The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and One Drop Foundation support WaterAid in transforming lives in two districts in Mali by improving access to clean water and sanitation in healthcare facilities and communities.

This four-year project is called "Beseya Blon" and uses health centers as entry points to respond to the systemic causes of poor access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services in Bla (Segou Region) and Kati (Koulikoro Region). WaterAid collaborates with governments and local partners to strengthen systems, foster good hygiene practices, improve accountability and engage citizens.

We expect to reach 39,500 people with sustainable and inclusive access to clean water, 47,000 people with access to basic sanitation and 41,000 people with improved hygiene.

In 2020. WaterAid and partners developed the project and responded to COVID-19 with the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs in Mali. During the first six months of 2021, WaterAid and partners coordinated activities and refined the project workplan, establishing a strong foundation for successful implementation.

Project Virtual Launch

On March 11, 2021, the One Drop Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and WaterAid virtually launched the Beseya Blon Project with the Centre Culturel Kôrè, World Health Organization, and Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The WHO facilitated the virtual launch, which included presentations from project partners about sustainable services in health centers, replicating project activities and involving the water sector in Mali. The Ministry of Health's representative formally launched the project and believes it will strengthen previous water, sanitation and hygiene efforts and reach areas currently lacking access.

Our foundation was created in 2007, and since then, we have learned that working towards behavior change related to water, sanitation and hygiene is the key to ensuring the sustainability of our water access interventions. This is what we do through our unique Social Art for Behaviour Change approach. And then we must go even further, to work on developing income-generating activities, to help certain social norms to evolve, and to encourage communities to adopt participatory and inclusive governance practices.
Jean-Louis Dufresne, CEO, One Drop Foundation
We believe that we are all stronger together, so we seek to leverage our collective resources to improve sustainable and resilient water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services in healthcare facilities, schools, and communities. The Beseya Blon program is a shining example of how to advance WASH in healthcare facilities. The approach has been replicated in Niger, and successes have been adopted within our wider global portfolio, and we are looking forward to the launch of the next phase.
Peter Laugharn, President and CEO, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Our work with the One Drop Foundation and the Hilton Foundation has become a blueprint for countries around the world on best practices, collaboration and accountability. Through dedication and persistence, we are achieving lasting change and scaling our impact to reach the most vulnerable communities through access to water, sanitation and hygiene.
Kelly Parsons, CEO WaterAid America

Project launch in Mali

WaterAid and local partners in Mali organized project meetings in Neguelabougou (Bossofala Commune, Kati Circle), Diaramana (Diaramana Commune, Bla Circle) and Bla (Bla Circle). These meetings ensured local project ownership and clarified roles and responsibilities. Local authority representatives, community members, and water service providers attended meetings and committed to the project's success.

Click here to watch a video about the project launch in Diaramana.

Current project activities

WaterAid and local partners organized a workshop to plan intervention strategies aligned with national and local contexts. We signed agreements with the twelve communes and 16 local Community Health Associations. In addition, we set up Communal Management Committees to monitor project activities in each commune. 

The project team identified the needs of each commune to develop economic, social and cultural development plans. The project team also assessed the current WASH conditions in eight health centers and developed plans with the Regional Directorate for Health in Segou. These plans will support future assessments of WASH improvements in healthcare.

The Beseya Blon Project will also reduce inequalities between men and women in accessing and governing services. WaterAid organized a gender and social inclusion workshop to strengthen women's roles in decision-making. We also established five women's coordination groups to empower women economically and promote local initiatives in Touna, Diédala, Bossofa, Samabogo and Nampasso health areas.

Focus activity: a dynamic learning workshop

Centre Culturel Kore organized a workshop to engage health centers and community actors in Social Arts for Behavior Change™. Through this process, participants identified the motivators and barriers to hygiene behavior, including the following:

  • Mothers wash their hands with soap before feeding their children and eating.
  • Children ages 6 to 18 use family latrines.
  • Healthcare staff wash their hands with soap before and after seeing patients.
  • Frontline health staff clean spaces and beds after each use.

Together, partners shared knowledge, engaged local communities and collected key information on the local cultural, psychological and economic context.


Celebration of World Water Day

To mark World Water Day 2021, WaterAid released the report: "Turn the Tide: The state of the world's water." This report highlighted the devastating effects of climate change on water resources and how they disproportionately affect the world's poorest people. With the current climate scenario, water scarcity will displace up to 700 million people by 2030. 

WaterAid Mali Country Director Mamadou D. Diallo's spoke about the reposrt, drawing the government's attention to the impact of climate change on vulnerable communities' access to water.