Water, Sanitation and Hygiene
Hand washing with Soap:
Events in every region are regularly organized to promote this essential hygiene practice. Most recently, to celebrate Global Hand washing Day, UNICEF, together with the Ministries of Health and Education, organized multiple events in Bamako and Regional capitals:
• In Gao, children spoke to UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne from the European Space Agency – live from space. He had come to Mali before his mission in space to advocate about hygiene and access to water in the desert areas.(2009)
Following the sub-regional training workshop on Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), UNICEF Mali organized a national training workshop and three regional training workshops in Mopti, Kayes and Ségou regions. These workshops gathered participants from main institutions (Environment & Sanitation, Health, and Water Supply), National NGO networks (traditional communicators, community health, women associations, etc.) and INGOs.
WASH in schools:
In Mali, it is estimated that only 57 per cent of schools have sanitation facilities. Only about 12 per cent of these schools have separate toilets for girls and boys.
Taking into account the poor hygiene conditions prevailing in many Malian schools, important advocacy activities were implemented by UNICEF towards the Ministries of Education, Health, Water and Sanitation in order to raise the priority of WASH in schools within the political agenda. UNICEF Mali therefore supported the formulation of the National Strategy for Hygiene Education in Schools. This prepares areas of intervention in the following fields:
• Training teachers and future teachers (include hygiene education in their curricula) for hygiene education and HIV/AIDS prevention;
Additionally, through construction of new water sources, UNICEF contributes to reduce the burden of fetching water for girls and women, thereby allowing them to spend more time on education, play and generating activities. By providing adequate WASH facilities in schools (with separate latrine blocs for boys and girls and hand washing facilities), UNICEF is positively influencing enrolment, attendance and achievement.
Promotion of low-cost techniques for water supply:
• Promotion of manual drilling: After mapping suitable manual drilling locations, UNICEF Mali along with hydraulic authorities have adopted a strategy to implement low-cost drilling techniques within the national water supply. UNICEF has created a two-year program aimed at developing the capacity of the private sector for the construction of hand-drilled boreholes;
Water Supply and Guinea Worm Eradication:
UNICEF Mali consistently contributes to the implementation and the coordination of the Guinea Worm Eradication Program (GWEP), which established the 2009 Action Plan. It is proven that improved water supply leads to a drastic reduction and/or elimination of Guinea Worm cases, a total of 100 broken pumps were rehabilitated in 80 villages and 43 new productive wells have been constructed in the Guinea Worm endemic areas of Mopti region.
Moreover, in one of the most remote and endemic region of Mali, Kidal (35 cases recorded in 2009), UNICEF established a partnership with Doctors of the World (Belgium) to implement the GWEP. Within this partnership, activities include: provision of health care to affected populations, GW prevention activities, the strengthening of surveillance mechanisms, treatment of water ponds and capacity building for regional health staff. In addition, UNICEF has also built four productive boreholes for the populations of endemic villages.
As 96 out of the 114 total reported cases in country during 2009 were in Gao Region, 15 new wells were sunk and equipped with hand pumps in 2008. The construction of 20 additional new wells, the rehabilitation of 21 boreholes and the construction of five water supply piped schemes powered with solar panel began in 2010. This new contribution it is expected to have a very significant impact on the prevalence of Guinea Worm disease in the northern regions which are the last regions remaining to be freed of the disease before Mali can be considered as a Guinea Worm free country.
Monitoring and evaluation of the WASH sector:
• Co-organization of the JMP workshop with WHO Mali (Madagascar, Bénin, Sénégal and Burkina Faso represented) which contributed:
Responding to Emergencies:
In 2009, UNICEF and its national counterparts put a specific emphasis on the consolidation of emergency preparedness mechanisms to face foreseeable crisis, notably cholera outbreaks (in Kayes and Mopti Regions) and floods (Mopti, Kayes and Segou Regions). In Kidal Region, the current water supply (as of 2010) is seriously worsening as the underground water table level has drastically and precariously lowered, compared to the level at the same time two years ago.).