Oct 05, 2022 - Mali

On wednesday 5 october, SDLG officially launched its programme in Mali. VNG International presented the programme and the results of the gender-conflict, PEA and stakeholder studies that were done during the inception phase.

The programme takes into account several issues that local governments face in the increasingly challenging context in Mali.  

  • One of the main sources of conflict in Mali is the management of natural resources, particularly water and land. Water and land management are intertwined and need an integrated approach
  • There is a lack of trust between local authorities and citizens in Mali due to a low level of service delivery, low level of citizen inclusion in decision making and a lack of communication.
  • Decentralisation of competences to the local level is accompanied by insufficient resources which leads to a lack of (financial) capacity

Therefore SDLG in Mali aims to contribute to the overall impact of “Local authorities are able to address sources of conflict in a non-violent and inclusive manner”, through four intermediary outcomes:

  1. More inclusive, responsive and accountable local government policies and procedures
  2. More effective, accountable and inclusive leadership of local governments and their associations
  3. More empowered civil society organisations
  4. Improved intergovernmental policy coordination

With as cross-cutting themes water and land management.

As water related issues need an integrated approach which goes across municipal boundaries, the implementation of SDLG will be done through four intercommunal frameworks: Damanko, Yiriwakene, Numpagnon et Bassin de Sankarani. 

After discussing the results of the studies, each intercollectivité presented their context and the main challenges they face.

“We do not have any control over who, where and how people mine for gold. There are currently more than 113 sites in our intercollectivité. Consequently there are severe issues with pollution of water and health due to the use of Mercury. Moreover many of our youth participate in these practices instead of being in school.” – Representative Intercollectivité Damanko

“Climate change poses a further pressure on the (water) resources of Mali and risks that water and land management will become main drivers of war in Mali. The ministry of environment is therefore ready to support VNG International in its important support to intercollectivités to address these sources of conflict.“ – Representative Ministry of Environment

With the intercollectivité du Bassin de Sankarani, VNG International already started their collaboration in 2019. The previous programme IDEAL supported the creation of this intercollectivité to addres their issues of illegal gold mining in the Sankarani river. An Integrated Development Plan with an Environmental Impact Study is being developed. SDLG will continue to support this process.

With the other three intercollectivités we will develop a specific action plan focused on the specific challenges each of them faces.

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