Transforming lives through water access, sustainable electricity and women's empowerment

Mar 22, 2024
fondem, egales, fondation nexans

Fondation Nexans is committed to creating lasting positive change in communities around the world. This World Water Day, we celebrate the transformative power of water access, sustainable electricity, and women's empowerment by highlighting three impactful projects across West Africa and the Caribbean.

Rejuvenating lives in Lélouma and Mali, Guinea

In collaboration with Electriciens sans Frontières (ESF), our project in Lélouma and Mali, Guinea, transformed the lives of over 550,000 people by addressing critical challenges: inconsistent access to clean water and unreliable electricity. Prior to this initiative, inadequate water infrastructure and frequent power outages threatened public health, education, and essential medical services.

A multi-faceted approach for sustainable development

Our project tackled these issues head-on with a comprehensive approach:

  • Rehabilitation and expansion: We focused on rehabilitating existing water networks and water towers, ensuring consistent flow of clean water to over 550,000 people across Lélouma and Mali.
  • Solar-powered solution: A key element of the project was the installation of a solar-powered water pump at the Lélouma hospital in 2020. This sustainable solution now guarantees a reliable source of approximately 10,000 liters of clean water daily, specifically catering to patient care and hygiene needs. This not only improves the overall well-being of patients but also empowers healthcare professionals to maintain proper sanitation protocols, potentially reducing hospital-acquired infections. Additionally, the clean water supply allows for improved laundry services within the hospital, increasing the frequency of bed sheet and linen changes, further promoting hygiene standards for both patients and staff.
  • Reliable electricity: We helped the installation of solar photovoltaic panels at key locations, including hospitals, health centers, and schools, generating a total capacity of 17,790 Wp. This provided a reliable and clean energy source for critical equipment and lighting, potentially leading to a significant increase in consultations, procedures, and deliveries at the Lélouma and Mali hospitals, and improved learning environments for hundreds of students at the Lélouma college.

Empowering women market gardeners in Casamance, Senegal

In partnership with Fondation Energies pour le Monde, we supported the EGALES project in Casamance, Senegal (2022). This initiative empowers 330 women market gardeners by improving access to water and irrigation. By installing solar-powered pumping and irrigation systems across seven perimeters managed by women's groups (GPFs), EGALES aims to:

  • Reduce reliance on manual labor: Replacing manual water extraction with solar pumps is estimated to save women countless hours per week. This frees up their time and energy for other activities, such as tending crops or caring for their families.
  • Increase productivity: Improved irrigation systems are expected to lead to an increase in crop yields. This allows women to cultivate more food for their communities and potentially generate additional income.
  • Enhance income: With reliable irrigation, women farmers can cultivate high-value crops during the dry season, potentially increasing their income. This strengthens their economic independence and improves household livelihoods.

Find out more about this project:

Collaboration beyond borders: supporting ESF in Saint-Martin

Fondation Nexans believes in the power of collaboration across regions. Following the devastation of Hurricane Irma in Saint-Martin in 2017, we supported Electriciens sans Frontières' (ESF) critical electrical relief efforts. While ESF's immediate focus was on securing electrical installations at a key relief base, their work also indirectly contributed to improved water access in Saint-Martin. 

Here's how:

  • Powering water treatment: ESF installed 15 generators in critical locations, including two neighborhood health centers. This ensured the continued operation of water treatment plants, providing clean water to the 7 500 people in the surrounding affected areas.
  • Enabling water distribution: By securing electrical installations at the relief base, ESF facilitated the distribution of 3,000 solar kits to affected households. These kits provided a decentralized source of power for basic needs, potentially including water purification.

A brighter future, built on collaboration

On World Water Day, Fondation Nexans celebrates not only the secured access to clean water for over 557,800 people in West Africa and the Caribbean but also the holistic approach that empowers communities and paves the way for a brighter, healthier future. The Lélouma, Mali and Saint-Martin projects stand as testaments to our commitment to sustainability and the transformative power of collaboration in achieving lasting positive change.

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