"Access to water is vital for these Tuareg families living in a semi-desert region. The association's work will enable them to acquire self-sufficiency and to expand their activities."
For the last six years, the Isere association Imbidjadj Solidarité has been helping the inhabitants of the Tilemsi region, of the administrative centre at the village of Tin Aouker, located 60 km north of Gao, in Mali. Livestock breeding is the primary activity of this rural area, with a population of 60,000 spread among 13 groups mainly consisting of Tuaregs.
Yet, this activity continues to suffer due to the lack of equipment, organization and training of the producers. Desertification is another obstacle, and long periods of drought force the peasants to sell their goods and migrate to the cities.
Agriculture and truck farming are practiced by the sedentarized population around a few temporary ponds in the area, but when these dry up, the families are forced to migrate to other springs, and this is obviously not good for the children's schooling.
The association Imbidjadj Solidarité, considering these realities, is investing so that the families can acquire sufficient self-sufficiency (food and financial) by proposing, for example, the purchase of a community herd or the creation of a truck farming activity. Yet without water, nothing is possible and the association's first priority is to rehabilitate the existing water points.
Avoiding the concentration of the population around a single water point
The project for which the Veolia Environnement has been approached involves reconditioning an existing well. To do this, thirty-two 60 W photovoltaic panels will be installed to power a submersible pump 60 meters deep.
The water pumped up will be stored in a tank. This technical achievement will be completed by a Malian company specialized in this type of operation, which has already built several similar facilities in the same area for the association. The life of the population and the herds will shortly be spared the unrelenting quest for new water points.