Conclusion of Salikenneh Village Water Project – The Gambia

This project has been completed under the direction of Emily Lundberg, Ph.D., Water Charity Country Director – The Gambia and Ebrima Marong, Water Charity Program Manager.

To read about the start of the project, CLICK HERE.

The project was designed to drill a 6-inch diameter borehole to a depth of 45 meters and install a hand pump.

Emily reports:

The Salikenneh Water Project has been completed. The project included the high-quality mechanical drilling of a 6-inch diameter borehole at a depth of 45 meters. A brand new German Mark II hand pump was installed. 

In addition, a 2.4-meter by 1.5-meter-long concrete trough was also constructed as a drinking point for livestock. This provides ample fresh clean drinking water at all times for both the community and the community’s livestock; this will help prevent loss of livestock due to lack of water, thus contributing to improved household incomes and nutrition.

The community contributed effectively to the project’s needed manual labor and also supplied sand, gravel, cement, and iron rods. The community members contributed tremendous effort to making this project a success.

The Alkalo (village head) Mr. Essa Sowe expressed delight with the completion of the project. He said they now feel more human: “Water is life,” he said. “Thanks to Water Charity for giving us life.”

Mrs. Fatou Ceesay, the head of the newly formed water management committee promised to work with her team to make sure the system continues to work and to ensure every household contributes a monthly token to be used for any future maintenance—ensuring water system sustainability. She said now that fresh water is available in the community, women can take better care of their families, while men can plough the land for crops instead of travelling 5 kilometers searching for fresh water. Girls can also stay in school and learn.

The community promised to let their school-age girls stay at school instead of engaging in daily water collection.

The public health officer covering the community hailed the importance of this water project. He highlighted the numerous water-related illnesses he had to help cure, which will now decrease drastically, especially in children.

Oumie Jabbie, a female student in grade 7, expressed thanks to Water Charity on behalf of all school going girls in the community. She said this has come as a huge relief for them especially. She recalled they had to wake up as early as 4 AM to fetch water, in which they had to travel to a nearby village about 5 kilometers away. ‘’I always go to school with pain in my shoulders and ribs due to fetching water in the morning before school,” she said. “But thanks to this new water project, now I only walk 20 meters to fetch clean water to drink. I am very happy now that I can concentrate on my school studies and not think of the burden of the long-distance hardship fetching water for my family.”

Water Charity Program Manager Ebrima advised the community to take good care of the water system. He will regularly visit the community to check on the system and to advise on their use of the Community Water Management System Model, as well as to help educate the community on water management and sustainability.

The entire community of Salikenneh village say thanks to Water Charity and Working Water Gambia team!

We extend our thanks to Emily and Ebrima for completing this important project and again thank our anonymous donor for providing the funding.