Imagine having an abundant source of groundwater right below your feet in the desert but it remains inaccessible due to the lack of technology. However, where water is scarce and sunshine is plentiful, CREATE!’s technicians use the sun’s energy to gain access to abundant, clean water in the desert. They work side-by-side with community members to rehabilitate abandoned wells, install reliable solar-powered pumping systems, and build gravity-fed irrigation systems that provide year-round access to clean ground-water. This is the first time that the communities have been able to pump water without the use of expensive and nonrenewable fossil fuels!

Maintaining Solar-Powered Systems

This summer, our technicians did a maintenance check of all of CREATE!’s partner communities solar-powered pumping systems. It is essential to make sure that the technology is continuing to work properly so that communities have year-round access to water. In addition, volunteers regularly clean the panels off to ensure full exposure to the sun. In fact, these systems often pump well over 5,000 liters of water per day. “Every day after work I collect 20 liters for my family,” says Ndeye Diagne, a mother of six in Fass Kane. “Thank to CREATE!, we have the possibility to garden year-round, we have enough water to do it now.”

Diagne and other women in the community can sustain this garden year-round now that they have abundant access to water.

As October begins, so does the dry season in Senegal. During this transition period, the land is lush and green, gardens are overflowing with crops and the clouds have faded away to reveal clear, blue skies. In the previous months, however, thunderstorms often swept across the desert, creating floods and risking lightning strikes to tall structures such as the solar-powered pumping systems. To avoid having the water pumps damaged during a storm, CREATE!’s technicians install lightning arresters into all the CREATE! sites with potential risk.

Paying it Forward

Fass Kane’s well has become a source of clean drinking water not only for the community but for surrounding villages as well. “There are many people who come in the community for collecting the well water because they abandoned their wells after getting commercial systems,” Diagne explains. Many of the surrounding communities have salty water in their tap water systems so they are unable to drink or garden with the water. However, Fass Kane is happy to share the benefits of their clean drinking water with neighbors. “The well water is very good for our health, I notice I have become healthier,” Diagne tells us.

Water is the source of life and it is also the foundation for economic success in rural Senegal. Through access to clean water, families are becoming healthier and stronger as well as increasing food security and generating income through year-round community gardens. This is the kind of success we want for women across all of our partner communities in rural Senegal. This fall, help bring clean water and food security to two more communities in rural Senegal. Learn more here.