A primary in Africa: UDUMA vies to provide 560.000 people in rural Mali with drinking water for the next 15 years

Thierry Barbotte (UDUMA), Arco van der Toorn (Aqua for All), Bourama Traore (Bere Consulting), Nicolaas van der Wilk (UDUMA), Lionel Cormier (Demeter Partners), Abdoul Abdou (SNV-Mali) and Emmanuel Diarra (AKVO-Mali) at the offical launch in Mali

In July Aqua for All received formal notification from the Sustainable Water Fund (FDW) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs that they have awarded the UDUMA Mali Project proposal with funding of € 3 million. After 18 months’ work with our partners pulling this Public Private Partnership together, we were very pleased with this result. Last week the UDUMA Mali project was officially launched:

The UDUMA Mali project is a 15 year water service delivery concept that includes operation and maintenance of 1,400 manual pumps in the Sikasso region of Southern Mali. The project will be implemented under the full support of the Malian Ministry of Energy & Water.

“The young French company UDUMA, subsidiary of the ODIAL SOLUTIONS Group (Orléans, France), is the first private operator which undertakes to provide rural areas in Subsaharian Africa with drinking water on the basis of a long term commitment”, explains Thierry BARBOTTE, Managing Director of UDUMA, enthusiastically.

Representatives of the Dutch NGOs Aqua for All, AKVO and SNV-Mali of the National Hydraulic Agency in Mali (DNH Mali) and of UDUMA had their kick-off meeting in Bamako on Wednesday 20 September 2017 to officially start the Public Private Partnership which is to manage the water supply for 560.000 people in the rural parts of SIKASSO region (Southern Mali) for the next 15 years. UDUMA will deliver an original, innovative and sustainable water supply service.

On behalf of the local authorities and communities, UDUMA will rehabilitate, operate and manage 1400 public manual pumps, which are often the only source of clean drinking water. UDUMA outfits the pumps with meters and data loggers. UDUMA guarantees a continuous water service with a 72-hour max downtime, at an affordable tariff. “In practice, in a village which chose to delegate its drinking water supply service to UDUMA, each inhabitant has an e-card which enables them to buy, from certified pump operators, quantities of water they need. These cards are reloaded in dedicated kiosks or online”, specifies Nicolaas van der Wilk, Operations Manager for UDUMA.

Since 2016, UDUMA has set up a pilot site in Burkina Faso. This project, funded by a United Nations agency, allows the young company to test the technical feasibility and the social acceptance of the e-pumps and of the electronic wallets.

Check out the one pager for more information: UDUMA 1-pager

On 11 January 2018, our partners Vergnet-Hydro, Akvo and SNV Mali participated in the official launching ceremony of the UDUMA project in Bougouni, Southern Mali. Check out the video of the ceremony here: Launching Ceremony