Fama Fall, 55, of Back Samba Dior, is no stranger to the challenges of living in rural Senegal. She used to spend many hours of cooking on a traditional three-stone fire, tending to the pot and constantly feeding in more firewood. To feed her family of five, she had to buy high-priced vegetables from the Guinguineo market, Because of the high market prices, she could only occasionally splurge on buying chicken.

In addition, before their well was rehabilitated, the village water supply came from the commercial system. This is an expensive system which has been infiltrated by saltwater. In fact, she said, “Doctors forbade old people and pregnant women from drinking the salty water. So many of them used to have to buy water.”

Success Starts with Water

“Since the well rehabilitation,” she says, however, “we are able to get clean water freely in the community.” Fama reports that her health has improved because of this. She collects 20 liters per day for her family and household. “I use the well water for drinking and watering the garden site and trees around my house,” she explains.

Fama has been working hard to learn the sustainable agriculture practices taught by CREATE!’s field technicians, with the hopes of managing her own garden after Back Samba Dior graduates to self-sustainability in a few years.

Fama has been a part of Back Samba Dior’s garden cooperative since they first partnered with CREATE! in late-2016. She has always been an active member of the group. “CREATE! technicians are teaching us gardening techniques, we have bountiful water, and now with the garden site we don’t need to leave the village to find work,” she says. “Once I have learned all the techniques, after graduation I look forward to managing my own garden.”

Now that she uses her improved cookstove, Fama is able to spend less time cooking. She has more time out in the garden with her family and friends, where she is growing food that they will eat and sell on the market. With their high level of motivation, the members of Back Samba Dior’s garden cooperative continue to impress us with their hard work and perseverance.

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