Conclusion of Nemabah Well Project – Senegal

This project has been completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Erica Berlin.

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

The project was to build a well in the village of Nemabah.

Erica reports:

The project included one community well that is about three meters deep.

A community member and his nephews took cow-drawn carts to the nearest town to get materials. He bargained for cement and iron at the hardware store and then we brought everything back to the village on the carts.

A skilled well digger, his apprentice, and community members dug by hand until the sand became too wet and heavy. Then they used a pulley system to continue removing dirt by hand. Each time the water table filled up they also pulled all of the water out of the hole so they could continue digging.

Community members brought sand and rocks and mixed them with cement. They made cement bricks and circular cement structures for the outside of the well, and covered everything in an additional layer of cement. The village chief contributed funds for meals for the workers and made sure they were fed each day.

The process of getting the materials went slowly because the person in charge of getting the materials had a hard time finding people to help him drive the carts. He had to wait until his sons and nephews had a break from school. The rest of the process went quickly. The well digger and community members worked hard each day until it was finished. We had trouble getting community members to volunteer to help, but one community member worked on it consistently and several others helped periodically.

Community members have begun using the well. They have said the water tastes good and that they are very happy to have another well. Many women are now using the well for their household needs including drinking, cooking and doing laundry.

We are grateful to Erica for her rapid completion of this important project, and again extend our thanks to all those who donated.