Help Gambia's rural people help themselves
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Now there is clean drinking water in Choya

It is clean water
It is clean water

Until January 2015 the 500 residents in Choya had to collect their water from a single well equipped with a manual pump located away from the village, a well with water of dubious quality. Now there is a borehole to groundwater (80 meters deep) equipped with pump driven by solar energy that supplies sufficient clean water and distributes it to 8 taps near the dwellings.

In November 2014 we were on a working visit to Choya, where we defined what the project should include: a borehole to groundwater, a pump powered by solar energy, solar panels, a water tower, and initially six tap stations, three in the village center, one at the village's mosque, and two at village's school. Each station was to be equipped with two taps. We agreed to the location of the borehole, the water tower, and outlet points. We agreed that the village community should dig the trenches for water pipes, cast foundations, and perform other manual labor by volunteer work. We agreed further with the village community that they should take responsibility for maintaining the installations for (at least) 15 years and should annually save up an amount of 25,000 Gambian dalasi, about 4000 kroner, for repairs and maintenance and open a bank account for this.

 

The water tower
The water tower

With us were representatives of the Swedish-Gambian firm Swe-Gam. We contracted with them for the technical work for around 1 million dalasi. The work included drilling down to 50 meters, with an additional cost per meter if would be needed to drill deeper. In addition we deposited a sum with the village community for materials and tools for their work. The work commenced with the drilling mid-December. It turned out that we had to drill 80.5 meters. Then the execution progressed in interaction between Swe-Gam and the village community, and we agreed to aim to complete the installations by the end of January and hold a handover ceremony on January 28. We agreed that representatives from the district authorities and from the surrounding villages should be invited to the ceremony and that the ceremony should be covered by the press and by Gambia's television. The costs of the ceremony would be covered by the project.

And they succeeded! There were delay in the project, but they caught up with them. When head of Swe-Gam during the project found that it would be beneficial with two extra outlet points, thus a total of 8 instead of 6, he added these at no extra costs (thank you Mr. Cole.) At the time of the ceremony only a few small works had not been completed, such as covers for some man holes. (These works have since been completed.) And the village community was able to present accounts with receipts for the amounts they had managed.

Where to find in today's Denmark projects that get completed on time and on budget? The final total cost to the budget came to about 165,000 kronor, not including travel costs.

 

Now home to the pots
Now home to the pots
That is good
That is good
Who will help me it up?
Who will help me it up?
Filling water in the bucket
Filling water in the bucket

 


Running water, a miracle

They dance in the water

The can is filled

Daily Observer
Daily Observer