Conclusion of Madame Wade Primary School Water Storage Project – Senegal

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteers Steve Sullivan, Jubal Faircloth, and Kelsey Salvo.

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

The project was to create a water storage basin to maintain water for irrigation of the school garden and a tree nursery.

The project has been completed, and Jubal provides this report:

I’m happy to finally report the success of the Madame Wade Primary School Water Storage Project in Kekeressi. It was a long and difficult road, fraught with unforeseen delays and roadblocks, but recently the last aspect of the work got finished as per the prescribed protocol and it meets our standards of satisfaction.

Herein I’ll attempt to describe where we are currently and what got us to this point:

Following the initial funding of this project started by my predecessor Steve Sullivan in 2010, work was continuing up until he closed his service and handed it off to me on Nov 11, 2011.

The status at that point was a fence in progress (about halfway built), piping that ran about halfway to the basin (part of it had been destroyed during a field-burning), and a partially built basin that had been completely destroyed (purportedly by kids playing on it).

The funds at this point were not sufficient to take the project further so I wrote a food security grant for the remainder of what was needed. Included in my grant were more fencing, more piping, and a complete overhaul of the basin.

I put my counterpart and Kekeressi resident Bambe Diallo in charge of the project because I was extremely busy with my own work and ultimately, if the village wanted this to happen, it was better if they took the reins and did it themselves. Bambe worked efficiently although extremely slowly, also hindered by total inaccessibility of the village during the rainy seasons when the roads were unusable.

When the grant came through he was able to get all the materials purchased, delivered, and constructed. First the fence went up completely. (As a side note, we planted jatropha trees alongside of it to act as a sustainable live fence when the grillage wears out.)

Next the piping trench was re-dug and the line was repaired and finished. Finally, a new mason was hired to completely rebuild a working water basin. It is currently ready to be used and no further steps need to be taken for them to garden the area, which I assume will commence shortly.

I’m confident that this project has increased the food security of the village and will benefit kids and families that would never before have had access to such a garden due to water storage problems. I’m also happy that it was completed by the efforts of the villagers themselves and not just handed to them paternalistically. I’m excited to think about the kids learning how to garden and reaping the benefits of their efforts in improved nutrition and knowledge about growing vegetables.

I closed my service at the end of 2013 and extended in Kedougou city, so credit should also be given to my replacement Kelsey Salvo who currently lives in Kekeressi and was able to continue monitoring the project and get some photos.

We are grateful to Steve, Jubal, and Kelsey for completing and monitoring this project. We again extend our thanks to the Elmo Foundation for providing the funding.