The lack of clean water is a serious health issue. More than three million people die each year from water-related illnesses or suffer related health problems, including blindness. In the semi-desert country of Mali, the Niger River flows through the nation. But much of the population lives in remote villages where water is scarce – and often contaminated. As a result, 10 percent of children die before their first birthday – and 20 percent never reach the age of 5.
The Lions Step In
Supported by LCIF, local Lions club members in Mali teamed with Lions from France to drill boreholes and create wells to bring clean water to Morodjambougou and other villages in Mali. Then, “A Drop of Water for Africa” taught local villagers how to use and maintain the equipment. “Water is life,” said Dr. Yanaoussou Dolo, a member of the Bamako Sokala Lions Club. “When you provide water to where there is no water, you feel very happy because you are serving those in need.”
Turning the Tide
Today the village is thriving. Clean water halted deaths from water-borne diseases, and the abundance of water sparked an economic revival. Families have nutritious food to eat and produce to sell in the market. “If you go visit this village any time of the year you’ll find one fruit. If it’s not bananas, it’s papayas,” according to Mama Tapo of the Bamako Sokala Lions Club. “So this is really for us a pride … a pride because a borehole has changed the life of the village.”
Facts and Figures
In Africa, Lions water projects are helping to turn the tide against disease and poverty. This Lions partnership has brought clean water to more than 120 villages in Mali alone.