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Springing fresh starts in Kita

Thanks to you, new beginnings are bubbling up in Kita, bringing forth a refreshing burst of hope for the whole community. And, these new changes – initiated and completed by the dedicated efforts of local families, and made possible through your generous support – have all started from the ground up.

As machines drilled down into the earth to carve out a new water point, volunteers transported pipes to be installed 90 meters deep. It was hard work, but when water began to spray from the taps above, it was all worth it.

“We will take care of this project,” promised an ecstatic local parent. “Having drinking water is a luxury that is not possible for all communities.”

Two girls stand in front of a water tap and smile

One of the new water taps you made possible.

To ensure the community is equipped to take care of the project and keep clean water pumping for years to come, your sponsorship has involved them in production and provided vital materials and tools throughout the process.

Your support has:

  • Established new clean water points at schools and piped water to areas like maternity health centres
  • Implemented hand washing stations, plus latrines, in the 2 new health centres
  • Distributed hand washing devices throughout the community (like soap, buckets and cleaning products)
  • Built 4 blocks of gender-separate latrines at schools
  • Trained 150 community members on things like hygiene education, water-related pollution and illness, as well as sanitary techniques – enabling them to become local committee experts.

“We have benefited from the materials,” says Tiemoko, a member of the new committee, “and will ensure the maintenance and repair of the pump.”

Oumou.

“What impresses me in the work is the way people are led to be conscious of how the environment influences health,” says water committee member, Oumou.

Oumou was one of over 60 women who was trained through your support: “During the training, we learned that sanitation and health go together and that many diseases are related to the water we use,” – a lesson that’s especially important in Mali, following past outbreaks of the deadly Ebola virus.

“Today each family contributes to maintain the community’s cleanliness. Washing hands with soap has become a household practice – children now understand the importance,” she adds.

Hydration + hygiene = better health

Additionally, each of the 2 schools you’re helping construct will have 2 blocks of brand new, gender-separate latrines.

Pits are dug for new latrines.

Pits are dug for new latrines.

Having clean, safe and private washrooms with proper hand washing facilities will mean many things for the students: girls will feel more comfortable and confident coming to school, fewer children will have to return home to use off-site latrines and cases of illness due to improper sanitation could decrease – likely resulting in increased school enrollment, attendance and performance.

A new latrine block, with ramp.

A new, accessible, gender-separate school latrine block, built by you.

Ultimately, the access to proper latrines and clean water will mean improved health and education opportunities, which means better growth and development for the children of Kita, along with the entire community.

“Without training, there is no development and without health there is no education. This project is very important for the community.” says Oumou with appreciation. “What Plan has done in relation to the education and health of children is invaluable.”

A Girl washes her hands and smiles at the camera.

Children wash their hands at a hand washing station.

"We do not know how to thank International Plan for this gesture,” expressed Aminata, a local mother from the village, after first seeing the fresh water flow. “With this, our children will not suffer from diarrhea anymore because of the water."

Today, we’re seeing that Aminata was right, with changes in the lives of children like 8-year-old Fassire serving as powerful proof of the true power of water.

“I am very happy to drink water from the tap at school,” Fassire shares. “Now, I drink that water and I no longer suffer from diarrhea or stomach pain.”

And though many celebrated with powerful words of gratitude, sharing stories of impact and explaining just what the clean water has meant to them – sometimes a single smile says it all.

Fassire.

Fassire, 8 years old, grade 3

Now hear from Hawa and her father on how water’s a clear solution for girls’ rights community-wide!

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