Gnaman ni Sôrô ani Kènèya

A local, circular, zero-waste model for eliminating environmental health risks, improving waste management, and creating sustainable livelihoods for women and youth.



Environmental health hazards contribute to the deaths of children

A young child stands in a doorway that looks out onto an unpaved street as a steer walks by.

According to the WHO, environmental risks contribute to 1 in 4 child deaths.

In peri-urban communities, a lack of waste management practices and sanitation services, air pollution, and standing water can lead to respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, and malaria – three of the four top killers of children.

To better understand community attitudes and social norms about environmental health and waste management, the Mali Health team spent a year talking to community members and collecting data.

We surveyed over 550 residents in peri-urban communities, and here are some of their thoughts:

  • 72% believe plastic waste should be recycled
  • 87% view plastic waste management as a major challenge
  • 54% view soil and water pollution, and biodiversity degradation as a problem
  • 48% view community waste is a disease source
  • 96% affirmed income-generating sanitation jobs would improve environment and unemployment rates

In peri-urban communities, there is also a lack of reliable, sustainable livelihoods, with over 90% of families making their livings in informal sector work and living in poverty.


In partnership with three peri-urban communities – Sikoro, Sabalibougou, and Kalabambougou – we’re working to adapt a circular, zero-waste model to address environmental health hazards by creating local, sustainable livelihoods for women and youth every step of the way, through:

    • Waste management through reduction and sorting
    • Composting of organic waste
    • Recycling plastic waste
    • Collection and removal of other waste
    • Urban gardening
    • Creative reuse of plastics
    • Plastic recycling

The Gnaman ni Sôrô ani Kènèya project is rolling out in three phases:

Phase 1 (2022)

We conducted five studies with community members, partners, and stakeholders that are informing how the project will take shape, including a waste composition analysis, a stakeholder analysis, a waste brand audit, a social norms analysis, and a plastic value chain analysis.

Phase 2 (2023- present)

Phase 2 involves deep community engagement, discussions, and listening about waste management, plastic pollution, livelihoods, and the themes of the GSK project in Sikoro, Kalabambougou, and Sabalibougou.

Phase 3 (beginning 2024)

Will begin the launch of the circular economy activities that make up the core of the model. We’ll begin with the gardening and composting cooperatives, then add the plastic recycling and reuse components through partnership with local organizations.

A West African collaboration

Gnaman ni Sôrô ani Kènèya is an adaptation of the Sustainable Community Project, a model developed by Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO).

Our work began in 2021 as a learning exchange between our two organizations, when members of our team went to visit their sites in Ghana, and we welcomed a delegation of GAYO’s team to Bamako. Together, our teams collaborated to form a plan for adapting the SCP to Bamako.



Women interact with the Keneya Blon app at a community demonstration in Sotuba


We have been working closely with dozens of partners throughout the design and development of the GSK project to assess not only its feasibility, but its potential impact.

Partners in the project include:

  • La Direction Nationale de l’Assainissement et du Contrôle des Pollutions et des Nuisances (DNACPN)
  • La Direction Régionale de l’Assainissement et du Contrôle des Pollutions et des Nuisances (DRACPN) de Bamako
  • Local goverments of Communes I, IV, V
  • Neighborhood Development Committees
  • Women’s associations and groups
  • Youth associations and groups
  • Trade associations
  • Families and households

Working together, we estimate that the GSK project will have the following results:

150 tons

of waste will now be collected, per community, per year

80 %

of that waste has value and will be used in composting, recycling, and reuse activities


residents of peri-urban communities directly affected by improved waste management


full-time waste management jobs created by 3 new businesses

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Mali Health improves maternal and child health by supporting women, communities, and the community health system to develop local solutions that ensure every mother and child has access to quality primary care.

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PO Box 51632, Durham, NC 27717

Mali //
Hamdallaye ACI 2000
Rue 100, Porte 222
Commune IV du District de Bamako
Côté Ouest de l’Ecole de Maintien de la Paix Alione Blondin Beye