UDUMA MALI: Launching of a new, innovative and sustainable (15-year long) drinking water service for 560,000 villagers in the Bougouni region
The Malian company UDUMA MALI SA (subsidiary of the French group ODIAL SOLUTIONS) officially launched its new, innovative and sustainable drinking water service on Tuesday 26 November in the village of Tiéfala (commune of Koumantou, cercle de Bougouni, region of Bougouni). “We are delighted that the UDUMA MALI service is now operational and experienced by so many villagers, local authorities, community leaders and our partners: the National Agency of Hydraulics (DNH), the Regional Agency of Hydraulics (DRH) and the NGOs AQUA FOR ALL, AKVO and SNV-MALI,” says Thierry BARBOTTE, General Manager of UDUMA MALI. This service will continuously supply 560,000 villagers from the Bougouni region over the next 15 years, through a fleet of 1,400 manual pumps. UDUMA MALI has already signed public service delegation contracts with 11 decentralized local authorities in the Cercles of Bougouni, Kolondieba and Yanfolila.
Continuous drinking water at an affordable, unique and fixed priced : 10 CFAF (0.015 euro) per 20-Litre can
3 out of 4 Malians live in rural areas and rely on manual pumps for drinking water. However, one in two pumps is regularly out of order. “This situation leads to ever longer and more difficult water chores, maintains a high cost of maintaining pumps, causes a deterioration in sanitary conditions and amplifies the phenomenon of rural exodus,” deplores Abdoul Hamid ABDOU, Project Manager of the NGO SNV-MALI. It should also be noted that investments in untapped boreholes in Mali are currently estimated at nearly 66 billion CFA francs (100 million euros).
As part of this project, UDUMA MALI is managing and renovating 1,400 manual pumps on behalf of 30 municipalities in the Bougouni region, through public service delegation contracts. UDUMA MALI equips manual pumps with water meters and data loggers, outperforming them in E-PUMPS. And, by charging an attractive, unique and fixed price for water (500 CFAF per m3, or 10 CFAF per 20 L canister, i.e. 0.015 euros), UDUMA MALI undertakes to manage the E-PUMPS fleet continuously (maximum interruption of 72 hours) over the long term. “In concrete terms, in a village that has chosen to delegate its drinking water management service to UDUMA MALI, each inhabitant has an electronic card enabling her/him to buy the quantities of water she/he needs from approved fountains,” explains Youssouf SIDIBE, UDUMA MALI’s Project Officer.
The ODIAL SOLUTIONS group set up a pilot of the UDUMA MALI concept in Burkina Faso in 2016. This UNICEF-funded project was an opportunity to successfully test the technical feasibility and social acceptance of connected water pumps (E-PUMPS) and e-wallets in 152 villages.
A private investment of 1.31 billion CFAF (2 million euros) in a global budget of 3,28 billion CFAF (5 million euros)
“UDUMA MALI is injecting CFAF 1.31 billion (€2 million) of private funds (bank loans) into this project, whose overall budget is around CFAF 3.28 billion (€5 million),” says Oumar MIKOTA-KONARE, UDUMA MALI National Coordinator. The remaining CFAF 1.97 billion (€3 million) is provided by Dutch cooperation, of which CFAF 656 million (€1 million) finances NGO partners in their activities to raise awareness among the population (SNV-MALI), but also in monitoring (AQUA FOR ALL) and mapping (AKVO) the project. UDUMA MALI is also considering various financing options for its future projects: crowdfunding, impact investors, etc.
Thanks to its social and technological innovations, UDUMA MALI received the Coup de Coeur du Mali Prize of the 2018 PRIX ORANGE DE L’ENTREPRENEUR SOCIAL 2018, two Water and Sanitation Trophies (categories “research and innovation” and “water resources development”) as part of the 3rd edition of the FORUM NATIONAL DE L’EAU ET DE L’ASSAINISSEMENT (COUNTRY WATER PARTNERSHIP OF BURKINA FASO, PNE-BF), the “Innovative Business Model” Prize of the OBSERVATOIRE DU DEVELOPPEMENT INTERNATIONAL 2019, and the Coup de Coeur Prize of the ETIENNE MARCEL PRIX DE L’ENTREPRENEURIAT RESPONSABLE 2018.
A service that contributes to the achievement of many sustainable development goals
The UDUMA MALI service guarantees (1) universal access to drinking water, (2) better health in rural areas, (3) the creation of more than 1,450 income-generating activities in the Bougouni region for the next 15 years, (4) better access to education (less time-consuming water chores), (5) better economic inclusion of villagers, (6) greater attractiveness of rural areas, (7) more transparency in the drinking water sector and (8) more sustainable water resources management.
UDUMA MALI is thus actively participating, with the help of the Malian and Dutch governments, in the achievement of many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It contributes in particular to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and 17 (Partnerships for the achievement of goals).
ODIAL SOLUTIONS: the Group’s staff and 21 partners (14 nationalities) meet in Yamoussoukro to anticipate together evolutions in the water sector
The ODIAL SOLUTIONS group and its subsidiaries VERGNET HYDRO and UDUMA are bringing together their teams and 21 representatives of partner companies from 14 Sub-Saharan African countries in Yamoussoukro (Ivory Coast), from 20 to 23 November 2019. “This seminar, full of brainstorming sessions, information sessions and cultural outings, strengthens our powerful and dynamic network of local partners. It is an opportunity to present to them the group’s vision, the evolutions of our product and service ranges, good after-sales service practices… but also to anticipate together the evolutions of the sector”, explains Thierry BARBOTTE, Chairman of the ODIAL SOLUTIONS group.
Imagining new models to finance the historical market and… entering new markets
The equation is as follows: sub-Saharan Africa (1) remains the region in the world with the lowest drinking water access rates, 2) it will have large rural populations for decades to come, 3) is not expected to suffer from overall groundwater shortages by 2040, but… (4) can no longer rely on the historical support of Official Development Assistance, which has drastically reduced its funding for rural sub-Saharan water over the years. “The demand for safe drinking water exists. ODIAL SOLUTIONS and its partners have the technical expertise to meet these demands. We are therefore collectively imagining new models to finance such projects: the UDUMA service, export credits, collaboration with impact investors, etc.”
This event is also an opportunity to jointly consider new markets. “We accumulate experience beyond village hydraulics. So do our partners. By identifying these experiences, we strive at combining our respective assets to multiply, hand in hand, our business opportunities.”
Ivory Coast: historical country and country of the future for ODIAL SOLUTIONS
For more than 40 years, Ivory Coast has been one of the major customers of the solutions developed by ODIAL SOLUTIONS. Today, nearly one in four Ivorians (6.2 million Ivorians) have access to drinking water via solutions proposed by the Group. “The Group’s local subsidiary, SAHER (5 employees), is also experiencing strong growth in its activities and is actively involved in the group’s R&D. All these arguments motivated the organization of this seminar in Yamoussoukro.”