Conclusion of Mandinaba Pump Project – The Gambia
To read about the start of this project, CLICK HERE.
On Monday, December 30, the technician traveled from his village early in the morning, and we all met to discuss the pump. Myself, the technician, and the village elders were there. The technician and his boys took the pump apart and assessed the situation. It was decided that both cylinders and other small parts, i.e. a chain and bearings needed to be purchased. Also, one of the pump handles needed to be welded.
Myself, the technician, one of his assistants, and one of the elders of the village traveled to the nearby town of Brikama. The village paid the transport fees. The assistant stayed in Brikama with the pump handle for it to be prepared. The village paid for this as well.
Then the technician, myself, and Mr. Manneh (village elder) traveled to the town of Serekunda to visit a pump supply store there. We purchased the cylinder parts, as well as some lubricant. The cylinder parts were paid for with Water Charity money, and then the lubricant was paid for by the village.
Then we returned to Brikama to pick up the pump handle and the assistant. All transport was paid for by the village. While in Brikama a few random things like grease, bolts, and screws were purchased and paid for by the village. Then we all returned to the village.
After prayer and lunch, the technician fixed the pump. He repaired the cylinders, and made sure that both held water without leaking. Then came the two-hour process of putting the pumps back together. This was a high point of the day because many people in the village gathered around to watch. By five o’clock prayer, the pump was assembled.
We paid the technician out of the Water Charity funds, and he returned home. Many children and women gathered to collect water. The sun did not really come out that day, so the taps that run off solar were not producing much water. The elders gave a demonstration on how to properly pump the water. The children have a habit of pumping too hard. The sun has been a problem all week, so many people are happy that we now have the pumps working again.
The elders of the village are so happy, and want to thank everyone involved. They said that “these pumps belong to the country, and they will now have clean water.” They wish long life and prosperity to everyone involved.
Although this project has been fully funded, additional donations will be allocated to follow-up projects by Peace Corps Volunteer Katie Clifford and her PCV counterparts in The Gambia.