CREATE! Board Member Ron Taylor reflects that the future cooperative garden site in Ouarkhokh was a “barren wasteland” during his first visit to the community in 2007. Now, Ron says that Ouarkhokh’s lush, shaded garden is “like a park.” Ron and his wife Pam recently visited Ouarkhokh and CREATE!’s other partner communities in Senegal. Ron notes that much has changed in Ouarkhokh since his initial visit to the community (before project activities commenced) and he admires the marvelous transformation of the site since CREATE! began operations there in 2010.
Although Ouarkhokh’s climate is harsh, CREATE!‘s field technicians have helped cooperative members master agricultural techniques that have resulted in a thriving garden. Cooperative members have learned planting and watering strategies that improve soil health and make efficient use of water. Women have also planted windbreaks in the garden to slow erosion and stabilize soils. Ouarkhokh is CREATE!’s partner community in Linguere District, which is located about 125 miles north of CREATE!’s Senegal office and other partner communities.
The cooperative garden and the other programs in Ouarkhokh produce an astounding variety and quantity of vegetables! In December, cooperative members harvested 245 pounds of eggplant, 42 pounds of peppers, 60 pounds of tomatoes, 80 pounds of jaxatu (African eggplant), and almost 250 pounds of sweet potatoes. In addition, the community’s poultry cooperative is preparing to sell their third batch of chickens in local markets. Poultry cooperative members are even considering constructing a second poultry shed to double their output!
Ron and Pam Taylor really enjoyed their recent trip to Ouarkhokh and CREATE!‘s other partner communities. Ron expressed to us his joy at “seeing the success of CREATE!‘s beneficiaries and sharing in their successes.”
“It’s beautiful,” Ron adds.