Sare Aladji Well Project – Senegal

This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

Sare Aladji, Region of Tambacounda, Eastern Senegal

Community Description
Sare Aladji is a community located about 10 kilometers from the regional capital of Tambacounda, in Eastern Senegal. There are about 700 people in the village, about 125 of which are children 0-5 years of age. The village currently has an elementary school that serves children in their community and four other villages. They also have a health hut, the lowest level of health care available in the Senegalese health structure, run exclusively by volunteers in the community who have gone through health training. This health hut also serves the populations of three other villages. There are a small mosque and a shop where people buy local commodities like rice and oil. Most of the villagers are herders and farmers. The livestock consists of cows, goats, donkeys, and horses. The crops grown by the farmers are mainly peanuts, corn, millet, beans, and cotton.

Problem Addressed
Access to water is constantly a struggle in Sare Aladji. The water table is very deep at around 35 meters. Currently, there are only three wells serving the community of 700 people (plus cattle during the dry season). Ten water faucets have been installed in the village. Of these ten faucets, one is located in a communal space and the other nine are in personal family compounds. The water source is a tower located in a village about six kilometers away which has ongoing maintenance issues, making it unreliable. The water faucets in the village are turned off at least once a week and have been completely turned off for the last five months, with no restart insight due to piping issues along the six-kilometer connection. One of the three wells is located at the elementary school which plans to have its entire schoolyard, including well, enclosed during the upcoming school year. As a result, this well would become unusable to approximately 20% of the village who currently use it as their primary source of water.

Project Description
This project is to build an additional well in the community. The well will be hand dug and cement-lined. The water will be potable without any treatment necessary. Based on past experience with pumps in the village, the water table of Sare Aladji is too deep for Senegalese pump systems. Instead, the well will be built with a pulley system that will allow the women to draw water. A well cover will address safety issues & help maintain the cleanliness of the water.

Project Impact
All 700 members of this village will benefit from the project.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Lindsay Swisher

Monitoring and Maintenance
The well will be free for use by all members of the village, though it will be most likely be frequented by about 8 to10 of the 35 households in the community due to proximity. The village chief will be responsible for ongoing maintenance of the well and will ensure that it is properly used and cared for by the community. The village chief will coordinate the community contributions for this project, including funds, and food and lodging for the workers. He will also be in charge of monitoring the on-going maintenance of the well. After the well is installed, the Peace Corps Volunteer will work with health workers in the community to conduct a health talk on the proper use of the well & proper storage of clean water.

From Lindsay: For the last year of my life, I have made daily trips to the well to pull my water with the other women in my community. I am confident that nothing can make a person more appreciative of the ease of turning on a faucet and having a constant stream of water pour out. Of course, pulling water comes with its own benefits (can you say buff arm muscles!), but there is nothing like the day your community finally acknowledges that, as the foreigner living in the community, you CAN, in fact, pull water just as well as they can. At the beginning of my service, I was like an awkward child waiting for my bucket to be filled for me because I couldn’t be trusted to pull my own water. Now, I am frequently at the well longer than needed as I pull my own buckets of water and help others too, and when done, make the walk back to my hut, bucket proudly perched on my head. I have an enormous amount of respect for the people in my community because I personally understand how physically taxing it is to pull all of your water manually. My goal is that at least they will have sufficient access to water resources to continue this often thankless task.

Fundraising Target

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0 – This project has been funded through the generosity of the G3 Foundation, of Costa Mesa, CA, USA, together with friends and family of Peace Corps Volunteer Lindsay Swisher.

This project has been completed.  To read about the conclusion, CLICK HERE.

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in Senegal.