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).
170,000 euros to invest in mobile-based cashless payment facilities
The newly created Malian company UDUMA MALI is one of the 12 grantees of round three of the GSMA Mobile for Development (M4D) Utilities Innovation Fund, supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and Scaling Off-Grid Energy: A Grand Challenge for Development. “This € 170.000 grant will be used to invest in mobile-based cashless payment facilities for a project that is going to provide 560.000 rural people with drinking water in the Sikasso region (Mali) for the 15 coming years”, explains Thierry BARBOTTE, Chairman of the ODIAL SOLUTIONS group and Director of UDUMA MALI. “In 2018, UDUMA MALI has entered into public service delegation contracts with the first 11 out of the 30 targeted municipalities.”
3 Malians out of 4 live in rural areas and provide themselves with drinking water by means of manual pumps. However, 1 pump out of 2 is regularly out of service. “This existing situation implies more time-consuming and exhausting water chores, has a high cost for the pump upkeep, affects the health conditions and contributes to the rural exodus”, states Nicolaas VAN DER WILK, Operations Manager of UDUMA MALI. Furthermore, boreholes made unusable by defective pumps represent nearly 66 billion CFA francs (100 million euros) in lost public investments.
Mobile technologies at the heart of the UDUMA model
The project, under the tutelage of the Malian Ministry for Energy and Water, is offering an alternative to this situation for the Sikasso region. The Malian local authorities are going to entrust the management and the operation of 1.400 water points equipped with manual pumps to the private operator UDUMA MALI. The operator guarantees a continuous water service (72-hour max downtime) for at least 15 years and renews a large part of the equipment.
UDUMA MALI will be charging a fixed user fee per consumed volume (500 CFA francs/m3, 0.76 euro). The water pumps will be equipped with digital water meters. The water service is provided by a caretaker (1 on each pump) and a mechanic (1 per 50 pumps), whose remunerations evolve with water consumptions. The new water service delivery model is expected to create small-scale income-generating activities for nearly 1.500 women in the Sikasso Region.
The GSMA M4D Utilities Innovation Fund grant will enable UDUMA MALI to deploy mobile-enabled devices for cashless revenue collection, combining Mobile Money and Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies. Nicolaas VAN DER WILK explains: “The M4D grant will be used to gain the required technological expertise, but also to spread awareness among the end-users on how to use these technologies. The grant-funding will absolutely help us jump-start operations in Mali”.
The M4D Utilities Innovation Fund and the GSMA
The Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund was launched in June 2013 to test and scale the use of mobile to improve or increase access to energy, water and sanitation services. Across three phases of funding, grants were competitively awarded to 53 organisations across Asia and Africa. Seed grants were awarded for early stage trials, Market Validation grants for scaling or replication of business models.
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with over 350 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem. The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Los Angeles and Shanghai, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences.
Drinking water, DSP, Mali, Management, News, PPP
Launching of a sustainable drinking water service for 264,000 first recipients
Picture caption: Vincent de Paul SIDIBE, Mayor of Wassoulou-Balé and President of the Cercle de Yanfolila, shaking hands with Nicolaas VAN DER WILK, Operations Manager for UDUMA.
On Friday 9th November 2018 in Bougouni (Mali), UDUMA MALI S.A. entered into public service delegation contracts with the 11 municipalities (264,000 inhabitants) Danou, Debelin, Keleya, Kokele, Koumantou, Sido and Zantiébougou (Cercle de Bougouni), Sere Moussa Ani Samou, Yallankoro Soloba and Wassoulou Balé (Cercle de Yanfolila) and Kébila (Cercle de Kolondiéba) out of the 30 municipalities targeted in this project which aims at providing 560,000 rural people with drinking water in Sikasso region (Mali) for the 15 coming years. « The signing of these contracts is a milestone in this project. The last step before the rehabilitation of the water points and the start of the service », states enthusiastically Nicolaas VAN DER WILK, Operations Manager for UDUMA.
Creation of a business activity for nearly 1,500 people
Supported by the Malian MINISTRY FOR ENERGY AND WATER, the UDUMA Mali project brings together the Malian NATIONAL AGENCY FOR HYDRAULICS (DIRECTION NATIONALE DE L’HYDRAULIQUE), the Malian enterprise UDUMA MALI S.A. and the NGOs SNV MALI, AKVO and AQUA FOR ALL. The Malian local authorities will be entrusting the management and operation of 1,400 water points equipped with manual pumps to the newly created private operator UDUMA MALI S.A. The operator will guarantee a continuous water service (72-hour max downtime) for at least 15 years and renew a large part of the equipment.
In return, UDUMA MALI will be charging a fixed user fee per consumed volume (500 CFA francs/m3, 0.76 euro). The water pumps will be equipped with digital water meters. The water service is provided by a caretaker (1 on each pump) and a mechanic (1 per 50 pumps), whose remuneration evolves with water consumptions. The new water service delivery model is expected to create a business activity for nearly 1,500 people in the Sikasso Region.
UDUMA MALI injects 1.3-billion CFA francs (2-million euros)
The selection of the 11 first municipalities for start of operations in 2018, approved by the REGIONAL AGENCY FOR HYDRAULICS (DIRECTION REGIONALE DE L’HYDRAULIQUE) is based on cartographic analysis of the water points. “We led an on-site survey including the inventory of the water points and an assessment of the current payment and consumption methods in these 11 municipalities”, specifies Abdoul Hamid ABDOU, UDUMA Project Manager for the NGO SNV-MALI.
As a reminder, UDUMA MALI injects 1.3-billion CFA francs (2-million euros) private funds (equities, impacts investors, banks, etc.) in the project with a total budget of 3.3 billion CFA francs (5 million euros). The remaining 2 billion CFA francs (3 million euros) are provided through a subsidy from the Netherlands MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, of which 600 million CFA francs (1 million euros) are dedicated to public awareness raising (SNV-MALI), reporting (AQUA FOR ALL), mapping and monitoring (AKVO).