Published on: 07/11/2019
Committed together to support three Malian districts in the Kolokani Circle in the field of water, hygiene and sanitation, IRC and World Vision held a national stakeholder information workshop on the outcomes of the process of developing WASH (Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation) strategic plans in these districts. It was on Thursday 5 September 2019 in Bamako. This was during one day, an opportunity for the facilitators of the meeting, to go through the joint IRC-World Vision programme, financially supported by the Hilton Foundation, whose mission is to guarantee access to "drinking water, sanitation and sustainable water resources management" for the districts of Nossombougou, Ouolodo, and Tioribougou.
Universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation can only be achieved through robust systems in which the State, technical and financial partners and all stakeholders must participate jointly. However, the foundation for the implementation of such systems remains a good assessment of the existing ones. To this end, in January 2018, comprehensive participatory assessments were initiated, leading to the development of assessment reports, strategic plans for 2030 and WASH (Drinking Water Supply, Hygiene and Sanitation) 2018-2020 investment plans. Moreover, these various tools are of crucial importance in the era of local authorities' project management, a prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2030. Thus, qualitative progress has been made towards the gradual abandonment of the idea of restricting access to water and sanitation to infrastructure, which had been used until then.
The WASH Municipal Strategic Plan (PSC AEPHA) is in line with the country's national and international commitments to ensure access to sustainable water services for all Malians by 2030. It also deals with the foundations, the main changes, the goals pursued by the municipality, the steps to be taken, the areas of focus and the implementation and monitoring and evaluation mechanisms.
The workshop's facilitators took the opportunity to emphasise the idea that ensuring access to safe drinking water, hygiene and sanitation requires the ability to address challenges not only at the district level but also at the national level. It is in this logic that, at the district level, the first three objectives of the project in the districts of intervention are improving services, facilitating partnerships, systems and capacities, in order to enable local stakeholders to apply the appropriate norms and standards of service quality and accountability. The aim is to obtain strong support and financial backing for water services in schools and health centres. And at the national level, in addition to the goals set for the districts, the goal is to establish a knowledge base.
The assessment and implementation of the PSC AEPHA should make it possible to address the absence of a municipal technical service in charge of water and sanitation, and to solve the issues of non-existence of a sector planning tool, lack of a formal monitoring and evaluation system and failure to comply with standards and criteria. Then we should see deliberations on the costs of WASH services and the establishment of delegation agreements for the management of water infrastructures. Finally, citizens must be able to take ownership of their rights and the modalities of action required for the control of public action. Similarly, accountability should take place within a framework of formal bodies for dialogue between citizens and the district administration.
While it was expected from this workshop that all the partners would have a good knowledge of the outcomes of the strategic assessments, strategic plans and district investment plans drawn up for the municipalities of Nossombougou, Ouolodo and Tioribougou, it is now to be hoped that each of them will find in this roadmap a suitable source of inspiration that can be duplicated in the other districts, to give Mali a chance of reaching the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals.