The Dogon civilization is one of the most ancient in Africa. The survival of this unique culture and way of life is currently being threatened by global changes in the environment. The Dogon have lived in a vast canyon in Mali for centuries, at the mercy of the beautiful but fickle environment. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Dogon region already had limited access to water but has been greatly affected by recent climate change.
In the Dogon villages of Kanikombole and Pel, water sources were in desperate need of repair. Old wells were not secure, subject to frequent contamination, and posed serious safety hazards. In conjunction with USAID, the Peace Corps, and the Government of Mali, AED and the Voss Foundation are rehabilitating and deepening wells to protect the villages’ water sources. We are aided locally by Sahel Eco, in Kanikombole, and Caritas, in Pel. Extant wells have been repaired and secured with removable covers, retaining walls, and runoff channels. Pulley systems are renovated, and pumps installed.
Beyond providing great health benefits for the villagers, clean water can also be used to serve and prepare food for tourists, boosting the Dogon peoples’ economies. The Voss Foundation also provides training and assistance to the community, with a special focus in Pel on the women’s associations.
Projects in Mali:
Project Type: Well rehabilitation, water conservation training, support of women’s cooperative garden including irrigation
Water access points: 5 hand-pump wells; one directly aiding the agricultural garden
Funding source: Give A Drop
Project Type: Well rehabilitation, water conservation training, introduction of responsible environmental practices to conserve water and combat desertification
Water access points: 3 hand-pump wells; one directly aiding the agricultural garden
Funding source: VOSS