More than 100 000 people from rural Mali will have access to safe piped water, after that country’s government committed to installing 170km of pipe and 269 new water points in more than 20 localities.
The pipes have already been received and workers are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work.
The significant aspect to this project, though, is that the pumps will all be powered by solar energy, a major breakthrough for a country which does not have the financial resources it needs to deliver on its mandate.
But, how did we get here?
Thierry Barbotte, General Director for Vergnet Hydro explains.
“Funded by the German bank Kreditanstalt Fur Wiederaufbau (KfW) and led by the Malian National Agency for Hydraulics and the German company Gauff Consultants (the technical coordinator), this project is carried out by a joint-venture gathering Vergnet Hydro and the Malian companies MTCS and ATC MALI,” said Barbotte on Friday.
“Vergnet Hydro wrote the initial technical studies and has provided the equipment (pipes, pumping systems, taps and chlorination system), ATC MALI is providing the 20 water towers and MTCS handles all the construction works,” added Barbotte.
The project, which will shift into fifth gear before the end of 2018, will cost in the region of 5.5-million euros.
“This is a 100 percent solar project. But, this is also a 100 percent treatment project. All pumped water is treated by chlorination before being stored in the water towers and drawn by the villagers,” said Thomas Candeloro, Projects Manager for Vergnet Hydro.
Indeed, a crucial part of the project consists of constructing buildings next to the water towers which will house the chlorine production (electrolysis process) and injection processes.
In addition, five of the localities will be equipped with power generators.
“We have a lot on our plate but we are going to respect the deadlines, because our joint-venture is well organised. Actually, we had already constructed 11 equivalent hydraulic centers in Mali together with MTCS and ATC MALI, back in 2011,” added Barbotte.