Jassong Community Garden Well Project – The Gambia

Jarra Jassong, Lower River Region, The Gambia.

Community Description
Jarra Jassong is a small village community located 5 k off the main road in the LRR region of The Gambia. Jassong is composed of 40 family compounds, with the majority of residents from the Mandinka ethnic group.

There is no electricity or running water. The main source of income is farming of rice and peanuts in the rainy season (June-Oct) and the sale of handicrafts, salt, mint and mangoes in the dry season. There is no school or clinic in Jassong; the closest of each is located 5 k away in the village of Bureng.

There is currently no community garden in Jassong, but some families maintain small family gardens for growing vegetables and mint for personal consumption and sale at the weekly market in the town of Wellingaraba, about 5 k away.

In April 2011, the construction of a community garden on the edge of the community began. Land was allocated and cleared, and currently construction of the fence is underway and 50% completed. However, there is currently no water source for irrigation at the proposed site.

Project Description
This project is to build a locally-dug open well that will be used as a source of irrigation for a community garden. This will in turn increase horticultural production in the village of Jassong.

The work will be done in a 100 x 120 m plot of land designated by the community as the site of the community garden. The well will be hand dug by a locally-contracted well digger who is recommended by the Village Development Committee, along with 4 hired diggers chosen by the master digger.

Water will be drawn up by hand via rope and bucket. Steps to be taken include (1) Locating the exact site within the garden plot to dig the well. (2) Breaking ground and digging down approximately 12 meters. (3) Constructing a cement skirt and top liner for safety and to direct waste water away from the well.

Water Charity funds will be used for labor costs (paying 5 laborers for 10 days), purchasing supplies, including 5 shovels, 15 meters of rope, 2 buckets, and approximately 5 bags of cement.

The community is participating by hosting the laborers and constructing cement blocks for the top liner (above ground section to prevent falling in).

Project Impact
It is anticipated that 230 people (200 women, 30 men) will participate directly in the garden by maintaining beds. These people will have the benefit of agricultural training provided by the Department of Agriculture.

Jassong is a community of approximately 1,500 people, all of whom will be affected positively by a community garden.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Meghan O’Connell

This project to provide water for irrigation is necessary for a community garden to exist. It will act to increase and sustain horticultural production, which both generates income and improves the nutrition status of the community.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has now been fully funded through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Meghan O’Connell of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Meghan and/or those of other PCVs in the country.

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