The revitalisation of historic buildings and public spaces not only restores hope to impoverished neighbourhoods but provides a socio-economic stimulus. Following the completion of the restoration of the Great Mosque of Mopti in 2006, the Aga Khan Trust for Culture implemented an urban regeneration programme that aimed to raise the standard of living for residents in the Komoguel area.
Several public water points were established to increase access to safe, clean drinking water; an underground sewerage system was built with connections to individual households in the area; a treatment facility for raw sewage was installed; 4,000 square metres of streets were paved with locally manufactured bricks made from recycled polythene bags and sand; and a system for collection of solid waste was introduced.
Building on this success, since 2008, the Mopti Coordinated Area Development Programme combines interventions in health, education, rural development, financial services and civil society strengthening to improve the quality of life for communities in the Mopti Region, one of the poorest in the country.
"The work of revitalising the mosques is gradually being extended to their surrounding neighbourhoods to include all residential accommodation situated in the shadow of the minarets. How wonderfully symbolic it is that the outcome of efforts to restore the mosques should be to improve the quality of life of the people whose lives follow the same rhythm as theirs!" His Highness the Aga Khan speaking at the ceremony of inauguration of the Great Mosque of Mopti, Mopti, Mali - 24 April 2008.