EU Cooperation with Mali - water and irrigation projects in the area of Segou, Mali
In the village of Sassanding, in the area of Segou, 235 km north east of Bamako, an EU-funded project has provided drinking water to 100,000 inhabitants of the region, bringing an end to waterborne(water related) diseases such as dysentery and diarrhea that had severe impact on infant mortality.
In total, 550,000 people have received access to drinking water in Mali in the last five years thanks to a €40 million EU fund.
The wells are equipped with counters. The cash paid by users supports the cost of maintenance of the water wells, pipes and tanks that were set up by the EU, thus supporting the long-term sustainability of this project.
This project has had a positive impact on the health and economic development of villages like Sasandenge, where solar panels and agriculture livestock are clear signs of economic prosperity.
A few kilometers away, a network of 125 kilometers of new irrigation channels built with EU fund is nearly finished and will provide access to 1000 farmers and their families and also to 2500 hectares of fertile and irrigated farming land.
This €28 million infrastructure project is 90% funded by the EU and other international agencies.
More than a third of the Malian economy lays on farming, a sector that employs 80% of the Malian population.
A similar existing network of channels irrigates 1000 hectares of farm land. The channel brings fertility to the soil and smiles on the faces of the children who use it as a pool.
The EU is to sign a €225 million state building contract with Mali in Brussels on May 15th 2013, aimed at restoring constitutional order through the organisation of free and fair elections.