Since graduating from CREATE!’s program in March 2016, community members of Fass Koffe have kept up the momentum that they gained from five years of working closely with CREATE!. Using the skills they’ve gained in self-development and social mobilization, they continue to expand and sustain their gardens and income-generating activities. Recently, they took it a step further in exemplifying the level of self sufficiency that CREATE! strives to empower in its partner communities, by taking the initiative to improve the watering system for their community garden.

Demonstrating self sufficiency: community garden president Khady Kebe

Khady Kebe has been president of the Fass Koffe cooperative since its very beginning, and continues to promote CREATE!’s philosophy of self-development.

While they had more than enough water to meet their needs, thanks to their hand dug well and solar powered pump, they weren’t getting enough water pressure to pipe it all the way to the farthest blocks of crops in their garden.  “We know that without water, we can’t do anything,” said Khady Kebe, president of the cooperative, “so we decided to elevate the platform to see if it would improve the water pressure problem.” Khady has been the cooperative president since its very beginning, and dedicated the philosophy that CREATE! promotes to encourage participatory action in peoples’ own communities.

Demonstrating self sufficiency

As one of CREATE!’s first partner communities, Fass Koffe now has well-established gardens that produce vegetables they can eat, and sell on the market to save up for things like improvements to their water reservoir.

Under Khady’s leadership, they got a quote of 250,000 CFA (about $450 USD) for the masonry, materials, and plumbing that they would need to raise the platform from their reservoir. This would provide a stronger gravity feed to take more water from the reservoir to the farthest basins in the garden. The community cooperative evaluated their finances saved up from the sale of their own vegetables and poultry at the market. It turned out, they had enough to fund the project all on their own and were proud to do so without assistance from CREATE!.

The result of self sufficiency: improved raised platform for the gravity-fed irrigation system!

The freshly completed elevated platform has greatly improved the amount of water that can be drawn from the reservoir.

“Since the elevation of the platform, we have noticed an improvement of the water at the site,” said Khady Kebe, describing the increased water pressure that now enables them to more quickly and thoroughly irrigate all their crops.  The project was a success, thanks to the leadership of Khady Kebe and the teamwork of the community cooperative. Together, community members of Fass Koffe have shown what great things can be accomplished using the philosophy and approach that CREATE! strives to achieve with its partner communities.