stories-feature-tiby

Safer Water, Closer to Home

Women carrying water from the nearby tap to their homes.

Women carrying water from the nearby tap to their homes.

As water pumps crisp and clear from the new well into a colorful plastic bucket, Sanata Coulibaly smiles, remembering the days not long ago when she’d have carried this heavy load for miles back home under the hot Malian sun, hoping the water wouldn’t make her children sick.

Today Sanata has only yards to walk and much less worry, thanks to a new piped water system that runs through her village of Kominé, part of the Millennium Villages of Tiby in central Mali.

All of the women are happy because we have access to clean water. Development means nothing if there is not access to safe water.

SANATA, PRESIDENT OF THE WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION IN KOMINÉ

In this arid region, water is a precious and rare resource. Where water is scarce, women and children typically suffer the most. They often must walk long distances to unprotected sources and care for children who become sick with diarrhea or other waterborne diseases. This is exhausting work, and it diverts time from productive activities.

Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

In partnership with village residents and the US manufacturer JM Eagle, which donated pipes, Millennium Promise is drilling boreholes, installing pumps, and erecting water towers around Tiby. To date, more than 40% of Tiby’s 70,000 residents have gained access to improved water through the Millennium Villages Project, and more coverage is on the way.

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In part because of interventions like the improved water system, children have the time to go to school.

In part because of interventions like the improved water system, children have the time to go to school.

Before the arrival of the new water system, we filtered rainwater through our clothes to drink. Now, with the new boreholes and water system, we have much less waterborne disease.

KOMINÉ VILLAGE CHIEF, MAMAFING COULIBALY

As new water points spring up, residents are also learning about hygiene and constructing latrines to further reduce waterborne illness. Together, these complementary efforts are helping thousands of families across Tiby to enjoy healthier lives.

  • Collecting water from an improved source.

    Bonsaaso (Ghana)

  • Water closer to home means children have more time for school.

    Bonsaaso (Ghana)

  • Pumping water from a new well.

    Bonsaaso (Ghana)

  • Mwacafe water filters.

    Bonsaaso (Ghana)

  • JM Eagle has donated more than 300 miles of pipes.

    Potou (Senegal)

  • The first water arrives.

    Potou (Senegal)

  • The community celebrates around a new water point.

    Potou (Senegal)

  • A MV resident fills up containers.

    Koraro (Ethiopia)

  • Community Health Workers demonstrate water purification.

    Ruhiira (Uganda)

  • Improved water, closer to home.

    Mwandama (Malawi)

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