Kola is a village located in the circle of Kati, and is part of the rural commune of Safo. It is located 8 kilometres from the town of Safo, and 27 kilometres from Bamako.
In this village, people used to have a lot of difficulty accessing drinking water. This was especially felt by the pupils, who would put in a lot of effort to have any water –regardless of whether it would be safe or not– for their drinking needs, cleaning their board, and for use in toilets. This search for water disrupted school attendance and was a common source of diarrhoeal disease in the school environment.
Madou Coulibaly, who is responsible of the water committee, says: "A first pump was installed at the school for the students, but the whole village used it because it was the only pump. Excessive use damaged the pump. The pupils were obliged to go back to the well for water. The new pump installed by World Vision has given smiles to pupils, teachers and the community.’’
The councillor of the village, chief Oumarou Diarra, adds: "We notice a very clear difference between the unhealthy well water and the well that is clean. When we drive our sick children to hospital because of a stomach ache, the doctor gives us medicines and advises us to consume them only with drinking water from the borehole. Although illiterate, it draws our attention to the consumption of drinking water."
The lack of water at the school in Safo led to measures that were contrary to good hygiene practices at school, because the situation had become unbearable. This situation led to the closure of the traditional toilets that the school had built, because the pupils used them without water.
School director Mory Samake confirms: "I closed the two toilets that the pupils used at school because I realised that the pupils were very exposed to the diseases in the toilet due to lack of water. With the closure of the toilet, they would use the toilets of the mosque a few metres from the school.’’
Sékou, a student at the school, said, "Before, we had serious challenges to find even water from unhealthy pits to drink and use to clean the board and for our toilet needs. We spent long moments in search of water. With this pump which World Vision installed at the school, we no longer undergo this chore. We no longer have health problems. I thank World Vision for this work.’’
Today, students and teachers are pleased with the acquisition of water at the school. The long search for water by students, which would sometimes cause both students and teachers not to attend classes because for security issues (teachers would sometimes accompany students to the wells), is over. Today, students no longer suffer from stomach aches. This nightmare ended with the installation of drilling at the school.
Mory did not hide his joy when saying: "I am the happiest man, as director of this school, with the installation of this World Vision pump! Pupils regularly attend classes, and teachers manage to complete their programmes for the year. My family and I also have drinking water close to the school.’’
Kadiatou Coulibaly, a housekeeper, also believes that this situation continues to improve: "Our suffering has been reduced to half. We thank World Vision because, before we used to go distances in search of water in the wells near the rivers because our wells dry up during the warm period.’’
She notes that the most important aspect is that children's health has greatly improved with the consumption of safe drinking water at school, hand-washing at school, and even at home. For parents, this has resulted in a reduction in the health costs of children caused by the consumption of unsafe water and the lack of personal hygiene.
To conclude, Kadiatou addes: ''Before drilling, our children could do three days to see a week without washing. With this pump, we no longer know this problem. They take their bath regularly. We thank World Vision for this drilling and we ask them to extend the pumps through the village.’’