Where we operate


Mali in West Africa is a country with high poverty rates and a very rapid population growth.

The farmers here combine livestock and agriculture in partly wooded areas, but this system is coming under pressure. Rain falls in Mali very sporadically and with no regularity. For water, the population depends mainly on the groundwater and on the Niger, which is very polluted in some places. Over the past 20 years, irrigated agriculture on the banks of the Niger and its tributaries has quadrupled.

Water management is becoming increasingly difficult, and land and vegetation are suffering from climate change and desertification.

Mali has been politically unstable for years and a victim of war and terrorism, especially in the north and east of the country. As a result, some regions have been classified no-go zones.


of Mali is desert or semi-desert


From 1960 to the present, Mali has lost 82% of its forest reserves

The activities of Join For Water and its partners focus on three municipalities: Baguinéda-Camp, Mandé and Mountougoula. They border the metropolitan district of Bamako and are located in the upper Niger catchment. Baguineda and Mandé border the Niger, Mountougoula does not. The municipalities are strongly linked to agriculture, but the closer you get to Bamako, the more urbanised neighbourhoods you see.

The 3 municipalities face the risk of flooding, pollution, urbanisation and deforestation. Average rainfall in this region is around 950 mm per year. Mande and Baguineda are heavily dependent on the Niger. When it gets wider during the wet season, rice can still be grown, but there is a risk of water shortage in the dry season.


Mali Landbouw Groenten
(c) Landry Mudugu


Join For Water and its partners are strongly committed to restoring and protecting water ecosystems such as riverbanks, forest areas and agricultural land. Partner CSPEEDA uses its experience here. Farmers will use smart irrigation to best utilise the available water.

Civil society organisations and representatives of regional state services are encouraged and supported to advocate for improved water rights and good management of ecosystems. Topics such as land ownership and the ‘user pays’ are discussed.

Action research on the local water cycle, aquatic ecosystems, smart irrigation and agroforestry should provide the necessary knowledge that can be applied in the activities. The research centres and partners ICRAF and IPR/FRA are taking this on board.

At regional and international meetings, different stakeholders and levels will be able to exchange data and learn.


What preceded

Join For Water has been active in Mali since 1995. In the inner delta of the Niger, the Mopti region, it was about access to safe drinking water, sanitation and water for agriculture. Banning doing your ‘business’ in the open air was a priority. Raising awareness about hygiene and health prompted the families to build latrines. In the Nioro Nara region near the border with Mauritania, the population also gained more access to drinking water and sanitation.

In Municipalities I and IV of Bamako, drinking water supply and promotion of hygiene and sanitation were central. 30 public taps were created, for example, and managed by the neighbourhood committees. More than 1,000 households also received basic infrastructure for the collection and processing of wastewater. A clearing service for the latrines ensures more hygienic conditions in the densely populated neighbourhoods.

Integrated Water Management of the water resources already guided activities in Mountougoula. Groups of farmers, for example, received training on cultivation techniques and the layout of the plots.

Join For Water recently had to close its office in Mopti due to the unsafe situation there, but our Malian partner Action Mopti also takes care of the drinking water infrastructure.


Join For Water receives support for its activities in Mali from:



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