© Helvetas

For Functional Wells and Communities

© Helvetas

In the Sikasso region of Mali, Helvetas has funded the building of wells while promoting village networks for basic sanitation, improved hygiene and the upkeep of new wells.

  • Project Name
    Jikura: for Clean Water and Hygiene
  • Project Phase
    2018 to 2021
  • Funding
    Donations, Contributions, SDC programme contribution
  • Thematic focus
    WASH & Water Governance
    Partnership & Capacity Development

More than a well

Mali is focusing on the supply of clean water and sanitation in its fight against poverty. The municipalities are responsible for providing these public services. But local authorities lack not only the money, but also the know-how to build and ensure the maintenance of wells.

Down south in the region of Sikasso, Helvetas is making a key contribution to achieving the ambitious national water targets. Nearly 1.5 million people here often have no choice but to drink from faraway ponds and rivers, and at the risk of disease and death. Children are particularly at risk: waterborne infectious diseases can have dire consequences for them. Illnesses from drinking contaminated water also keep them from regularly attending school.

© Helvetas
Solar cells drive the pump of the new village well. © Helvetas
© Helvetas
Since the sun has been pumping water and the fountain is close to the houses, women's lives have become easier. © Helvetas

Helvetas works in Sikasso communities that badly need water supply facilities and measures to improve hygiene. Our Jikura project (Jikura is the Bambara word for “clean water”) involves municipal authorities, village councils, small local businesses and water management committees in the building of wells.

The municipal authorities receive an annual budget to launch crucial drinking water and basic sanitation projects. Each community receives support and advice from local specialists on an intensive basis for four years so it can eventually take full responsibility for its own water facilities. The users form water management committees to ensure the upkeep of the wells. Schoolchildren and their families receive hygiene education.

So there is a whole pool of administrative and expert know-how, a network of connections and health and hygiene awareness forming around the building and maintenance of wells. But the most important thing is each community’s realization that it is responsible for “its” own well.

© HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
«As a child, I had to go to the watering place with my mother at four o' clock. Today the sun is pumping water for us.»

Mamou Sangaré, housewife and owner of a small business.

WASH & Water Governance

The most vulnerable communities suffer from dirty and scarce water. Annually we help up to 500,000 people get new access to drinking water and basic sanitation.

How Helvetas Supports People in Mali

Helvetas is active in efforts to integrate young people into the labor market and improve education and the supply of clean drinking water in Mali.

Multimedia Story: Where the Sun Pumps the Water

How building a solar-powered water pump has made life easier, and healthier, for people in a little village in Mali. We tell the full story.