Report to Kennington Overseas Aid on progress with the Manankoro Women’s Development Project



After the presentation meeting last year we were able to make successful claims for Gift Aid, maximising the overall contribution of Kennington to very slightly under £20,000. We made our partners Jeunesse et Developpement aware of the final outcome, and the Manankoro team then began further consultation with a number of villages across the area.

The original bid included three key components:

•    Provision of extra diesel grinding mills.
•    Funding to support women with new initiatives
•    Support for health work in the Manankoro area.

Market Gardens

Though the locust problems, which affected Mali last year, did not reach Mananakoro there was again a difficulty with poor rains. This has had an interesting impact on implementation, as women in three of the identified implementation sites, the centres of Manankoro town, Mafele and Lemouroutomu all said that they needed support for their market garden plans, which included water storage capacity. Accordingly work on water storage and market garden development became the first major priority. The work has to be completed before this year’s rains which begin in March and so construction is a priority. Work is underway and we will be able to provide some pictures soon as we are visiting in January. This work will have a really significant impact on the lives of local women, their families and thereby the whole community.

Mills.

This change of priority still leaves money available for further extension of the mill programme, and development work to make this happen is taking place. Recent reports from the existing mill projects at Lemeroutoumu and Woma have confirmed that they continue to go well, including the management structures and financing of maintenance.

Health Promotion.

Kennington’s money has given a big boost to the work of the village health workers in Manankoro. We hope to further extend the health promotion work by attracting funds for a major malaria programme, which will again develop this work. Malaria is a major killer of small children across the country and Manankoro is no exception.

We will continue to keep Kennington Overseas Aid informed of progress, including photographs and news. The visit in January by Gill and I, and other members will enable us to see things on the ground and also talk to local people. We are hoping to have visits from several Jeunesse et Developpement staff during 2006, supported by funds from International Service’s Comic Relief programme with J and D. This will involve talks and seminars, and if KOA would be keen to have a local event, which includes information about Mali and Manankoro then we would be delighted to set this up.


John Hedge

Secretary to Mali Development Group.