MALI: Somapep commissions Kabala pumping station

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MALI: Somapep commissions Kabala pumping station©BB DESIGN STOCK/Shutterstock

The Malian Drinking Water Heritage Corporation (Somapep) finally commissioned the Kabala Pumping Station after several months of delay. It is used to supply drinking water in the Malian capital Bamako.

At last! The Kabala pumping station is now operational. It has recently been put into service during a ceremony attended by Sambou Wagué, the Malian Minister of Energy and Water, Sidi Kanouté, the Malian Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and Nancouma Keita, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Malian Drinking Water Heritage Corporation (Somapep).

The decision comes after several months of delay in the launch of this pumping station, which supplies 144,000 m3 of water per day to the people of Bamako, the Malian capital. According to Somapep, the delay was due to a fire that affected equipment in the decanter that had already been installed in the pumping station that draws water from the Niger River. The work is part of the Bamako drinking water project.

Bamako Drinking Water Project

The project to supply Bamako with drinking water from Kabala was eagerly awaited by the populations of the Malian capital. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), this project, now completed, will produce an additional 144,000 m3 of water per day and provide drinking water for this city of more than 3 million inhabitants. The volume generated represents 68% of current production, and will significantly relieve populations subject to water harvesting, especially women.


To achieve this objective, Somapep has therefore built a pumping station along the Niger River. The plant is equipped with a continuous water quality alert and monitoring system. To bring drinking water from Kabala to Bamako, Somapep has set up “large diameter” pipes.


In the capital, water will first be stored in tanks with capacities ranging from 2,000 to 10,000 m3. To distribute this water to the population, Somapep is also installing 880 km of distribution network and rehabilitating at least 50 km of pipes. The public company also installs more than 1100 standpipes, more than 66,000 social connections and 44,000 normal residential connections. All these infrastructures require a total investment of more than 294 billion CFA francs, or more than 449 million euros.

Support from development partners

The project to provide Bamako with drinking water from Kabala also includes a training and awareness component. Training in the maintenance of new installations concerns Somapep agents. As for the populations, they will be made aware of good water management. Somapep will also be involved in a study on the regulation of water tariffs at standpipes.

This project has received support from several development partners. The AfDB contributed 21% of the total amount. The remainder is provided by the World Bank, the French Development Agency (AFD), the African Development Fund (ADF), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Italian Cooperation and the Malian State.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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