Burkina Faso: Launch of the campaign “Clean Hands to fight COVID19” for 71,000 inhabitants of the Centre-Nord and Hauts-Bassins regions
Picture caption: EPGF technician testing a foot-operated hand washing station to be installed near a standpipe managed by VERGNET BURKINA (photo credits: EPGF).
Stop the spread of the pandemic using the most efficient method currently known for rural areas of Africa: hand washing with soap
As suppliers of innovative and sustainable services for drinking water in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa, UDUMA and VERGNET BURKINA (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso) are committed to protecting their users and their teams and are helping in the fight against the pandemic by launching the campaign “Clean hands to fight COVID19” for 71,000 users in Burkina Faso. “We will provide a foot-operated hand washing station and soap for the users of 80 UDUMA standpipes in the Centre-Nord and Haut-Bassins regions and we are funding this ourselves,” states Jean-Christophe KI, Managing Director of the company VERGNET BURKINA, which supplies UDUMA services in Burkina Faso.
This campaign, as well as the requirement for the pump operator to wear a mask and social distancing rules implemented at the water distribution point, aims to stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic using the most efficient method currently known for rural areas of Africa: hand washing with soap. A campaign that is all the more important in light of the study Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2000-2017 (Joint Monitoring Programme, UNICEF, OMS, 2019) which found that 92% of inhabitants in rural areas of Burkina Faso do not have soap and water at home to wash their hands.
A 100% “made in burkina” campaign to support the local economy
VERGNET BURKINA and UDUMA have agreed to provide all the funding necessary to cover the equipment and running (soap, water, maintenance, etc.) costs for as long as possible. This campaign “Clean Hands to fight COVID19” will therefore have no impact on the price of the water services that had previously been agreed with the national and local authorities. “We will even provide a foot-operated hand washing station for each of the 9 communes that will be part of this pilot scheme, to help them overcome this terrible health crisis,” assures Lucie KABORE, Operations Manager at VERGNET BURKINA.
The “Clean Hands to fight COVID19” campaign is 100% “Made in Burkina”. The foot-operated hand washing stations are produced by EPGF (Ouagadougou), the masks are made by the Ouagadougou-based company ANGE CONFECTION using traditional Burkina Faso woven cotton cloth known as Faso Dan Fani, and the soap is produced by local factories. “We are particularly committed to supporting the national economy at the moment, given how much it has been affected by the health crisis” specifies Jean-Christophe KI.
Call for ideas to extend the campaign to benefit all users of the UDUMA services
“We need water now more than ever to be able to provide sanitation and hygienic conditions to protect against the virus. We are lucky to have a local operational team; we owe it to them to do our part. Thanks to everyone’s support, this campaign is likely to be rapidly extended to benefit all 208,000 UDUMA users in Burkina Faso, Mali and Côte d’Ivoire,” adds Mikael DUPUIS, Deputy Managing Director of UDUMA. “We are reaching out to experts, industrial partners, financial institutions etc. who wish to contribute to the project.”
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).