Mali, most people have no reliable facilities for drinking water. Good sanitation facilities are lacking. The little water there is becomes contaminated. The great majority of schools have no access to clean drinking water or toilets. Children become ill from drinking contaminated water or because they infect each other.

Due to the lack of separate toilets for girls, many parents keep them at home. Furthermore, it is the task of women and children to fetch water for the family and they often have to walk a great distance. This is another reason many girls do not attend school.
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