3 People + 6 villages in Gambia = 5,000 people with clean drinking water

August 15 2015

We set up PING Charity (People In Need Gambia) as a result of visiting a very poor village, Bafaluto, while on holiday in 2006. Using our own funds we provided this village with clean drinking water and a 5 acre fenced irrigated vegetable garden, an economic activity to ensure future maintenance of the water system.

This was exactly what the villagers had asked for; democratically chosen from various options by a voting system using white stones.

The cost was £76,000 Stg; and we personally negotiated carefully with the companies involved; one drilled the 90 metre deep borehole and installed 24 solar panels plus inverter to power the submersible pump. A second built the elevated storage tank to hold 25,000 litres of water and laid 2 kilometres of distribution pipework.

We learnt a lot from this project, both cost savings and possible pitfalls, and we were helped greatly along the way by Mr. Momodou Joof, a retired school teacher who became our “man on the ground”.

The Bafaluto “model” showed us what was possible with relatively modest funds. The population figures in the six villages which now have clean drinking water and various economic activities are approximately:
Bafaluto 1,000.  Njongon 1,000.  M’Bullet Ba 1,300.  Kerr Wally 550.  Chessey 350.  Ndofan 350.

Cost of providing the Water Systems:
Bafaluto £64,000 Stg completed in 2007

Njongon and MBullet Ba, £75,000, both villages being fed from one borehole and storage tank completed 2009 (Funds from friends & family and Cycle for Gambia charity)
Kerr Wally, Chessey, and Ndofan , 3 villages completed in 2015 cost £65,000 (funds from donations, selling jewellery and personal contributions).
Cost differences arose due to exchange rate, depth and difficulty of borehole drilling and distances of distributional pipe-work distances.

Economic activities
TRAINING SCHOOL: An initiative started by Mr Joof and his local charity, Future Farmers of The Gambia (FFG) which encourages the youths to learn a trade to stay in their village.
BRICKS:  We purchased two manually operated “Compressed Earth Block” machines, 6,500 Euros, from Auroville, India which make first class building bricks. We have built a health clinic, and some housing.
BEES: We commissioned The National Beekeepers Association of Gambia (NBAG) to train people in beekeeping; we now have this in nine villages.
JEWELLERY: Girls in the Training School are learning Jewellery making skills and Tie and Dye local fabrics.
AGRICULTURE: The extensive fully fenced irrigated vegetable gardens ensure not only a better diet buy also provide an income. These have been very successful and managed very efficiently by the women. Treadle pumps purchased with a grant from the UN Staff Charity Fund help to lift water from the irrigation wells: these are being installed July 2015.
BAKERY: Built from our own bricks, it opened in Njongon in 2012
FISH FARM: The construction team helped to build a fish farm in 2014.
We enjoy the challenge of running PING and we know our model works and is good value for money. It is difficult in the current economic climate to raise funds but are very happy to continue the work we have started. We have at least another three villages which have been surveyed, waiting for us to provide clean water.
If you can help by putting us in touch with any organisation or philanthropist who could help us financially, we are confident that we can produce the same good results again.
If you have any questions please email pingcharity@yahoo.co.uk or contact Pamela Morgan or Brian Harrold on 0044 7802351316.

Please email us for the full report.

Success in all three villages and official hand over of the water system

May 21 2015

The photos show the delight of the villagers after the official handover of the water system; the tank and solar panels, Inverter & submersible pump supply three separate villages from a single Borehole, using 3km+ of pipe work. The taps are all now delivering good pressure to all locations. The water committees in each village organise collection of 2 cents per 25 litres from the villagers and that money is banked to support the maintenance of the system.The daily running cost is zero, solar panels collect the energy and the pump pumps!. These people will have clean drinking water for years resulting in better health for everyone and will definitely lower the infant mortality rate.
Thanks to all who have helped us get this far.

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Better to work at home than try to cross the MED. for no work

May 11 2015

These young men look for contruction projects using bricks made by our brick machines. They have just completed a second house.
This is so much better than risking their lives trying to cross the Med to look for unavailable work in Europe.
In Kerr Wally the leak has been rectified and Eseim Solar, the water company, is hoping to shortly rectify the low pressure supply problem in Ndofan .
The chickens and their feed are being subsidised by the Gambian government ,and housed in the animal house built in Njongon,by our team of builders.

