Thiangue Case de Sante Borehole Project – Senegal
This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
Thiangue is a village located about 7 km from the Guinean border in the southeastern-most region of Senegal, Kedougou. There are roughly 900 people, almost all ethnically Puular, who call the village home. The majority of the community adhere to the Sufi Islam faith and are of the Tijani order, the largest Sufi order in West Africa.
Like most villages in Kedougou, the people of the village earn their sustenance through farming field crops, primarily corn and peanuts, during the rainy season and herding livestock the rest of the year. Public infrastructure in the village includes a primary school, a preschool and a mosque.
Life in Thiangue, whether work or play, is dictated by the seasons. When the rains come in June, planting begins. All through the rainy season, farmers and their families toil in the fields. Harvest arrives in November-December and the community organizes into work parties to ensure that the crops are taken in on time. When harvest finally comes to an end, school is back in session, the women are busy processing groundnuts and corn and those farmers who have land along seasonal streams create gardens to try to take advantage of the last bit of water draining from the Guinean plateau. By late February, the landscape holds very few traces of the green that graced its hills just a few weeks prior.
Throughout the dry season farmers busy themselves with collecting grass for thatch and making needed repairs to their households. By April the mangoes are beginning to ripen and their sweetness provides solace from the brutal dry season heat. Along with mangoes, wild honey is another dry season treat, but the painful sting of the honeybee deters many a would-be honey gatherer. This is also the time of year for marriages, with a new wedding announcement almost every other day. By May farmers are repairing their fences and preparing their fields for planting. When the fields have been prepared, farmers begin the waiting game and the entire village of Thiangue seems to hold its breath in anticipation of the first rains.
Although there are four community health workers that live in Thiangue, village-wide health care remains poor as the village’s original Case de Sante (Health Office/Maternity Ward), which is made of mud brick with thatch roof, has become dilapidated and no longer usable. Health workers are forced to work and store medicines inside their homes. The absence of a Case de Sante has meant a higher number of home-births without the aid of a matron (mid-wife).
Seeing the need for improvement, community members held village-wide meetings in early February, 2016, with local health officials and NGOs to mobilize around the issue. In collaboration with several local NGOs and the Regional Health Post, the community is currently planning to build a new Case de Sante (Village Health Office/Maternity Ward) by the end of the year. The community has donated an excellent piece of land located in the center of the village. The only problem with the selected space is the relatively far distance from the nearest clean water source (500 meters).
For health and sanitation reasons, the community would greatly benefit from a clean water source on-site at the Case de Sante. In addition, the proposed site is in immediate vicinity (within 20 meters) of the newly constructed preschool, which also suffers from a lack of water on-site.
The goal of this project is to provide a safe, year-round source of potable water at the Thiangue Case de Sante that can also be utilized by the neighboring preschool. To accomplish this goal, a 25-meter deep bore pump-forage will be constructed on the grounds of the Case de Sante (in easy access to the preschool).
The implementation plan for this project is straightforward and will take no longer than one week. The contractor, Mady Cissikho, and his team will arrive at site with all necessary materials and machinery and begin drilling immediately. Within two days the team will have reached water. They will then install the piping, liner, cap and pump-forage. Lastly, the contracting team will create a cement platform at the base of the pump-forage.
The contractor has guaranteed that, once work begins, they will not leave until water is reached. He has also guaranteed that, should the forage go dry, they will replace it free of charge.
Funds for all the materials and labor needed to install the pump-forage will be provided by Water Charity. The community will provide all of the food and lodging for the contractors.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Monitoring and Maintenance
The contractor, Mady Cissikho, has guaranteed that once work begins, they will not leave site until water is reached. Once the forage is installed, should it need repair within the first six months, the contractor will cover those expenses as well. At any time, should the forage go dry, they will replace it free of charge.
The long-term maintenance of the forage will be the responsibility of the Thiangue Committee de Sante whose four members, president, treasurer, secretary and secretary adjunct manage the finances and record keeping of the Case de Sante. The Committee de Sante, in collaboration with the village chief and the mayor of the community rural, has access to community funds to pay for essential medicines, supplies and repairs. The Committee also has its own savings account at a bank in Kedougou. Once the pump-forage is installed, the community will be able to fund its maintenance as required.
An on-site source of clean water will greatly increase the capacity of the Case de Sante to serve its clients as well as contributing to the overall sanitation of the institution. The new forage will also increase the hygiene standards of the neighboring preschool in addition to increasing access to safe potable water for its students. As both of these institutions serve the entire village and surrounding area, this project will directly impact the health and quality of life of the entire community.
With the Case de Sante project, the community of Thiangue has demonstrated their capacity to organize around a given problem. After one of several village-wide meetings to address this issue, the PCV asked the local mid-wife (matron) how the project was coming along. She told him that the village was suffering without a Case de Sante and that they would work together until they achieved their goal no matter how long it took, because when everyone suffers together, “Ko Wallindirgol tun woni lekki tampere deng” (To help one another is the only medicine for suffering).
Water Charity has designated this project with a LGL+ tag, as it is in the spirit of the Peace Corps Let Girls Learn program. Improved health facilities, especially for adolescent girls and pregnant women, will improve the ability of girls to remain in school.
This project is being funded by an anonymous donor. To allow us to pay for more great projects like this one, please donate to our Western Africa Water & Sanitation Program by clicking the Donate button below.
This project has been completed. To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.