State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Irrigation project success in Mali

Columbia Water Center is working in Mali, Africa, as part of its PepsiCo Foundation funded project to improve rural water use and livelihoods.

The Mali component of the project aims to develop an effective irrigation system to improve agricultural productivity and food security. In recent months, CWC’s Mali-based staff signed a Memorandum of Understanding with two farmer associations in the villages of Djéguélia and Iloa (near Toya) to provide a loan to pay for pumps and engines, and create the management structures needed to set-up a community fund. Through this program, and with improved management of the pumps, farmers are now able to increase and diversify production, which will increase their incomes and decrease the amount of time needed to recover the cost of the pumps.

Farmers prepared their fields for irrigation by constructing and rehabilitating the reception basins and canals and by leveling the fields. The pump sets were installed in Djéguélia and Iloa in early March and are now operational and being used to irrigate the off-season rice crop.

The two pump sets and accessories are loaded onto the truck by a crane and transported to the River Niger:

-	the 2 pump sets and accessories are loaded onto the truck with a crane.

They are then loaded onto a motor boat in the Niger River, and transported to the villages, where residents await their arrival:


Village people help to unload the pump from the boat in Iloa :


Unloading the role of flexible pipe:


Getting ready for installation:


Special technicians came from Dire to help install the pumps:


Conclusion, the pumps work!


The Regional Directorate of Agricultural Engineering and two private companies carried out a technical study on the rehabilitation and development of the irrigated perimeters, and as a result construction of improved ponds and canals started March 31st on both perimeters. The first loan payments have already been made.

Over 313 farms, 3,212 residents total in the villages of Iloa and Djéguélia, have begun to benefit from increased access to water.

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Howard Altmann
Howard Altmann
14 years ago

Question on Pump Sets
I am not familiar with these pumpsets. They look to be gasoline driven. How much gasoline is needed each day to keep the pumps running? Is it a problem keeping the proper amount of gasoline on hand?

Samantha Tress
14 years ago

Response from Cisse Brahima Tiambal, Program Coordinator at MVP Toya:
The pumps use 28 liters of diesel per day (8 hours x 3.5 liters/hour)
It is difficult to keep enough diesel on hand. 3000 liters of diesel is needed each growing season. To keep such a large quantity, it’s necessary to install a cistern of that capacity on site (partners install and supply these cisterns). Currently, the communities stock the diesel in drums of 200 liters purchasedewach week.

6 years ago

On which scale does the machine works on?i mean how many hectares??

5 years ago

Here in my country, Bangladesh, successful irrigation project is very important as in dry season water level decreases largely. Thanks, PepsiCo Foundation and Columbia Water Center for its great initiative in Mali.