Last month, we were proud to announce that Mbossedji, one of two new partner communities, gained access to clean water! Today, we are thrilled to say that our second new partner community, Boustane Lo, had a successful solar water pump installation. Now they are ready to take the next step towards building village self-sufficiency.
Michael Carson, CREATE!‘s Executive Director, recently visited Boustane Lo this month. He explains that Boustane Lo is a tight-knit community with strong leadership that encourages active participation. This is a crucial aspect because CREATE! programs require a high level of commitment and community organization from participants in our climate change projects. Active participation enables the community to become self-sufficient and able to teach and empower others using the training and skills they’ve gained.
Installing the Water Pump
After CREATE!’s technicians rehabilitated Boustane Lo’s well, they installed the solar-powered water pump along with the solar panels nearby. Next, technicians install an integrated solar array, elevated reservoir, and gravity-fed water irrigation system. CREATE! technicians have years of experience and expertise in installing these types of integrated solar power systems. The system is well-suited for rural areas and remote locations. Following the installation, technicians train cooperative members on how to maintain their solar arrays themselves. Because of their training, community members can then run the system on their own without relying on outside help.
Boustane Lo’s Next Steps
While CREATE!’s technicians installed the solar water pump system, community members in Boustane Lo cleared two hectares of land in preparation for their cooperative garden. In just a few weeks, the village of Boustane Lo will be planting a variety of nutritious vegetables in the garden beds! Thanks to the abundant water provided with a solar-powered water pump, the community can sustain its cooperative garden all year-round. Typically, rural communities can only grow crops during the 3-4 month rainy season. Because of this, most villages don’t have a way to generate income 9 months out of the year without migrating to the cities. As a result of gaining access to clean, abundant water, this will be the first year that Boustane Lo grows vegetables in the dry season!
Rokhy Dieye, Boustane Lo’s cooperative garden president, tells us how as president she will always encourage the group to work hard and sustain the community garden throughout the year. Thus ensuring that their children get fresh vegetables every day and that they can sell the excess produce at the market.
Cooperative Community Garden Training
CREATE! field technicians will lead weekly training sessions for Boustane Lo in advanced agricultural techniques, including planning for future garden activities. Throughout these cooperative community gardens in Senegal, members plan and plant their garden beds with vegetables popular in the local diet. This includes vegetables such as tomatoes, onions, peppers, okra, eggplant, and lettuce. Cooperatives also tailor their vegetable production to meet demand during local religious festivals, helping to increase profits for their group.
Stay tuned for Boustane Lo’s progress over the coming months! We are so excited to see this dynamic and hardworking group grow and succeed through their sustainable projects.