Restoration works begun on the site the Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali in January 2009, financed by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, continue with traditional masons and consolidation works to ensure the survival of this exceptional but fragile example of earthen architecture, inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1988.
The conclusion of the state of conservation of the site quickly made clear the need for general consolidation: despite the remarkable annual plastering campaigns which have maintained the laterite mud surfaces of the façades and roofing, the structure of the monument erected in 1907 is showing signs of weakness.
In early November 2009, exceptionally strong rain fell on Djenné. At first the mosque, whose superstructures were drenched, seemed to hold up well. However on 5 November, the upper part of the South tower of the East façade collapsed, leading several tons of laterite mud to slide onto the East terrace. Four masons who were about to descend the scaffolding were thrown to the ground, but they receive immediate treatment and fortunately had only suffered light injuries. The administrative and traditional authorities arrived quickly and took the necessary precautions to secure the area and inform the local citizens.
Despite the extreme nature of the accident, the works continued in the following weeks with the reconstruction of the South side and then continuation of the works on the East façade, simultaneously with the North and West façades, in addition to work inside the mosque: electricity, ventilation, soundproofing, carpentry and finishing work.