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Water is CREATE!’s keystone program! This is the foundation for economic success in rural Senegal. CREATE!‘s solar water pumps bring year-round water to communities. With year-round access to water, communities can engage in projects such as tree-planting campaigns and community gardening through which families develop food security and income-generating opportunities.

The Benefit of Solar Water Pumps in Senegal

“We encounter very few limitations now, because there is bountiful water in the village. With water, we can do anything.” – Ngoné Mar, Fass Kane

Often when people think of the desert, they think of a hot, dry climate – a place where water is scarce, and sunshine is plentiful. This is the case in Senegal where the rainy season only lasts 3-4 months. Increasing desertification, temperatures, and unpredictable rainfall due to climate change affect the regions as well. As part of our renewable energy projects, however, CREATE! works to utilize solar energy in Senegal to make water as plentiful as the sunshine in rural communities.

Today, over 11,000 people have abundant, affordable access to water in the desert. As they say, “L’eau c’est la vie!” Water is life! And what better way to get it in the desert than to utilize the power of the sun.

How Did People Previously Bring Water to their Communities?

Agriculture is the primary source of income in rural Senegal, but the 9-month dry season has made this way of living challenging. Most rural communities get their water from the expensive commercial water system or use a bucket and pulley system to draw water from their wells by hand. This latter method is a labor-intensive and time-consuming task. It can provide enough water to meet household needs but cannot give enough water needed to engage in dry-season farming. While most people have access to the commercial water system, it is often cost-prohibitive for many communities in rural Senegal.

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Supporting Farming in Rural Senegal

To address this issue, CREATE!’s technicians install solar-powered pumping systems in rehabilitated wells in our partner communities. These pumps bring water from communities’ wells, and into their 5,000-liter water reservoirs. This provides an easily accessible and abundant source of freshwater for communities. Now, people can engage in year-round crop cultivation possible for the first time without the use of expensive fossil fuels.

Maintaining the Solar Panels

The system is well-suited for rural areas and remote locations. CREATE!‘s technicians – with the help of community volunteers – are diligent about maintaining the solar panel arrays. It is essential to clean the panels twice weekly because dust from the desert collects quickly on the surface. This can reduce the effectiveness of the solar panels.

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More sunlight = More power! CREATE! technician Papa Ba adjusts the solar panels in the community of Thienaba. CREATE! technicians are trained to calculate the best angle of the panels in relation to the sun during different times of the year, ensuring that they receive the most direct sunlight.

CREATE!’s Future Goals with Solar Technology

Additionally, CREATE! has long term goals to implement other renewable energy technologies in partner villages according to their needs, including solar-powered lighting and water heating systems. CREATE! has already installed a passive solar water heater in the village of Gagnick Mack. This solar water heater provides hot water for births at the local community health center.

Support Solar Water Projects in Senegal

Did you know that your $30 can offset 1,000 lbs of Carbon through CREATE!‘s solar water projects?

While it is more expensive to offset your transportation carbon footprint through the solar water project versus the tree-planting campaign, with more cost comes more impact. One solar pump offsets 926,717 lbs of carbon while our tree-planting campaign offsets 629,000 lbs of carbon. And, without water from the solar pump, the tree-planting campaign couldn’t happen!

Help communities in rural Senegal bring life to the desert! Consider supporting CREATE!’s solar water projects with the Transportation Carbon Footprint Calculator.