As water pumps crisp and clear from the new well into a colorful plastic bucket, Sanata Coulibaly smiles, remembering the days not long ago when she’d have carried this heavy load for miles back home under the hot Malian sun, hoping the water wouldn’t make her children sick.
Today Sanata has only yards to walk and much less worry, thanks to a new piped water system that runs through her village of Kominé, part of the Millennium Villages of Tiby in central Mali.
All of the women are happy because we have access to clean water. Development means nothing if there is not access to safe water.
In this arid region, water is a precious and rare resource. Where water is scarce, women and children typically suffer the most. They often must walk long distances to unprotected sources and care for children who become sick with diarrhea or other waterborne diseases. This is exhausting work, and it diverts time from productive activities.
In partnership with village residents and the US manufacturer JM Eagle, which donated pipes, Millennium Promise is drilling boreholes, installing pumps, and erecting water towers around Tiby. To date, more than 40% of Tiby’s 70,000 residents have gained access to improved water through the Millennium Villages Project, and more coverage is on the way.
Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.Millennium Development Goals
Before the arrival of the new water system, we filtered rainwater through our clothes to drink. Now, with the new boreholes and water system, we have much less waterborne disease.
As new water points spring up, residents are also learning about hygiene and constructing latrines to further reduce waterborne illness. Together, these complementary efforts are helping thousands of families across Tiby to enjoy healthier lives.