Title Mali-Timbuktu - Girls in class
arche noVa/A. Keita

Mali: Water and sanitary supply for schools


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As time passes, more and more families who fled from the armed conflict in the north of Mali in 2012, return to their homes. Many children have lost more than one year of school and are striving to get back to a normal life after a long time of displacement and flight. To get the restarting lessons off to a good start for the pupils in the region Timbuktu and Diré, arche noVa restores the water- and sanitary supply at schools to improve the learning conditions for 18.000 pupils.
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In Mali, one of the poorest countries worldwide, which had suffered from severe periods of drought and food crises in the last ten years, serious violent conflicts took place in 2012. The Malian military lost the control of the northern part of the country to the Tuareg group who strove after secession. The fights and the occupation of the northern districts with the cities of Timbuktu, Gao and Kidal by armed groups led to displacements of large parts of the population. While the people either fled to the southern part of the country or to the neighbor countries, their hometowns were seriously devastated. In the municipalities, the administration collapsed. Most of the council staff had also fled, so the public infrastructure could no longer be maintained and operated. Several public buildings and establishments were additionally downright destroyed.

It wasn’t until spring 2013, that the retaking of the northern region by the Malian military succeeded with support of French units. Furthermore, the UN mission MINUSMA (United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali) was deployed. Since then, a normalization and stabilization of the situation can be observed. A lot of internally displaced persons and refugees return to their homeland. In August of 2013, presidential elections were held, which proceeded peacefully. The start of the reconciliation process give reason to hope that the situation will continue to improve.

Restart of lessons at destroyed schools

The educational sector was among the first victims of the military conflicts. In January 2012, most schools closed. As a consequence, many children lost more than one school year. During the occupation of the northern part of the country by armed groups, a large part of the schools was gravely damaged, class rooms and material were plundered. As the maintenance or necessary repair of the buildings, sanitary facilities and hand pumps remained undone in this time, they decayed additionally. An analysis of needs showed, that in many schools in the districts of Timbuktu and Diré, the sanitary facilities have to be either re-constructed or rehabilitated and that the access to clean water has to be guaranteed.

Water as a basis for good health and learning conditions

Inadequate or non-existent sanitary facilities and missing access to clean water causes illnesses and is a threat, especially for younger children, especially because cases of cholera eventually occur in this region. The municipalities do not dispose enough devices to solve the problem. Therefore, arche noVa and its partner organization Nord et Développement will rehabilitate or respectively build new latrines, construct hand pumps and distribute hygiene kits.

Hygiene trainings for teachers will be carried out at the schools, so that the project will have an effect well over the actual duration. Furthermore, school material will be distributed to particularly vulnerable pupils, especially from returning or internally displaced families.

In 2016 citizens of Henstadt-Ulzburg are collecting further donations for the arche noVa Project in Malian schools. Depending on the total sum already existing facilities will be enhanced or additional measures will be taken at further schools.

Project Overview

Target Group
18.000 pupils and their teachers
  • To contribute to the improvement of the sanitary conditions as well as to the access to safe water.
  • Reduction of illnesses caused by inadequate hygiene at schools in the administrative districts of Timbuktu and Diré
  • Rehabilitation and new construction of community latrines including sinks
  • Construction and/ or repair of hand pumps
  • Distribution of hygiene kits to keep the sanitation clean
  • Implementation of hygiene education activities for teachers, pupils, parent representatives and schoolmanagement-committees
  • Distribution of school material for especially vulnerable pupils
seit September 2013
Co-operation partners
  • NOR.DEV (Association Nord et Développement)
  • Plan International
  • Federal Foreign Office
  • private Donors
Meike John
Meike John
Editor Public Relations
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