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Successful project completion in Timbuktu creates sustainable local prospects

29. August 2017 - Mali
"We are staying!" – we can not imagine a better conclusion of the people of our reconstruction project in Northern Mali. Approximately 102,000 people benefit from the diverse measures by arche noVa in the long term, which have now been completed. In this way, we are contributing to the goal, which is currently on everyone's lips: reducing the causes of escape. We are looking at the prospects of those affected. Our project has improved their future perspectives in their home country.

Sustainable improvement of living conditions

What started in summer 2013 as an emergency aid project for the population affected by violent conflicts of the Timbuktu region in the north of Mali, in September 2014 we expanded into a comprehensive project to rebuild the basic infrastructure. Many people who had previously been forced to flee from their homeland returned gradually at this time. But what they found complicated their daily lives: in many places the infrastructure was completely destroyed, agriculture was hardly possible, income prospects were not available.

From the sewage system to agriculture and the arts and crafts

Our measures specifically addressed the needs of the local population, with the aim of rebuilding their livelihoods. The project included, among other things: 

  • Reinforcement of the agriculture by rehabilitating irrigation systems in 16 villages. We installed a motor pump in each village and trained two villagers in their maintenance.
  • Improvement of the hygienic situation by reparation of sewers and house connections in Timbuktu as well as the reintroduction of waste disposal.
  • Increasing of the food safety by distributing 2,000 goats to 400 families, which now meet people's needs for meat and milk. In addition, we trained the farmers in the production of animal food and trained 60 veterinarians to deal with the vaccination and health problems of the animals.
  • support of more than 3,200 women in 78 women's groups engaged in retail trade in agricultural products and crafts. These groups were not only advised on technical and financial issues, each group also received a starting capital of 500,000 CFA francs (circa 760 euros).

A successful story

But the success of a project is not only measured in those figures. Mainly for us stories like these show the value of our work:

In 2015 one of our project villages was like a ghost town, hardly one person was seen. Two years earlier, advancing rebels had killed most of the inhabitants. The survivors had fled head-on-heels to one of the many refugee camps on the border of Burkina Faso. When our local partner organization appeared in the village, they met a mayor who immediately recognized the opportunity. He recalled the people of the camp. His argument: 30 hectares of irrigation farming would be created with the help of arche noVa. All of them came back and are still there; now there are even more people than at the beginning. One of the men who has a job at the new irrigation systems today puts it in a nutshell: "If we are now going to Europe, who will serve the pumps?"

Here you can read which measures the whole project covers.

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