Mali 2011

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Thank you to everyone who got involved in Oxfam Water Week 2011, and helped to raise over £40,000 for Oxfam projects in Mali.

Oxfam is working with local partners in 25 communities in the Gao and Koulikoro regions of Mali, helping to provide better access to clean water, and therefore giving children more time to attend school.

Here are just some of the things that your support is helping to achieve:

  • Water points are being refurbished in schools to provide clean drinking water to around 2000 pupils and teachers.
  • Over 600 students will benefit from refreshed, more functional, and weather proofed school buildings
  • Eleven blocks of latrines are under construction in eight schools.
  • Schools and teachers have received hygiene kits, training on hygiene promotion and have set up hygiene clubs.
  • Girls' clubs are being supported and the importance of girls' education is being promoted.
  • Mothers' associations are being supported, helping them to generate income and reinvest into school budgets.
  • Teachers are receiving refresher training and support.

"There have been very significant improvements to the lives of the people in these communities: more children go to school, and more girls in particular, more water points, classrooms and teachers' houses have been built or renovated… And the school committees have been trained too… Thanks to the project, we've come out of the darkness really."
Mahamane Bould Toure, Mayor of Temera, Gao.

But our water projects in Mali are not just about giving schools new taps and toilets; we work together with communities to identify their own problems find solutions. That's why four schools in Mali held their very own Oxfam Water Week.

Pupils used this week to learn about the problems of drinking unsafe water, think about how they could overcome these problems and act by showing the rest of the community how to make the water they have safe to drink.

Here are the stories from just two schools, from Gao district in Mali, who were involved in Oxfam Water Week 2011.

Watch this video

Watch this video

Dara School

Dara School kicked off their Oxfam Water Week with a day of teaching, discussions and debates about the importance of water to the school and community, and a visit to the well to talk about the difficulties of accessing water.

Pupils learnt how to safely fetch, transport, clean and store water, and designed drawings to educate the rest of their community about the dangers of contaminated water.

The week ended with a visit to a local river, where the village leader shared stories about the river's importance to their community.

Mr Bo Diarra, Headmaster

"Lack of water in the school affects students' attendance and health. Since Oxfam intervened in my school in 2010, I have noticed much more hygienic practices among students such as hand washing with soap, the systematic use of latrines by students and teachers and chlorination of the water drawn from the wells."

Fanta Kébé

"I'm in 6th grade at Dara School. We have a traditional well in our school and we now know how to use the materials to treat water. I wish I had a new water pump in my school. If we did we would experience less problems related to delays in class and water born diseases."

Kadiatou Doumbia

"I am 13 years old and I'm in 6th grade at Dara School. I am the President of our school's hygiene and health club. I think that water is important and very necessary to life. In Water Week I learnt that there are some diseases that are linked to the consumption of contaminated water, such as diarrhoea and cholera."

Tadiana School

Pupils at Tadiana school wanted to get involved with Water Week and make the rest of the community aware of how important clean water is. Many of the girls miss school because of the amount of time it takes them to collect water for their families.

Fassoum Samaké

"I am 13 years old. My family has a traditional well, it is not covered and the risks of water pollution are high. Every morning my mother draws water from the well and filters it before we drink it.

At school, students and teachers drink water from a hand pump. This water is healthy. The hand pump is protected by its own infrastructure. I think that drinking water from the pump is a guarantee of good health for us and for teachers."