people in Mali don't have access to safe water. Over a third of the population.

Over 11 million people don't have access to adequate sanitation in Mali,78% of the population.

Over 15,000 children die every year from diarrhoea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Mali.

Mali is a large, landlocked country in Western Africa, two thirds of which is desert. Despite exporting cotton and other resources across African and beyond, the country is one of the world's poorest, with as many as 4.9 million people lacking safe water.

The crisis

Irregular rainfall and political instability have left communities in Mali without basic services such as a water supply and toilets, with serious health impacts. One child in five dies before the age of five.

According to official statistics half the population has safe water, but many handpumps are broken leaving no choice but to use dirty sources. Some estimates suggest just 27% have safe water.

Work is hard to find and many people lack a basic education. Even when employment opportunities are available, in agriculture or fishing, there is little time to work or study after walking long distances for water.

Our approach

WaterAid has been working in Mali since 2000. Over the last decade we have worked with local partners and influenced decision-makers to help more than 205,000 people access safe water and more than 208,000 people access safe sanitation.

We support communities in urban areas to construct communal tapstands and carry out repairs where necessary. In rural areas, villages are taught how to deepen and protect their hand-dug wells against contamination.

We also continue to raise awareness of the vital importance of good hygiene and toilets. We work with women and marginalised groups in particular to ensure our efforts benefit those most in need.

In Mali last year we reached:

  • 37,000 people with safe water
  • 49,000 people with improved sanitation.