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Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal

by Center for Renewable Energy and Appropriate Technology for the Environment (CREATE!)
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Clean Water for 1,500 People in Rural Senegal
Tree saplings ready to be planted
Tree saplings ready to be planted

Every year during the rainy season, the CREATE! communities in rural Senegal take part in a tree-planting campaign. With the generous help of donors like you, the Government of Senegal’s Department of Water and Forestry that provide some of the tree saplings, and the CREATE! technicians who provide training, the communities plant about 20,000 trees every year. Preparation for this campaign starts early, with communities establishing tree nurseries in their cooperative garden sites. As Fatou, a beneficiary from Yougouré points out, the community members take pride in sowing seeds and caring for them with regular watering till they are ready to be replanted around the village. The sowed seeds as well as the saplings are cared for in “sachets” which are small black bags donated by the Department of Water and Forestry. Preparing for reforestation is not always easy though with soaring temperatures and pest attacks that are common during the summer months in Senegal. But with training from the CREATE! technicians, the communities persevere. They water the saplings regularly with water from the rehabilitated wells and use recycled mosquito nets to protect the saplings from pests.

 

Rainy season in Senegal lasts approximately from late June to late September. With the advent of the rains, the communities start planting the saplings they cared for all around their communities. Trees are planted in the cooperative garden sites as well as schools, mosques and individual homes. The community members are trained to take care of the saplings that they plant. These trees provide much needed shade where community members can sit and relax after a hard day’s work. Fatou from the community of Gagnick Mack for example has planted four trees in her house that she got from CREATE! and enjoys sitting in their shade with her children.

 

Together with trees that provide shade, communities also plant fruit and nut trees like bananas, papayas, cashews as well as trees that provide windbreak and can act as living fences in the community gardens. Acacia mellifera is a tree that grows fast and can soon form a nearly impenetrable barrier around the garden sites. This protects the garden from pests like cows, goats, donkeys and rodents. The local saying in Senegal is that even snakes cannot slither through it, which makes this variety of Acacia a favorite for the living fences, an inexpensive and culturally appropriate innovation for the cooperative gardens. Trees are also used as firewood in the region, so planting new trees every year is essential.

 

This year, two of CREATE!s new communities, Diabel and Yougouré are participating in the tree planting campaign for the first time. Diabel is establishing papaya and moringa plantations. The garden cooperative president of Diabel is thrilled to have her community participate in the campaign. She hopes that soon her village will become an oasis like the other CREATE! communities. While tree planting happens during the rainy season, these trees will be maintained year round with the water from the rehabilitated wells in the communities.

 

Trees regulate weather, which is important in the rural communities of Senegal that otherwise face extreme hot temperatures. Reforestation is a significant component of climate change mitigation strategies. A new study published in Science Magazine in July 2019 (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6448/76) finds that adding 2.2 billion acres of tree cover would capture two-thirds of man made carbon emissions. CREATE!s reforestation efforts might be small steps, but they are steps in the right direction made possible by generous donations by donors like you.

 

To learn more about CREATE!, check out our blog like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

Women in Diabel sowing seeds in "sachets"
Women in Diabel sowing seeds in "sachets"
Tree sachets are watered regularly
Tree sachets are watered regularly
Bednets used to protect the saplings from pests
Bednets used to protect the saplings from pests
Acacia saplings are used in living fences
Acacia saplings are used in living fences
Saplings planted to form living fences in future
Saplings planted to form living fences in future

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Walo community members getting water for gardens
Walo community members getting water for gardens

CREATE! has brought us from zero to great things” says Adji Sall, a garden cooperative member from Walo. This change of course did not happen overnight. Walo has been a CREATE! partner community since 2014. Thanks to your generous support, Walo has been able to move towards self-sufficiency and will “graduate” from our programs next year. This path towards graduation started through access to clean abundant water.

 

Situated in the Fatick-Kaolack region of Senegal, Walo faces adverse weather conditions with rainfall amounting to just 11-16 inches a year. Climate change has resulted in this rainfall to also become erratic. In a region where seasonal rainfall has traditionally been the only source of water for agriculture, maintaining a reliable source of nutritious vegetable production had become difficult for Walo before they partnered with CREATE!. In order to eat vegetables, the community members would have to buy them from the markets in Kaolack or Guinguineo. But things changed once they had access to water year round.

