In January we committed to do work in 4 villages and in spite of Covid 19 hold ups the work programme is completed.
The largest of the villages Jamagen now has a fully functioning Clean Water System and an extensive Distribution Network.
In the same most northern part of the country near the Senegal border is the village of Sambayassin where the Water Systems has been completed. Nearby we carried out repair works on the existing system in Mallick Sarr.
Kerr Wally a village in which we had provided a Water System a few years ago had a village vegetable garden situated quite a distance from the nearest source of water. This resulted in hours per day being spent carrying water by the women to the garden. We have sunk a Borehole in their 1.5 hectare garden and work to complete the system is in hand. The garden also needs extensive repairs to the fencing which which will be carried out by the villagers once our negotiations on supply of fencing wire is finalised.
We are also encouraging compound holders with sizeable home gardens, 500 to 1,000 mt2 to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their cultivation by the introduction of Low Pressure Drip Feed irrigation. This is a long term project which we will encourage in all 10 villages with which we have established contacts.
Below is the young forward looking Alkalo of Jamagen turning on the Clean Water System for the first time. Current travel restriction made it impossible for us to be their to share in their celebrations.
These are official figures up to date as at last Sat 11th April. We also have regular communication via WhatsApp in rural villages and towns who are trying to cope with the State Of Emergency which is in place until mid May.
All bars and restaurants and non essential businesses are closed and non essential travel discouraged. Number 1 problem. Very few businesses are in a position to continue to pay their workers. Number 2. The Government is in no position financially to guarantee any, even a very basic level, of income to these people. Within a very short time hunger will be a serious issue and there is concern that this could understandably lead to civil unrest.
Bafaluto is the village we began working with in 2008. Most of the men there who had work are now without an income and when earning between Euro 60 to 100 per month its impossible to accumulate any emergency savings. Being aware of this we organised a delivery of 1 tonne, 1,000 kgs, of rice to be distributed in this village. We will attempt, funds permitting, to do the same in the other villages as the need arises.
The value for money is wonderful. 450 Euro per tonne, 20 X 50 kg bags. If you can donate 22.50 E (£20) for a bag we will ensure it is delivered where most needed. Thank you.
The orderly distribution was organised by the Water Committee headed up by Samba Bah, who until 3 weeks ago worked at the Airport. He has no idea when he will receive his next “monthly” pay cheque of 3,000 Dalasis (£50)
Apart from the excitement and challenges of the Banjul to Barra Ferry our time on the North Bank was very successful.
Since our return three Boreholes have been sunk
Over the coming weeks a lot of work will be done by the young men of each village. They will dig the hundreds of metres of trenches to carry the distribution pipework to strategic location through their villages, in total well over 2,000 mts. Hard manual work in hot sunshine.
While this trench digging takes place the construction team using circular moulded bricks will build the water towers to support the minimum 6000 litre (6 tonne) tanks at a height of approx 5 mts above the ground. This elevation of the storage tanks ensures sufficient pressure to “push” the water throughout the distribution network.
Our very first village, Bafaluto ,some 11 years ago, still has the same fully function Water System. We see no reason , with reasonable maintenance carried out by the villagers, why it won’t continue for at least another 11 years. One of the best value for money investments we have ever made.
However the original fencing of the village vegetable garden has rusted badly much to the joy of goats and other 4 legged intruders. We contributed to the Garden Fund and a full scale repair job has been carried out. .
Pamela Morgan and Brian Harrold are the trustees of PING Charity and we thought we should put faces to the names.
We are excited about this year’s project, working with The Girls Agenda we are going to build the Women’s Centre in Mansour, near Brikama. The land of 100mt by 100mt is bought already and we are finalising planning approval, and we really need your help to finance this project. Every little bit helps so please hit the donate button now.
An area of almost 3 acres was cleared and 6 irrigation wells were hand dug to a depth of 8 to 10 metres. These would allow year round irrigation and depending on the vegetable/fruit allow 3 or 4 harvests a year. A substantial fence had to be erected to keep out villager’s animals and wild animals. Tools, seeds and training were also in the budget.
This involved drilling a 6” borehole 80 metres deep. Solar panels were needed to pump the water from this depth to an elevated 20 mt3 Storage Tank from where gravity feeds it to a number of taps throughout the widely scattered village. This project ran concurrently with the garden work.
We supplied Momodou with a laptop and digital camera getting almost daily emails and pictorial updates on progress. We visited Bafaluto in late November and were not disappointed. There was a great “buzz” about the village, clean water would be running before Tobaski (Dec 20th), the garden was being divided up to plots and each household would have its own area to begin cultivating in January 2008. Project completed within budget and on schedule.
We have the two brick machines on site now at Njongon,all the way from the southern tip of India. The villagers have spent weeks gathering oyster shells which they fired in open fires to reduce them to lime. They have bagged 150 bags of lime which will be used with the earth and 15% cement to make the bricks in the manual hydraulic presses. They are then dried in the sun and will be used to repair their own homes first and then sold to surrounding villages. The bricks will be made here for future water tanks.Training has started on site from a local company who have been using the same brick machines for a year already.
The Girls’ Agenda in partnership with For My Sister implemented a summer camp on female genital mutilation
(FGM) and other sexual and reproductive health issues for girls and young women. The activity was
implemented in two phases from the 20th to 30th August, 2015. The aim is to empower girls and young women
with appropriate life skills and knowledge required to be aware of their fundamental human rights and how to
demand for the respect and protection of such rights. A total number of 53 girls and young women were
trained on various modules ranging from life and leadership skills, female genital mutilation, child marriage,
sexual violence, the importance and right to girl’s education, issues of teenage pregnancy and illegal abortion,
comprehensive sexuality education, and entrepreneurship.
please e mail us for a full report.