Published on: 18/06/2021
IRC opens a formal office in capital Bamako and makes a long-term commitment to the country.
On 17 June, 2021 the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Mali, officially registered the office of IRC in Bamako, the capital. IRC is a world-leading water and sanitation think-tank and delivery NGO and has been making strategic interventions in the country since 2016.
IRC has now committed itself to working overtime in the country, by opening its fifth national office in Africa. This strong commitment to Mali comes in despite of the challenges of working in a country with a fragile security situation.
Speaking on the official announcement of the office, IRC's CEO Patrick Moriarty, said:
‘We would like to thank the Government of Mali and all our other partners for the confidence they have in us and the support they have given us to formally register our presence. We think that it is important now, more than ever, to indicate our confidence in the future of Mali and we are determined to contribute positively to that future.
By opening an office, we are making a commitment to the people in Mali in the districts where we work, to achieve their ambition to achieve the human right to access water and sanitation. We're delighted to have a dedicated team under the inspirational leadership of Afou Chantal Bengaly Traoré’.
Afou Chantal Bengaly Traoré, IRC’s new Country Coordinator and a globally recognised Malian WASH expert, said:
‘’The registration of the Country Office makes me and my colleagues feel very proud. We will continue to work collectively with government, all key agencies and duty bearers to strengthen WASH systems in the country. Our developing success in partner districts is driven by everyone’s shared vision to meet the human rights of everyone to safe water and sanitation.
Our new formal office presence at national level, will provide us an excellent opportunity and springboard to scale our successes at district level to the national arena. Our aim is simple, to make sure that Sustainable Development Goal 6 becomes a reality for all the citizens of our wonderful country. We will play our part and work with everyone to make that a reality’’.
IRC in Mali is implementing its country strategy with the support of programmatic funding provided by the Dutch Government and throughout several projects.
Through the Collective action for district-wide WASH services in six African countries programme (2019-ongoing), with support from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and in support of their Safe Water Strategy, we work with partners in the districts of Nossombougou, Tioribougou and Ouolodo to improve access to basic water services in health care facilities and schools.
Through the ‘Clean water and Maternal Health project’ (2019-ongoing), supported by the Swedish Postcode Foundation.
Through the Watershed empowering citizens programme (2016-2020), supported by the Dutch government, IRC in Mali has supported civil society organisations to raise their voice for water, sanitation, and hygiene, through evidence-based lobby and advocacy.
The team consists of five people, including having the support of a young WASH expert through the Young Expert Programme (YEP).
In 2020, IRC invested 385.000 euros in achieving its country programme objectives.
Biography Mrs Afou Chantal Bengaly Traoré
Mrs. Bengaly has a doctoral degree in Pharmacy from the University of Science, Techniques and Technologies Bamako (Mali) and holds several certificates from MS-Training Centre for Development Co-operation, Arusha, Tanzania in Policy Analysis and Advocacy, Project Planning and Management, Gender and Governance, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Mrs Bengaly has over ten years of experience in development cooperation working with non-profit organisations, of which six years in the water and sanitation sector. Mrs Bengaly has gathered considerable experience in planning and management of programmes/projects, lobbying-advocacy strategy development and campaigns, community mobilisation and capacity building of Civil Society Organisations, grant management and partnership management.
Mrs Bengaly has experience in working in both in East and West Africa and has collaborated with IRC from 2017 to 2020 when she was the Country Lead of Watershed, a 5-year strategic programme to strengthen the ability of citizens to hold governments and service providers accountable for the services they deliver.
For IRC Mrs Bengaly is responsible for initiating and managing the country programme and partnerships, conceptualising projects with partners to develop the Mali Country Programme of IRC.
Background WASH in Mali
In 2017, 78% of people in Mali had access to at least basic water services.
In rural areas, over 30% of the population was accessing surface water or using unimproved or limited water services.
In 2019, 6% of the schools in the country did not have a water source or got their water from an unimproved water point.
In over 18% of the health centres people had no access to a decent water source. (JMP, 2017-19)
The WASH sector in Mali is governed by policies and strategic frameworks, which have been turned into action plans. They take into account the vulnerable groups living in rural and urban areas, and in hard-to-reach places. They also aim to eliminate open defecation and achieve universal access to basic WASH services by 2030. They include: the National Water Policy (2006); the National Water Code (2002); the Strategic Plan for the Water Sector (2000-15), and the National Sanitation Policy (2009).
IRC is a catalyst of change, working in every corner of water, sanitation, and hygiene to build and strengthen systems that transform lives. With its partners, the organisation uses its expertise to deliver water and sanitation systems in 8 countries and 15 partner districts and 16 partner municipalities.
IRC works with local and national governments, businesses, and civil society, and with international partners around the world to promote systems thinking and delivery.
Its international team is made up of over 132 recognised water, sanitation, and hygiene service specialists and dedicated field staff, based in its focus countries, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, India, Mali, Niger, and Uganda, as well as in the United States, and in The Hague, the Netherlands.
For more information visit www.ircwash.org.