Mali: Well Digging


Objective: To build wells and plant trees to protect the local communities and the environment in the Dogon, Mali.

Each year in Mali, 4,000 square km of tree cover disappears, resulting in a dramatic loss of savannas woodland. Droughts and deforestation are accelerating the encroachment of the Sahara desert sands. In this parched country where scarcity of water is a serious issue, local people lack the concrete to build wells that can last. As a consequence, women have to travel long distances to find water and wood.

The Alstom Foundation is working in partnership with VIA SAHEL to help protect the environment of the Dogon people, best known for their mythology, their mask dances, wooden sculpture and their architecture, by:

  • creating 15 wells, each capable of catering the water needs of 300 people
  • planting 7000 trees

This project has been re-selected for 2011and 2012. It extended the on-going action plan with an additional 5 wells and 2,500 trees.

Key Figures

Beneficiaries: The Dogon

Duration: 3 years

Location: Dogon Country, Mopti region of Mali

Visit the Via Sahel website  

Via Sahel is a French non-profit that has been working with local authorities and villagers in the Dogon Country of Mali for nearly 30 years, promoting health care, education, accessible water and microcredits.


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