Conclusion of Kountanto School Well Project – Senegal

This project has been completed under the technical direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Amber Patterson. To read about the beginning of this project, CLICK HERE.

This project was for the construction of a well to bring water to the primary school of Kountanto.

Amber reports:

The project started Monday, March 8, 2010 with a long tractor ride with the purchased well materials from Velingara, the nearest town to Kountanto. The well diggers then selected the site for the well, killed a chicken to ensure good luck for the well, and began work.

The workers came every week day for the entirety of the project, with the exception of a few days when they were sick (or maybe just tired). The project finished April 12th.

Project funds were used to pay the well diggers, and to purchase sand/gravel, iron bars, cement, and, of course, the chicken.

Amber continues:

This project was good timing because it went on at the same time as the SPA-funded school construction project in Kountanto. What that ended up meaning for this project was that we never had to pay for transportation of well materials because we just threw the materials on the tractor we had already rented to bring school construction materials.

Also, the budget for the school project called for the village to supply a pulley, bucket, and rope for a well, which we then just gave to the new school well when the construction project was finished. These little budget cuts made it possible for us to purchase a super sweet, pink painted well to match the pink paint on the school.

All in all, this project was a great success. Community members, myself, as well as primary school students and staff are all thrilled to have a school well.

The latrines at the school are now open and sanitary.

Upon completion of the well project, I conducted a hand washing demonstration at the school, using glitter to represent germs that just won’t wash off with soap alone. The students all loved this demonstration and now are very diligent about washing their hands after the bathroom. My hope is that next year the primary school students will be able to start a school garden near the well.

This project was funded by fellow-PCV Emily Morris and friends, to whom we are all grateful.

Both Amber and Emily have completed their Peace Corps service and are now back home resuming educations and careers. Their work, as well as that of the other Senegal PCVs, will stand out as models for others to follow.