 

The community of Walo has been fortunate to have a well with abundant water. After its rehabilitation and the installation of the solar-powered water pumping system, the community now has access to 20,000 liters of water every day on average. This water is used both for drinking purposes as well as for irrigation. Most members like Adji Sall get about 20 liters of water every day from the well for household use. The community has seen an improvement in their health since they started drinking this water. This water is also helping the people of Walo to produce a year-round variety of fruits and vegetables, leading to better health and nutrition outcomes. Walo produced nearly 400 pounds of fruits and vegetables in the first quarter of 2019. This was possible because of the annual supply of water as well as the training the community members received from the CREATE! technicians on production techniques. The community now has a fresh source of vegetables that are naturally grown and are free or much cheaper than the vegetables from the markets.

 

Water has also helped Walo embark on a reforestation campaign every rainy season with the help of the CREATE! technicians and the Ministry of Water and Forestry in Senegal. In 2018, Walo planted more than 2000 tree saplings in and around their community.

 

Access to water has changed the lives of the people of Walo. It has not only improved their food security and health, but has also given them economic opportunities to explore within their communities. This has reduced the need to migrate to bigger cities or other countries in search of work. As Adji Sall mentions, before CREATE!, she used to work in Dakar, but now she can work in her own community garden and take care of her children. This is the change that we at CREATE! envision for all our communities, a change that is being made possible through our generous donors like you.

The sustainable solar pumping system in Walo
The sustainable solar pumping system in Walo
Watering the garden to ensure a good harvest
Watering the garden to ensure a good harvest
Bountiful tomato harvest in the community of Walo!
Bountiful tomato harvest in the community of Walo!
Preparing tree saplings for reforestation
Preparing tree saplings for reforestation
CREATE! helps Adji Sall work in her own community
CREATE! helps Adji Sall work in her own community

Links:

Community members celebrating water in Diabel
Community members celebrating water in Diabel

In 2018, CREATE! partnered with two new communities, Diabel and Yougouré, in rural Senegal to help them build a successful, sustainable future. The road to this success starts with clean water, which they now have, thanks to your generous support.

Located in the Fatick-Kaolack region of rural Senegal, both Diabel and Yougouré faced harsh desert like climate with a severe lack of clean water. In a region where year round access to water is essential for maintaining rural agricultural communities, their only source of water were the local commercial one, which was not only salty and unhealthy, but also expensive. Seasonal rainfall thus was the only way for the communities to irrigate their agricultural land. But with climate change and unpredictable rainfall patterns, this too had become difficult to impossible at times. They needed a source of water that was clean, accessible and affordable yearlong.

After partnering with CREATE!, these villages were able to rehabilitate their existing wells with the help of community volunteers, local well diggers as well as CREATE! technicians. With the wells functioning again, the solar water pumping and irrigation systems were installed to pump water into the cleared agricultural fields nearby. Members from both the communities were mobilized into cooperative groups and are now being trained on environmentally friendly, sustainable agricultural practices. The skills they are learning include techniques in soil conservation, sowing, watering, weeding, harvesting, and composting. For example, the members learn how to work with less water efficiently by watering new plants more than already established ones. This training allows them to grow diverse vegetables year round in their fields.

The agricultural cooperative members in Diabel and Yougouré have already started planting some of the common vegetables in Senegalese diet including eggplants, peppers, tomatoes, turnips and okras. CREATE! technicians teach them to grow a variety of vegetables which are not only nutritious but also have a higher shelf life. This will improve their health and increase their ability to sell more vegetables in the future, an activity that will generate income opportunities for them. All of this has been made possible with the availability of clean water. We at CREATE! are excited about the future when this water changes Diabel and Yougouré from a barren desert to a lush green landscape.

To learn more about CREATE!, check out our blog like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

Well rehabilitation process in Diabel
Well rehabilitation process in Diabel
Preparing the field for planting vegetables
Preparing the field for planting vegetables
Watering the prepared soil.
Watering the prepared soil.
Planting nutritous vegetables in the prepared soil
Planting nutritous vegetables in the prepared soil
Yougoure Now! Stay tuned for after photos.
Yougoure Now! Stay tuned for after photos.

Links:

Community members in Santhie celebrating water
Community members in Santhie celebrating water

CREATE! is helping improve lives of rural communities in Senegal by providing access to clean abundant water, thanks to your generous support. We partnered with two new communities, Santhie and Wereyane in the last quarter of 2017, and with clean water available now, both the communities are advancing towards agricultural and economic self-sufficiency.

