Kondokho Orchard Well Project – Senegal

Kondokho, Saraya District, Departement of Kedougou, Senegal

Community Description
Kondokho is a large Malinke village in the department of Kedougou in Senegal. It has a population of about 1,000 people, and is slowly developing infrastructure to accommodate the growing population. It lies along a road that connects three major clusters of villages to the north, west, and south. To the south and east is a major road that leads to Mali.

Every year, there are seasonal fluxes of people out of Kondokho in search of work during the post-harvest dry season. Often these livelihoods outside of Kondokho involve artisanal gold mining to the northwest and informal trading of goods purchased from Mali and sold in Senegal. As these livelihoods pull in money, the people involved risk exposure to mercury contamination (with gold mining) or political violence (with trafficking goods from Mali).

The shortage in work during the post-harvest dry season stems from the lack of water needed to establish gardens and orchards. This seasonal water shortage resulted in a peaceful protest last year in the district capital where people chanted “dji ku ya!” which translates into “the manifestation of desire for water” in Malinke.

A local gardening group, Koumafélé de Bogodela, successfully planted 250 mango and cashew trees last year. However, with the onset of the dry season in this last month, 25 of the trees have already died.

Project Description
This project is to dig a well to provide water for the gardening group to establish a large mango, cashew, and banana orchard, and to provide water for local gardens.

The well will be hand dug in laterite soil. The community has picked a spot for the well, surveyed the local water table, and found a local well digger.

In the gardening group, there is a local mason who will lay the cement ring at the top of the well for safety and to avoid contamination from runoff. Additionally, there is a local carpenter who will build the frame of wood to suspend the pulley for the well.

Water Charity funds will pay for the labor of digging the well as well as the materials and tools (cement, a pulley, a pick axe, a shovel, rope, and a bucket).

A local fruit tree expert will hold a training in the orchard in April to teach nursery establishment and maintenance. This is part of an initiative to turn this orchard into a demonstration site.

Neighboring gardeners will be allowed access to the well for managing small personal gardens near the field.

Project Impact
300 people will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Frank Aiello

This very modest project will have substantial results in bringing improved nutrition to the community and also creating economic opportunity for the participants.

Dollar Amount of Project

This project became infeasible, and was cancelled with no expenditure of funds.