In Mali, battles are being waged to put an end to diseases linked to unsanitary drinking water, as the problem generally affects people living in rural areas. Unfortunately, today, the raging community conflict in the Mopti region has added to the scarcity of potable water for vulnerable families that are already affected by the insecurity. Families like Djenebou's.
Seven-year-old Djenebou lives with her parents in a village a few kilometres from the town of Mopti. She shares with us how her family has suffered from the lack of drinking water for years. “I live with my family of five, and we live by the river that runs through the town of Mopti", she says. "My family has always struggled with the dirty water we used."
Djenebou is not wrong; in this part of Mali, vulnerable households no longer know which way to turn to allow their children to have drinking water in order to lead a healthy life far from all diseases such as diarrhoea and cholera.
“Every year, there comes a time when I have diarrhoea and stomach aches", says the little girl. "When this happens to me, my father takes me to the hospital for treatment. I know he does not have a lot of money, but he is trying his best to heal me. A doctor once told him that my stomach aches were caused by the water we use at home.”
Listening to Djenebou's testimony, her mother confirms to us that this lack of drinking water is an ordeal for many women going about household activities. “We are a community that has traditionally made a living from fishing", she says. "The village of Barigodaga has always lived on the water of the river. Here, the women suffer from the lack of drinking water because every morning we go to fetch water from the river to do our household chores. We drink it and use it in the kitchen and even for laundry.”
Given the difficult living conditions of communities in this conflict zone in central Mali; World Vision has launched a programme alongside Procter & Gamble (P&G), aimed at reducing suffering and water-related diseases for displaced and vulnerable populations.
“The objective of this programme is to enable all people living in fragile areas in central and northern Mali to have access to safe drinking water. Every year, thousands of children get sick from the water they drink”, shares the Emergency Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH) Specialist for World Vision.
With clean drinking water nearby, children like Djenebou will be safe from diseases.
Produced by: Fousseni Koné - Emergency communication Officer (intern)