Water quality is an underestimated problem in Mali


In her capacity as coordinator of Watershed Mali, Mrs Traoré Afou Chantal Bengaly has been interviewed by two local newspapers: Le Combat and L’indépendant. She explains the main worry in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector (WASH) in her country is the sustainability of services which directly refers to governance. Together with civil society organisations Watershed Mali wants to improve governance in the sector.

After conducting a context analysis in April 2016 a number of problems came to light. It became clear that norms for water quality are not available or not known by civil society organisations (CSOs). The analysis also made clear that the political and strategical plans for the WASH sector were not always adhered to. This causes dysfunctionality. Another issue is the shortage of budget. This means that strong lobby and advocacy is needed to convince government to increase the budget for WASH services.

Watershed Mali will work especially on two issues: the quality of the water (incl. wastewater management), and universal and sustainable access to drinking water. Watershed Mali will do this in conjunction with three CSOs: the Network for Journalists promoting Water and Sanitation (RJEPA-Mali), the Coalition for the National Campaign for Drinking Water (CN-CIEPA) and the Council for Support for Basic Education (CAEB). To help the partner organisations monitor the water quality a database will be set up in a pilot area which will be regularly updated with the latest information on quality and access. The data will be used in lobby and advocacy for better governance in the sector.

For universal access there will be a focus on the human right to water and the lack of sufficient funding in the sector. One major achievement will be to get the human right to water clearly written up in the constitution of Mali.

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