Water, Sanitation, & Hygiene

The Northern Region Health and Hygiene Project

Location: Mali

Donor: USAID

Duration: 2000 - 2003

The Northern Region Health and Hygiene Project was designed to yield multiple health benefits to communities in Mali. Through a combined approach that coupled Information-Education-Communication (IEC)/Behavior Change Communication (BCC) health education training and the construction of wells and latrines at schools and in communities, behavior change agents were able to drastically increase preventative health practices.

Primary project objectives included the following:

  1. Reduce morbidity and mortality among children under the age of five years and among women of reproductive age through interventions involving construction of safe water wells and latrines in schools and community health centers.
  2. Improve knowledge and promote behavioral change regarding basic sanitation and disease prevention among school children and communities through the Children as Agents of Change (CAC) strategy and health education activities.
  3. Improve the livelihoods of the target population by providing financial and technical assistance to communities, groups, and individuals to undertake small scale projects in areas such as agriculture, handicrafts and micro-enterprise in collaboration with Handicap International.

During its lifespan, the project constructed 21 wells, 20 manual pumps and approximately 100 latrines. Additionally, project staff organized and trained village and neighborhood water committees in the use and management of water and sanitation installations and on information related to water and sanitation. These committees, in turn, organized and educated villagers and community members to reach a total population of 225,506 individuals in the Gao, Kidal and Tombouctou regions.

The project also supported the local development strategy by working through locally elected commune representatives (communal council) to select and provide technical and financial assistance to project beneficiaries proposing feasible and viable income generating activities.

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