17 september 2005
Partnership promotes hygiene on schools in Mali
When both Unicef and Wavin celebrated their 50th anniversary this summer, the Dutch firm decided to donate 250.000 euro to the project in Mali, one of the poorest countries in the world. The third partner in the project is Aqua for All (A4A), a foundation that brings together funds and know how from the Dutch public water sector to improve safe drinking water and sanitation in developing countries.
In Mali 20 percent of the children die before the age of five. An important reason is lack of hygiene. By improving the situation in schools, and educating the children in personal hygiene, their lives can be prolonged. Since the children bring home their new habits, there is an impact on their whole family.
The reason for Wavin to step into the project is "quite logical", as spokesman Herbert van der Zijl puts it: "Our expertise is providing pipelines that deliver clean water, something that Mali seriously lacks. When we planned to celebrate our jubilee, we decided not to spend all the money on a party for our own personnel and clients, but to also alleviate the needs of people in developing countries."
The donation is spent on materials, advice and education in hygiene. With this project Unicef, A4A and Wavin also aim to improve the situation of girls. In a predominantly Islamic country like Mali, parents are inclined to keep their daughters home when they reach puberty. Providing schools with latrines that guarantee privacy and safety, might help to keep the girls in school. Since the tripartite partnership has until now been very successful, Wavin and A4A have decided to extend the project with another 15 schools.
P+ Webtip: Partnerships Unicef