Access to safe and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene protects children against common water-borne diseases such as diarrhoea and also reduces stunting, which affects 24% of children in Mali.
However, in Mali, only about one-half of schools have an improved water point, and less than 20 per cent of schools have functional, separate toilets for boys and girls. In addition, two million people in Mali still practice open defecation, which has a direct impact on the health, dignity and the safety of communities. While 80% of Mali’s population now has access to improved sources of drinking water, this number drops significantly in rural areas. Displacement in conflict-affected areas of Mali has further limited the access of families on the move to clean water and sanitation.