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Better to have work at home than trying to cross the Med to no work!!

May 11 2015

These young men look for contruction projects using bricks made by our brick machines. They have just completed a second house as shown in the photo.
This is so much better than risking their lives trying to cross the Med to look for unavailable work in Europe.
In Kerr Wally the leak has been rectified and Eseim Solar, the water company, is hoping to shortly rectify the low pressure supply problem in Ndofan .

The Vegetable garden project

April 09 2015

Good news from the Gambia, over 150 families are benefitting from the flourishing harvests in the agricultural areas. All plots are being utilised and women make up 100& of the workforce in this area. They are growing cabbages, onions, maize, peppers and an assortment of local crops. The urban people are coming to Bafaluto to buy vegetables now which saves the women going 7 km to the market and improves their prices. They put some funds into a cooperative bank account and use the money to buy more seed, keep the area in order and help those that are in major difficulties.

Given the opportunities we can build

December 28 2014

Here is our team of young builders who have been learning their trade in Future Farmers of the Gambia training centre and using our brick machines.They have completed this office for an Eco farm .The machine was relocated to the south bank and is now producing an income by making bricks and providing work for the team. Just shows how each small move forward helps more people.Well done.

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Water,water everywhere and you can drink it!!

November 12 2014

Finally the taps are turned on and water is flowing in Kerr Wally,Chessay and Ndofan.The three chiefs and the villagers accepted responsibility for the system this week and spoke of their gratitude and that they couldn’t quite believe it had finally happened. These villages all raise cows, goats and sheep and have been sharing one well per village with their animals, and have had all the associated health problems that result .The women clearly stated that the water system was for them, as they do all the washing and cooking and were delighted with the availability of clean water after a hard day working in the fields. They believe it will have a big impact on their children’s health. Ndofan has a lower water pressure and all three chiefs agreed to help re-dig sections of the pipeline until they find the problem.
The villagers have already implemented a payment system, about 2p per 20 litres, to ensure funds are building up to support the system into the future. Each village has set up a water committee to oversee the use and maintenance of the system. We would normally be in The Gambia for the handover but with funds needed for other projects, we felt this was not necessary and we are delighted that Mr Momodou Joof represented PING and we are grateful for all his continued hard work with all the villages.

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July 2014 Great Progress

August 13 2014

We have included some new photos showing how well the villages are progressing.
The committee at Bafaluto has been able to build a covered Market area so as the villagers can sell the produce from the 6 acre vegetable garden to other villagers and to surrounding villages. Other home made items are also sold here.The money for this building came from contributions made by the women in the village selling their vegetables and contributing to the central fund.
The water system at Kerr Wally and 2 adjoining villages is near completion, just the water tank to be painted and the invertor to be programmed; it converts DC power to AC to drive the submersible pump.
You can see some of the boys are planting Moringa trees, the leaves of which are a good source of vitamins to supplement their diet, and there is the possibility of progressing towards selling moringa leaves & seeds commercially.

Njongon committee have been able to build an extension to the health centre which is used by 9 adjoining villages but only on a fortnightly basis. It is hoped that with the extra accommodation it can be staffed and used on a daily basis. This is a big step forward and again was made possible by income generated from the sale of surplus vegetables from the market garden and some additional fund raising activities.
The ready availability of a sustainable Clean Water System gives the people more time (& better health) to participate in these other activities and this is adding directly to the economy of the village which has knock on benefits to the wider community.

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May and the final touches

June 02 2014

Attached are pictures on the progress on the pre-assembling of the stand structures on the Kerr wally water project.This idea will help to speed up the work because there is no electric power in the village.After this it may only take few days to complete the work.  This work is being done at Ebrima’s office in Bejilo.As soon as it is ready we move to the north Bank.the boxes are the solar panels. says Momadou
Thanks to El Paraiso Golf Club captains Janet and Guy Woodford generous donation and another successful jewellery workshop ,we were able to send money to Momadou to complete the solar panels, for the project in Kerr Wally. Hopefully we will be able to complete this three village project before the rainy season starts.  says Pamela.

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