By SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL Operations Management in Mali
In Mali, in 2019, more than 78,000 people were affected by heavy rains. The village of N’Golobougou in the Markala circle (Segou region), for example, was completely washed away and its inhabitants had to be relocated. Another episode took place in Kidal, precisely in Aguelhok, in August 2019: runoff water washed away the water tower of the Improved Village Hydraulic System set up by SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL. At the same time, Mali suffers from recurrent droughts leading to low groundwater recharge and water points drying up. The phenomenon can be observed during the rehabilitation of wells, which requires drilling to an increasing depth, whereas according to the local populations, in the past these wells were inexhaustible. The fact that surface water dries up earlier, in combination with socio-political and ecological factors, reduces the mobility of nomadic pastoralists. This puts great pressure on perennial water sources and fodder resources, which may trigger conflicts between groups struggling to maintain their livelihoods (drinking water, livestock rearing, agriculture). As a result, some communities have been forced to settle in urbanized areas and live in a sedentary manner, drastically changing their way of life. Consequently, when a permanent water point is easily usable and accessible, only the men migrate with their animals and the rest of the family settles around the water point, seeking to diversify their economic activities. These upheavals in the traditional organization of herders and farmers and in the exploitation of resources require us to rethink our approaches to humanitarian intervention in the country..
Photos : © Tiecoura N’Daou / SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL