Located deep in the interior of the Bougouni region to the south of Bamako, the villages of Doussoudiana, Kémissala, and Bembougou are now accessible year-round, which allows residents to sell their crops. The region, known for its famous and delicious mangoes, recently received infrastructure and equipment to help improve the production and sale of its fruits.
At the entrance to the villages lies a small, fully collapsed bridge, a vestige of the 1980s. This bridge used to connect these villages to the rest of the country and was often completely submerged in water because it was not sufficiently elevated. As a result, many villages were cut off from the rest of the country during the rainy season. As Dibi Sidibé, the mayor of Bolo Fouta, put it: “We were isolated and cut off for a long time. But we never gave up and looked for ways to get our community out of this situation.”
Since early 2022, infrastructure construction under the Mali Support to Agro-Industrial Competitiveness Project (PACAM), which is being financed by the World Bank through the International Development Association (IDA), has improved accessibility to this area. The project has rehabilitated 300 kilometers of rural roads and infrastructure to facilitate access to production basins in the districts (cercles) of Sikasso, Bougouni, and Yanfolila. The PACAM works, which were fully transferred to the General Directorate of Roads on June 26, 2023, have opened up access to more than 72 villages in 15 communes with a total population of 431,369, and 137 connectivity structures such as inverts, multiple culverts, portal bridges, and frame bridges.