It’s the hottest part of the dry season in rural Senegal. Temperatures regularly top 110 degrees F and rain hasn’t fallen in months. As a result of climate change in Senegal, the annual dry season has become increasingly harsh. Vegetable cultivation is impossible during the dry season without reliable access to abundant water. Many families go without fresh produce during this part of the year. But by ensuring access to abundant and affordable water in our partner communities, CREATE! is making dry-season gardening possible while addressing the challenges of climate change in rural Senegal.

Cooperative member watering cabbage plants

Thanks to diligent watering, these cabbages continue to thrive in the dry season.

Even in these difficult conditions, agricultural cooperative members in CREATE!’s partner communities continue to work in their garden sites. Women hand water each plant twice daily, using clean, affordable water pumped from rehabilitated wells using solar power. CREATE! field technicians are working with cooperative members to ensure that they are strategically watering to maximize vegetable growth without wasting any water resources. Our technicians, who all have extensive agricultural training, also work with cooperatives to cycle different vegetable crops throughout the year. During the dry season, cooperative members plant vegetables – such as onions, tomatoes, and peppers – that thrive in hot, dry conditions. In Darou Diadji, cooperative members harvested over 789 pounds of onions in April!

Seedlings covered in netting

Cooperative members use netting to protect growing vegetables from locusts and other pests.

Fama Fall, a cooperative member in Thieneba, speaks to the benefits of water access in her community: “Before CREATE! partnered with Thieneba, I either drank expensive, salty commercial water or I drew water from the well by hand. It was very hard work to draw water by hand. Now, with CREATE!’s solar pump, I can easily access clean water just by turning on the tap.”

Fama Fall with her improved cookstoves

Fama says, “Improved cookstoves are helping the whole community because they produce less smoke and improve the health of the population.”