Drilling for water is a challenge in the dry region in the north of the country. The groundwater level is low. You have to reach a depth of 100 meters until you hit water. This takes a long time and requires special equipment. In cooperation with our local partner organisation, we put the work out to tender and commissioned a specialist company. Currently, the experts are already working on our behalf at other schools. A total of 28 boreholes will be newly built or repaired.
Hygiene clubs founded at schools
In addition, further project activities are in full swing at the 31 participating schools. First, our local partner organisation initiated the establishment of hygiene clubs and provided training. Around 90 teachers are being trained as WASH multipliers. They pass on their knowledge to the children and young people. Specially developed worksheets were made available for this purpose.
The newly founded hygiene clubs are responsible in the medium and long term for promoting hygiene and health care in their schools. In order to achieve this, all hygiene kits contain brooms, buckets and cleaning agents, among other things.
School toilets are built
Our project also includes the provision of sanitation in schools. The most important step has already been taken: 30 masons and unskilled workers have been trained in the construction of modern latrines. They will take over the construction of new toilets in the participating schools and can guarantee maintenance and major repair work in the future. arche noVa attaches great importance to anchoring know-how in the project area. The training of bricklayers is an example of this. The training in the field of hygiene is another.
More health care and good learning conditions
Mali, located in West Africa, is very poor. The average life expectancy is 58 years. One reason for this is not least the inadequate water supply and the resulting hygiene problems. Frequent, sometimes serious diseases are the result. Especially children suffer from it. Often their parents have to spend a lot of their low income money on expensive medication.
Safe drinking water at school is important to keep school children healthy and enable them to learn. And toilets are also needed, not only with regard to health care and hygiene but also with regard to privacy and gender justice.
Often it is the girls in particular who avoid being in the open air. They don't feel safe. Some drink too little to avoid the embarrassment of having to go to the toilet. It becomes particularly difficult as soon as they reach menstrual age. Many girls stay away from class when there are no toilets. Often they even drop out of school. This is particularly tragic because it is culturally more difficult for girls to attend school in Mali anyway.
Our vision: clean water, good hygiene practices and school toilets for every child! Our WASH project at Gao's schools is a step in that direction.