Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

A well changes lives in ravaged Mali city
By Daphné BENOIT
Gao, Mali (AFP) Nov 7, 2017

Among the lines of small mud houses, plastic litter and piles of parched earth, children gaze skywards at a shiny blue tank perched on steel legs.

It holds a vital resource of which they have been deprived for years: water.

In a world where more than a billion people lack access to water, residents of this dusty corner of Gao, the main city in Mali's sprawling arid north, know the terrifying consequences of drought -- and today is a time for celebration.

"Before, I had to walk three or four kilometres to go and get water with jerrycans. Sometimes I had to queue all day," said Hawa Kante, a mother of six who had dressed up in a black and yellow turban, immaculate white blouse and gold jewellery for the inauguration of the well.

"I was obliged to take my little ones to help me carry the water, they were not able to go to school," she said.

After years of French forces fighting a jihadist insurgency in the west African country's north, building up infrastructure is part of a renewed focus to win over local hearts and minds -- a campaign to help stabilisation.

The well was built by a local company and funded by France's Barkhane mission -- an anti-terror operation involving some 4,000 troops across the Sahel region, a vast stretch of territory on the edge of the Sahara Desert.

In this former French colony, French troops have not always been welcomed.

But today is a victory in the battle against grinding poverty and is something to celebrate. Swarms of children wave Malian flags, excitedly singing along to the beat of drums, as others dance and clap.

Nearby, other children sit on the sandy ground alongside a French soldier, his rifle slung over his shoulder, while other troops hand out mango juice and cakes to local people.

The well has six taps and an automatic pumping system that runs on solar energy, capable of drawing up water from 80 metres (262 feet) deep into a 10-cubic-metre (10,000-litre) tank.

It aims to transform the lives of 6,000 local residents, and some 25,000 people living in the surrounding area, who previously had to walk many kilometres to access a water source.

- The 'situation was critical' -

"In 2015, a two-year-old child died here due to the lack of water. It is what motivated us to act," said Boureima Keita, a member of a group calling itself the Young Patriots.

"The water stocks were insufficient, the situation was critical," Keita said, explaining that the population of Gao has grown again since jihadists were cleared from the city in 2013.

His group asked French troops to help tackle the water crisis, as supplies delivered by tanker trucks had failed to meet demand.

The Barkhane mission responded by offering 10,000 euros ($11,600) in financing.

"We have a common history with Mali, the relations between France and Mali are old, they did not start with Barkhane," said French Colonel Arnaud Cervera, outlining other military initiatives to help local communities, including supplying medicine and computers for schools.

NGOs say irregular rainfall and political instability in Mali have left as many as four million people lacking safe water, with the centre and north of the landlocked country suffering from grave shortages.

More than 4,000 children die before the age of five every year due to diarrhoea caused by poor water and sanitation, according to charity WaterAid.

"Water is life, so today after the installation of this well, women go about their business and children go to school," said Keita.

Climate change could decrease Sun's ability to disinfect lakes
Troy NY (SPX) Nov 06, 2017
Increasing organic runoff as a result of climate change may be reducing the penetration of pathogen-killing ultraviolet (UV) sunlight in inland lakes, rivers, and coastal waters, according to a new study in the journal Scientific Reports. The findings, from a team including researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, points to the potential for an increase in waterborne pathogens. Sci ... read more

Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly

paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Air force error allowed Texas shooter to buy guns despite conviction

In reversal, US tech firms back bill on human trafficking

Crime writer Ian Rankin predicts rise of 'kind and gentle' books

UN council weakens response to Myanmar after China objects

Liquids take a shine to terahertz radiation

Voltage-driven liquid metal fractals

Cancer cells destroyed with dinosaur extinction metal

Jellyfish-inspired electronic skin glows when it gets hurt

50 years of data from oxygen minimum lab helps predict the oceans' future

Scientists map coastal communities most vulnerable to natural disasters

Ivory Coast inaugurates huge China-funded dam

Tiny Fiji looks for global impact at Bonn climate talks

Intensifying winds could increase east Antarctica's contribution to sea level rise

IceBridge Launches Two Sets of Antarctic Flights

Wanted: a medical doctor for a cold adventure

Hopes dashed for giant new Antarctic marine sanctuary

RUDN University researcher found out what happens to organic matter on rice fields

Flour power to boost food security

The advent of 'green' cattle

Marijuana farming is harming the environment, study shows

Death toll from Vietnam typhoon rises to 61

Puerto Rico population to drop 14% after hurricane

Future volcanic eruptions could cause more climate disruption

Two dead, thousands flee as floods hit Malaysia's Penang

Morocco architect fights concrete with tradition

US mission in Niger not what US commanders say it was: reportw

Death of soldiers highlights US military presence in Niger

Pentagon looks at stepped-up Africa role to counter IS

Newly discovered orangutan species is most endangered great ape

Study shows how memories ripple through the brain

The relentless rise of migration in Europe over last 10,000 years

Climbing Australia's giant red rock Uluru banned

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement