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Water in Mali, Mali Drinking Water, Water in Africa

Filed in Mali by on April 5, 2012 0 Comments

Water in Mali, Mali Drinking Water, Water in Africa

1 bottle with 1.5lt of water costs from 500 CFA (0.70 Euros) to 1000CFA (1.5 Euros) depending of the place you buy. One properly treated and sealed 500ml bag of water costs 50CFA (0.07 Euros). So my question is: What is the point of buying bottles of water while those bags are much better?

In Hombori as the little town had no water tower, I bought all my water. Due to the extreme heat, I incredibly drank 9 litres of water. If buying bottles I would have spend 6300 CFA but I end up paying 450 CFA for all that water in plastic bags. I was astonished when I counted the amount of little plastic bags I had thrown away.

You can find these little transparent bags of water in any corner of any street almost everywhere. In Gao try the Algerian guy shop that has 2 fridges with cool water, and, in Hombori try the shops in front of the market along the road.

During bus trips, during small stops and when the bus passes small towns and villages, children come in into the bus selling some cakes and bags of water.

When traveling in Africa one of the concerns we have is always the water quality, since not all countries have safe drinking potable water accessible to the immune system of westerners.

Mali is no exception, and as such, most tourists get sick when in contact with the local water. As personal experience, I have already drunk for several years all sorts of Moroccan waters, either in oases, wells in the mountains or all the taps of all the cities where I spent.

All major cities of Mali and Mopti, Timbuktu and Gao have water towers that led me to the idea that the water must have some kind of treatment, ie not have so bad quality. But still, I do not advise drinking tap water in Mali.

Tap water in Bamako also happens to be good for me because I never got sick during the entire trip. I also drank about 10 liters of tap water in Timbuktu. And in Gao I drank water in the jar at the restaurant a couple of times.