Koen@Bamako #13 Spin-offs and a long-awaited visitAn update from West Afrika
After a long period of travel restrictions due to the pandemic, our team in Mali was finally paid a long-awaited visit. Also, we have been working hard to create more impact by paving the way for a number of spin-offs for our local Water Operators’ Partnerships.
Visit of Frodo to Mali & Burkina Faso
In September, Frodo Oostveen, CEO of WWn, paid his first visit to West Africa. He came to visit ANGESEM, SOMAGEP and SOMAPEP in Bamako for 3 days. It was good for the partnerships to have the managing directors meet each other and exchange about problems they are facing and ambitions they are having. A new memorandum of understanding was signed between SOMAGEP, SOMAPEP and World Waternet as the consortium will embark on a new phase of our joint program (WaterWorX Phase 2 (2022-2026). At the end of his stay in Mali, we were invited (together with the directors of our partner organisations) at the Dutch residence for a dinner with the Ambassador.
Frodo van Oostveen visiting SOMAPEP-SA
Through the close cooperation with our WOP-partners, World Waternet is able to realize new activities and projects with our partners or help them find additional financing for infrastructural investments. Some of these spin-offs also finance the costs of WWn itself, but more often it directly benefits our partners and the Dutch water sector.
- Additional financing for our WOP-partner
Due to our good relations with our WOP-partners and the Dutch water sector, we are able to create effective networks and links between them. In multiple situations, we have connected Dutch donors with our partners. A good example is the RVO (Invest International) Develop2Build (D2B) program that has recently signed a Grant Agreement of 1 million Euro with SOMAPEP to execute a number of feasibility studies to increase drinking water production and realize new connections for 24 secondary towns in Mali. WWn has linked the two parties in 2019 and has played an intermediary role since that moment. When the feasibility studies show potential, DRIVE program from Invest International will likely finance 50% of the total investment budget for the realization of the plan.
- Promoting the Dutch Water sector
Being in Mali for over three years now, I’ve met many interesting persons. Seydou Coulibaly might be one of them. Through the neighbor of colleague Marieke van Nood, we were introduced to each other. Seydou lives in Segou, a three-hour ride from Bamako. He is a passionate environmentalist and could no longer stand to see the people around him cutting trees, throwing garbage around and eroding the soil. He started his own company,Togo Tile, and produced locally made solar cookers and high efficiency cooking stoves. With the profits he makes, he implements soil conservation measures and plants trees. After meeting up with him several times (and linking him to the cooking stove program of SNV where he is now involved as an advisor) we discussed the possibility of introducing the Nazava water Filter, a Dutch-Indonesian social enterprise, to the Malian market. I brought Seydou in contact with Nazava and the Aqua for All funded Via Water Program and Togo Tile recently received the good news that they can start the introduction of the water filters in Mali. So cool!
Koen and Seydou in front of the Togo Tile office
Support to the women in the water & sanitation sector (SUFESEA)
World Waternet has supported the Association of Malian Young Water Professionals (AJPEA) to attract a grant from Nuffic to finance the SUFESEA project. The goal is to support young female water professionals in Mali to further develop themselves and aim high in their personal and professional development. Twenty duo’s of mentors and mentees will be formed to stimulate exchange and personal support and Dutch ICRA and WWn will help them with that. AJPEA is so proud to have received their first ever financing, that they have promptly received a second one by Aqua for All.
Find out more about the project in the SUFESEA leaflet (French).