Produced by: Joelma Pereira, Communications Manager World Vision Mali
Water is arguably the most precious resource on earth. It feeds us, provides us with hygiene and health, enables the production of many goods and energy, and is home to incredible biodiversity.
To mark the celebration of World Water Day 2021 under the theme 'The place of water in our societies and how to protect it', World Vision, in partnership with the Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Water organised several activities during the third week of March 2021. As part of the celebrations, a 13-minute documentary on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions was aired on national TV, highlighting World Vision's WASH programme impact in Mali. On 25 March 2021, World Vision, in partnership with the Ministry, organised a side event where over 20 key donors and partners operating or supporting the WASH sector attended. This occasion allowed World Vision to present its WASH interventions in the country, its positive impact over the years, and its WASH strategy at the global level.
World Vision's water, sanitation, and hygiene programme in Mali, well-integrated since 2003 through its MIWASH programme (currently in its fourth phase – 2021 to 2025) fits perfectly with this year's theme and event. The event also provided the opportunity for World Vision staff to exchange with present and potential donors such as USAID, UNCHR, UNESCO, and WHO. In addition, the presence of civil society, partner NGOs (like Action Against Hunger, World Renew, and AGEMPM), and "le Patronat" a Government structure that represents the private sector in Mali. Their presence was a clear indication that World Vision is extending its external engagement efforts to non-traditional donors and partners with the intention to create strategic alliances to reach more vulnerable children, with life-saving services such as WASH in the country.
"Our interventions have provided access to safe drinking water to nearly one and a half million people in rural and urban areas of Mali. In the past 20 years, World Vision's WASH programme has built 2,600 potable water points in Mali. Half of them have been built in the past five years (2016-2020); i.e. 1,300 drinking water points consisting of standpipes and hand pumps in communities and schools and covered more than 40 health centres with running water in treatment rooms", said Patrick Daniere, World Vision's National Director for Mali, during his speech at the event.
Mr. Djouro Bocoum, National Director for the Hydraulic sector of the Ministry of Mines, Energy, and Water (representing the Minister at the event), confirmed that the partnership with World Vision has contributed to a significant increase in potable water coverage in the urban and rural areas of the country. "The impact of World Vision's WASH programme in this country is tangible and visible in the field. The annual budget of my sector – water and sanitation - has increased significantly from 1.23% in 2017 to 17% in 2020, thanks to the support provided by our partners like World Vision. Today, the water coverage in the country is of 69.6%", said Mr. Bocoum specifically addressing World Vision staff present at the event.
The interventions of this programme are aligned with the Strategic Framework for Economic Recovery and Sustainable Development of Mali (CREDD), and in particular, with its 25th specific objective which aims to promote access to water and sanitation and to guarantee an adequate living environment and well-being for the population.
In addition, the same interventions are also aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 6, i.e. 'By 2030, ensure adequate and equitable access to water for all, sanitation and hygiene for all, and eradicate open defecation, paying particular attention to vulnerability'. One of the 15 media representatives present at the event recognised and highlighted this aspect in their article published online at https://bit.ly/326gsFr.
The World Vision team in Mali believes that integrated WASH is of the key programmes that will help contribute to the well-being of the most vulnerable children in hardest-to-reach places.