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Tiby, Mali
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Tiby, Mali

Tiby Cluster: 11 Millennium Villages | 55,000 residents

The Tiby Millennium Village cluster is located in the southern region of Segou, one of the poorest areas in all of Mali. Food insecurity is prevalent because of sporadic, unreliable rainfall. There are dangerously high child mortality rates, due in large part to malaria which is endemic in the region. The combined effects of high human and animal population, exploitation of natural resources (foods, fuel, fodder, shelter, etc), and unfavorable climatic conditions, have put the soils under unprecedented pressure. The naturally poor soils have been further impoverished through nutrient extraction. The vegetative cover has seriously declined since the early 1970s, resulting in a loss of soil fertility and agricultural productivity. Factors such as lack of water and labor for dry-season composting, inadequate market and transportation facilities, discrepancies between the price of fertilizers and that of cereal crops, and the general breakdown of the traditional farming systems have contributed to environmental degradation and decreased agricultural productivity in Ségou.

Village Characteristics by Sector

More than 75 percent of the villagers are subsistence farmers, growing mostly rain-fed sorghum and millet cereals with very low yields—between 500 and 700 kg/ha. Rice is also grown but the irrigation system is obsolete, rudimentary and not well maintained. Other crops such as peanuts, beans and sesame are grown but in very small areas or in association with millet. Vegetable gardening, mainly practiced by women on small plots of land, has become an important cash-generating activity wherever water is available.

There are high levels of illiteracy and less than half of the school-age children go to school. Schools are run by the communities and have limited access to education materials and teachers (about 105 students per teacher).

Malaria prevalence hovers around 68 percent and between 70-80 percent of the population is anemic.

While the area has several water points, most are not safe nor even functional, requiring numerous repairs and spare parts. Only 20 percent of the population has access to safe water.

Intervention Highlights

The Government of Mali is extremely supportive of the project. Even President Toure is engaged in the project's activities and is highly appreciative of the work being done. All sector activities are coordinated by government staff seconded to the project. The government posted 10 new primary school teachers in 2006 and will pay for an additional eight teachers currently paid by the project in October 2007. It will also incorporate 28 additional health personnel in the 2008 budget.

In just the first year of interventions, dramatic results are already taking shape in the Tiby cluster.

Agriculture: Increase crop yields and decrease hunger
The project introduced micro-dose technology in the area, which consists of applying small doses of fertilizers (about four grams) into the planting holes to reduce the amount of fertilizer needed by about half, thus making fertilizer use more affordable. The project also distributed improved millet seed. The result was a doubling of yields, which also helped farmers to contribute 100 kg per family for the school feeding program.
Education: Increase enrollment and improve quality
The project instigated an intensive sensitization campaign to promote sending all boys and girls to school. In the first year two new primary schools were built several more are planned for 2007/2008. The project contributed skilled labor and non-local materials (cement, gravel, iron rods, corrugated iron sheets, etc.) to complement the community's strong contribution of labor, locally available materials, and overall construction oversight. With the elimination of school fees, the addition of more teachers and a school feeding program which helps supply a hot, nutritious lunch every day, the resulting increase in student enrollment has been nothing less than startling. Enrollment increased from 10 to 200 students in the Tiby research village and to zero to 150 in the neighboring village of Goukaolomba, which represented the greatest increases. The project also organized a 21-day training session for 81 primary school teachers on curricula development to improve the quality of learning in the schools in the project area.
Health: Improve access to basic medical services and combat the spread of major diseases
33,000 long lasting insecticide-treated malaria bed nets have been distributed to the entire cluster, thereby ensuring all members of the community are sleeping under one at night. In discussion with the government and community, it has been decided that there should be five health facilities—Centre de Sante Communautaire—or CSCOM, comprised of a dispensary and maternity wing.