 

This path to self-sufficiency started with rehabilitation of existing wells in the communities. The CREATE! field technicians worked with community volunteers and local well diggers early this year to achieve that. Once the wells were working again, a solar pumping and irrigation system was installed that pumped the water to an elevated reservoir and from there to the agricultural fields. This meant no more pulling water out from the well by hand to irrigate the land. As Arame Diop, the president of the co-operative garden group in Wereyane points out, the reason the community had given up gardening before was because it had become too difficult to garden by pulling out water by hand from the well multiple times a day. Members of the gardening group in Santhie echoed similar stories. But now, with the solar pump working, the community has abundant water in their garden site to grow vegetables year-round.

 

CREATE! technicians have organized the community members into co-operative groups and have started training them on sustainable agricultural practices. Participants are learning how to prepare vegetable beds for planting seeds, how to properly water vegetables in different seasons as well as composting techniques to improve soil conditions. The communities are already producing six to seven varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, okra, melons, lettuce and turnips. They do not need to buy expensive vegetables from markets in Dahra and Linguere anymore to feed their families.

 

Access to water has also allowed the communities to embark upon a reforestation campaign, planting tree saplings that will provide their future generations with fruits, nuts, firewood and shade. More than 3000 saplings were planted this rainy season in each of the two communities.

 

With clean water readily available, the lives of the members of these two communities are being transformed. Awa Diop of Santhie sums it up perfectly when she says water is her favorite CREATE! program as “without water, we can’t do anything”.

 

To learn more about CREATE!, check out our website , like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram.

Women getting water from basins to irrigate garden
Women getting water from basins to irrigate garden
Women in Santhie planting seeds
Women in Santhie planting seeds
Watermelon harvest in Wereyane
Watermelon harvest in Wereyane
Men and women in Wereyane planting trees
Men and women in Wereyane planting trees
Awa Diop of Santhie loves CREATE!s water program
Awa Diop of Santhie loves CREATE!s water program

Links:

Mboss in June 2017
Mboss in June 2017

“For a long time the doctor advises to drink sweet water for my health and I used to buy it but since CREATE! arrival, I am able to have well water freely” says Fatou Ndiaye from the community of Walo, reinforcing the need for clean water for better health. She is just one of many women in the rural communities of Senegal who have benefitted from the clean and affordable water they can now collect from rehabilitated village wells, thanks to your generous support.

 

In a country where unpredictable rainfall brought about by climate change has led to drought like situations, access to abundant clean water year round not only means better health, but also the ability to cultivate food year round. In the community of Mboss for example, the availability of water from the rehabilitated well has resulted in previously barren land becoming a thriving vegetable garden in only one year. Women like Nogaye Faye of Mboss now have vegetables to eat daily from the garden. Many women in this community have now become vegetable sellers where previously they would buy from the nearby market. Women who had no work before have become entrepreneurs due to the community gardens made possible by clean water.

 

Nogaye, who previously was treated for hypertension due to the salty, brackish water she drank from the commercial source, believes that the clean water from the rehabilitated well has helped her health become better. And this water, according to her, has also helped the surrounding villages with all of them now able to grow vegetables without paying water bills.

 

The importance of rehabilitated wells for the provision of clean, abundant and affordable water is thus obvious. With your support, CREATE! is expanding our partnerships to new communities in Senegal for that purpose. In the last couple of months, CREATE! field technicians worked with community volunteers to rehabilitate an existing well and expects to rehabilitate another well in the coming months. By providing access to abundant, affordable water and training from CREATE! field technicians, we can work together to help these villages achieve agricultural and economic self-sufficiency.

 

CREATE! also helped communities in their reforestation efforts during the rainy months of July and August by planting trees for shade, firewood and food, something that would have been impossible without ongoing access to abundant water from rehabilitated wells to nourish growing tree seedlings. Want to know more about our tree planting campaign? Check out our blog.

 

To learn more about CREATE!, check out our website and follow us on Facebook

Mboss in June 2018
Mboss in June 2018
Clean water always puts a smile on their faces
Clean water always puts a smile on their faces
Nogaye Faye has benefitted from the clean water
Nogaye Faye has benefitted from the clean water
Women in Walo happy with their harvest
Women in Walo happy with their harvest
Tree seedlings ready to be planted in Diender
Tree seedlings ready to be planted in Diender

Links:

 

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Project Leader:
Kaitlyn Grigsby
Eugene, OR United States
$45,616 raised of $50,000 goal
 
449 donations
$4,384 to go
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