The lack of technical support and adequate infrastructure for rural communities is a source of hardship for vulnerable people in Mali, as these factors severely hamper local development between communities. Today, many of them, have long been victims of reduced mobility and other difficulties due to the poor condition of the roads that they use in their daily activities.
Indeed, an inhabitant of the village of Youré –a mainly agro-pastoral village located in the commune of Sio, 5km from the village of Soufouroulaye– testifies to the sad reality.
Dougoufilé Bouare is a 67-year-old farmer, married and father of two boys and a girl. He spoke on behalf of his village to complain about the conditions of the roads in their environment, which prevent them from meeting some of their needs. “Our village has always cruelly lacked a practicable road", he says. "We suffer a lot during the rainy season. Because of the bad condition of our roads, there are days during this moment of year when we are cut off from neighbouring villages.”
For him, the issue does not stop there. He adds that due to the bad state of the road that leads to a community well where villagers get their water supply all year round, access to clean water became very hard in the village.
“The most challenging [thing] for us is that our village also lacks drinking water. Fortunately, we have a common well here where all residents have been drawing water for over 60 years. Regrettably, during the rainy season, we suffer a lot to fill up [containers for] the water we drink and use for household chores”, he says.
Again, according to Dougoufilé, this is the period during which they use abundant water from the well. “It is mainly through the rainy season that people store 60 to 80 litres of water from the well because it seems soft and very healing to us", he explains.
In response to persistent water access difficulty for this community, World Vision and the World Food Programme (WFP) have initiated a partnership to relieve the daily suffering of households such as Dougoufilé's, through a resilience programme implemented in the Mopti region. Accordingly, thanks to financial and technical support from the partnership, 100 participants mainly chosen from among inhabitants of the Youré village were supported with resources to pave the road leading to this community well.
“We were chosen to work this road for the happiness of all of us. Obviously, we had difficulty accessing the well as the road was flooded during the rainy season every year." Dougoufilé justified. Having lived in Youré for years, Dougoufilé expresses great thanks for this achievement because he would never have imagined that this road problem would one day become a memory.
“We are very satisfied with the initiative because in addition to the various supports we have received, we were paid for having participated in the activities. So, helping us build this road has been of great importance to us”, adds Dougoufilé.
As he speaks, his expression says it all to sufficiently convey the extent to which this partnership between World Vision and WFP has made it possible to discharge a community of a problem that they have unfortunately endured for years.
“We are very grateful [to World Vision and WFP] for having chosen our village because we know that other villages are still having the same road problem as we used to. I wish that you will continue to support us.” Dougoufilé concludes.