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Mali, a country of 10 million people, is part of the world of "privatized" international misadventures.

SAUR, a French multinational corporation, has already acquired a controlling interest in Energie du Mali. In 2000, the government handed a 20-year contract to the same corporation. Energie du Mali supplies water and energy in urban areas. However, a SAUR subsidiary, Hydrosahel, has held water contracts since 1982. Still only 8% of the population has access to piped water.

Families in Kayes, Mali, have long struggled to pay their water bills, which are roughly 25% of their monthly income. When the bills are not paid the water company cuts off the tap. When the water is cut off, these poor families are paying even higher rates. Their new water source is water vendors carting around barrels of water obtained from the water company's street faucets.

Malians pays three times more for water than consumers do in the United States.

But in Mali, most women wake before sunrise to sweep the home and walk to the well, carrying large buckets of water on their heads back to their families multiple times before cooking breakfast over wood fires.

On the edge of the Sahara desert they are using 31 liters of water per person per day compared with the U.S. average use of 378 liters per person per day.

In the News:

March 3: Government Faces Stiff Challenges in Meeting Water Needs
January 30: 11 more cholera deaths reported in January

    » cmep | Water | cmep Water | reports | mali

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