Essau Lower Basic School Water Project – The Gambia

Essau, The Gambia, West Africa

Community Description
Essau is located across the river and about 7 km east of the capital city of Banjul, in what is commonly called the North Bank Region of The Gambia.

The Essau Lower Basic School is the only primary school in the immediate area. It was established in 1948 in the central part of the village of Essau, and currently serves 1855 students, grades 1 through 6.

The school has a new headmaster this year, Mr. Sekko, who is trying to make many positive changes to the school. Unfortunately, the previous headmaster let the school fall into disrepair.

In the short time that Mr. Sekko has been in charge, they have already begun many improvements including repairing the wall around the school compound, providing electricity on the grounds, and repairing the current latrines.

The school is divided into two parts: (1) The main part of
the school, where most students have their classes, located toward
the front of the property, and (2) the back of the school property, separated from the main part of the school by an old soccer field. In this part is located an additional row of classes and the school orchard.

Project Description
This project is to rebuild the school water reservoir within the orchard to make it productive, and to add a tap to the main school grounds for the use of the students for drinking and handwashing.

The school orchard has remained uncultivated for years due to the lack of a regular water supply. Currently, community members have to go at least 4 km in order to find vegetables and many people just do not do this. Malnutrition is a large problem in the village.

The school will rebuild the reservoir and use the orchard as a garden for use by both the students and the general community of Essau, with the goal of supplying the community with fresh vegetables.

Project Impact
The people directly affected include 1855 students (905 boys and 950 girls) and 49 staff members (25 male teachers and 24 female teachers).

Indirectly, with an increase in proper nutrition in the community due to a thriving school orchard, there will be many more people affected.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
This project is being carried out under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Kristy Smiley. Kristy previously served in Mauritania until the Peace Corps Volunteers were evacuated earlier this year.

This project directly impacts on the nutrition, health, and well-being of over 1,900 people. It starts with a previously untended and nonproductive orchard, and provides for the irrigation of the crops. In the process, a safe drinking water source is created for the school.

This is a very high-impact multi-purpose project, which effectively demonstrates the Appropriate Projects premise that a lot can be accomplished by building and expanding upon existing facilities

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has been fully funded through the generosity of Little Kimberly and Little Adgie Jacobs, of Myrtle Beach, SC, USA, with the help of friends and family of Kristy Smiley, in honor of Mr. Sekko, for the work he is doing for the school and community.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Returned Peace Corps Volunteer Kristy Smiley of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by other PCVs in The Gambia.

This project has been completed. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.