Garden Development, Solar Pump
- Community Growth
The local village in Senegal has a population of 1880 people (1280 adults & 600 children) living in approximately 204 family dwellings. Their only access to water is via (5) wells located disproportionately throughout the village which were installed during the inception of the compound in 2007. Unfortunately to date, this village has yet to be able to obtain electricity. None of the individual homes or compounds have running water of any sort. Everyday a member of the household must go retrieve buckets of water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, showering, laundry and bathroom needs. Although the water table is high compared to other parts of Senegal, these five wells are in dire need of deepening. The one main well where the majority of the village uses would benefit immensely with a solar pump due to the fact that after a prior deepening, this particular well is over 25 meters deep. This project has two parts to it, the first part is to purchase and install a solar pump at a well that will be next to a designated women’s garden space within the community and the deepening of the (5) existing water source wells. The second part is to clear out, plant and maintain a women’s garden space for the community members. The land designated for this garden space is already allotted and owned by the women in the village. The objectives of this grant are to fulfill a desire to have a designated women’s garden and to fulfill the need of the community to easily access a much larger amounts of water than hand pulling could and the addition of a women’s garden will provide food security for the families in the village. The projects potential impact on the community is immense: Currently the women (who are mainly the ones responsible for retrieving water) are having to walk up to, and in some cases depending on their compound, over 200 meters for water. Some of the wells are already 25 meters deep and this requires waiting 30 minutes to 1 hour between water draws to pull more water. Also, it would give the women of the community a space to garden which will benefit all the community due to the added availability of vegetables, and added profits turned from selling any excess vegetables. Due to climate change there has been a noticeable change in the rainy season, so rainwater gathering has been substantially declining. The community's contribution will be in the form of land use (15% in-kind), additional labor, purchase of seeds, use of gardening tools (10% cash equivalent) and other raw materials needed in the deepening of the 5 wells and planting of the garden.
The community is absolutely the driving force behind this project, it is clear that the people of this community are focused on its development and understand that where there is development, there needs to be a safety net. From the moment of this PCV arrival to the community, there have been many meetings among the people discussing the community's dismay that nearby villages have already received running water while their community still only has wells. This may sound like people of this community are just jealous of nearby villages, but after living near the community for almost ten months, this volunteer truly believes that a solar pump, deepening of the (5) wells and the development of the women’s garden are necessary. Upon the new volunteer's arrival to the community, the community (especially the women) continually expressed their desire to have a designated garden and solar pump at the well so that after pulling water all day for their households, women and most particularly the men could still have the energy to head to their fields without being discouraged by the need to pull more water. After integrating well into the community, this volunteer completely agrees that there is a need for a women’s garden and solar pump in the community; aside from the fact that women and girls pull water for hours upon hours every day, this volunteer believes the community would be even more interested in the exciting urban agriculture technologies she would like to extend in regards to planting, caring for and maintaining of the women’s garden. This Peace Corps volunteer along with her Master Farmer and Peace Corps APCD’s guidance will be holding water management technique training's throughout her service with the members of the local community.
This project is directly benefiting both the women's group, who will be planting and maintaining the garden, as well as the local community which is fully engaged and involved and will indirectly benefit from its establishment. Through this Peace Corps volunteer's collaboration with the community, all participants will understand all the labor and funding that will have gone into accomplishing this project. This project is directly benefiting the local community and a majority of the community members are involved and will indirectly benefit from its project. Through the biweekly meetings of the community leaders, this PC volunteer will not shy away from discussing problems or issues that could arise from this project along with strategies to mitigate these. It has been suggested by community members that they should contribute to some sort of annual or quarterly dues to ensure that the community's resources can be maintained. The community discussed establishing an account with funds that the various community members can donated to as the group wants to make this a regulated process. The community, as a whole will oversee this project's maintenance. The community has democratically elected leadership in the community. The people holding these leadership positions are not only heavily in the loop with the implementation of the project, but they know that they will be in charge of its maintenance after this PCV has closed the grant. Additional training activities for the maintenance of the solar pump and wells will be implemented periodically after installation.