The other day, I heard a strange sound coming from a little shop in Bamako. I went to investigate and found a young man sitting on a low stool filling large bags with small water pouches as they fell from a machine where they were filled and sealed.
In a country that has no drinking fountains, and really hot weather, vendors everywhere sell water pouches. They carry them in head pans and dodge between cars in every traffic jam or go-slow. They are for sale in most shops and from most street vendors. They are cheap and plentiful, selling for 5 to 10 cents. Some vendors keep them in coolers with ice, so that when you bite off a corner to drink, you feel really happy to have something cold.
One of the problems with these water pouches is that you never know how safe the water is. It might be clean, it might not. It looks like the water in this operation is being filtered before it’s bagged.
Come take a look at this interesting process!
This is a good business to have in a place like this!
After filling the large bags with the pouches, they are loaded into the back of a Katatani, or a motorcycle with a bed in the back. Then they are distributed to the vendors.
Here’s an interesting article about some of the pros and cons of adding more plastic to this world where things aren’t recycled:
And this article will tell you all about the water packet industry in Africa. It’s really very interesting.