Making a World of Difference in Mali
The lack of clean water is a serious health issue. More than three million people die each year from water-related illnesses or suffer related health problems, including blindness. In the semi-desert country of Mali, the Niger River flows through the nation. But much of the population lives in remote villages where water is
scarce – and often contaminated. As a result, 10 percent of children
die before their first birthday – and 20 percent never reach the age of
The Lions Step In
Supported by LCIF, local Lions club members in Mali teamed with Lions from France to drill boreholes and create wells to bring clean water to Morodjambougou and other villages in Mali. Then, “A Drop of Water for Africa” taught local villagers how to use and maintain the equipment. “Water is life,” said Dr. Yanaoussou Dolo, a member of the Bamako Sokala Lions Club. “When you provide water to where there is no water, you feel very happy because you are serving those in need.”
Turning the Tide
Today the village is thriving. Clean water halted deaths from water-borne diseases, and the abundance of water sparked an economic revival. Families have nutritious food to eat and produce to sell in the market. “If you go visit this village any time of the year you’ll find one fruit. If it’s not bananas, it’s papayas,” according to Mama Tapo of the Bamako Sokala Lions Club. “So this is really for us a pride … a pride because a borehole has changed the life of the village.”
Facts and Figures
In Africa, Lions water projects are helping to turn the tide against disease and poverty. This Lions partnership has brought clean water to more than 120 villages in Mali alone.
Tips and Tools
Make It Happen: How to provide clean water for a community
Why did Lions decide to do this project? »
Local women and children had to walk miles to fetch water. Often, the only water they could find was contaminated.
Where did you start? »
We contacted LCIF to request assistance. Then we found partners to help with the project, including Lions in France and “A Drop of Water for Africa.”
What resources do you need to keep the project going? »
Villagers now operate and maintain the equipment.
How did you fund the project? »
We received a grant from LCIF, and assistance from Lions in France.
How long did it take? »
Once we received the grant from LCIF and the money was available for use, it took four weeks to complete the project. It takes only 10 days to drill the borehole and install the pump for this type of project. But we also did some additional work for the basic irrigation system in Morodjambougou.
Any special words of advice? »
If you see a need in your community, you can fill it. When 20 people come together in a community, something greater is accomplished than what any one person could do individually.
"The Lions have taken time to look at the needs and the importance of water in this area. It would take an entire day to tell you all the benefits clean water has brought to our village."
Village Chief, Morodjambougou, Mali
"As a Lion, it brings me a lot of joy when I come to the village and see the smiles on people’s faces and see first hand the growth of the village."
Dr. Yanaoussou Dolo,
Bamako Sokala Lions Club
"The children had big tummies from worms in their bellies. Some children were dying from stomachaches but that doesn’t happen anymore."