Conclusion of Missira Dantila Borehole Project – Senegal
This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Tess Komarek.
To read about the beginning of the project, CLICK HERE.
Date of project completion: May 31, 2015 (Six month follow up pump usage surveys completed November 10, 2015)
This project began when I was first installed in my village in May 2014. I worked with my village chief, health workers, and local partners to identify the needs of the village, and the biggest issue they faced was lack of access to clean water. I worked closely with my community to identify potential solutions to this problem and we decided that a borehole pump would provide the cleanest water to the most people. They helped me throughout the entire process– identifying hydraulic companies, negotiating price, contributing financially and in kind to the project, and aiding the installation of the pump.
In May 2015 when it came time to install the pump, my village was ecstatic in anticipation. When the hydraulic company arrived in my village, everyone stopped with what they were doing to guide the trucks to the upper half of the village to install the pump. The women started dancing and waving their scarves in celebration of a new water source. Before the drilling started, one of my uncles brought a ram to sacrifice for the pump. I was so surprised that he offered a ram for the project, as livestock are extremely expensive and the majority of people in my village are subsistence farmers. In my village to mark a special occasion, families will sacrifice an animal, and I was touched that my uncle felt that this event was worth the celebration.
The drilling went smoothly the first few days, but when it came time to install the borehole, there was not enough water to be able to install the pump. The hydraulic team took a tour of the village noting the location of the open wells and latrines, discussing other locations for the pump. They settled on a central location within the village to ensure that the pump would still serve the upper half of the village. The drilling and pump installation were done quickly and efficiently and the new location provided a lot of clean water. The hydraulic team was able to finish everything within a week, which excited my village to be able to have an immediate source of clean water. The community now has two clean water sources within the village. There is no longer a need to gather cooking and drinking water from the nearby river or open wells.
The initial goal of the project was to provide a clean water source to the upper half of my village, roughly 500 people. We greatly surpassed our initial projections, as this pump provides potable water to over 800 people daily with nearly 200 of those persons under the age of five years old. The entire village now has access to clean water, which will contribute to lower rates of diarrhea and other water borne illnesses.
We would like to thank Tess again for executing such a fine project.