This month, CREATE! Founder Barry Wheeler is in Senegal, traveling through CREATE! partner communities to see the progress that community members have made. His first stop last week was the village of Mboss, which officially joined CREATE! in May this year.

The village of Mboss has been transformed to a lush oasis over the past 6 months!

Before (May 2017) and after (November 2017) photos of the Mboss garden site

When Barry last set foot in Mboss in May, the village land was as brown and dry as the desert surrounding it. But thanks to the enthusiasm, motivation, and hard work of the community members, Mboss’ landscape has been transformed with the help and support of CREATE!’s field technicians over the past six months of the partnership.

Barry inspects the village of Mboss' solar panel array

Barry inspects Mboss’ solar array that pumps water to their 5,000 liter reservoir from the rehabilitated well

“The well is totally rehabilitated now, bringing up clean, clear, sweet water in abundance,” writes Barry from the field. “The solar installations are up and humming along, pumping all day, and attracting donkey carts with loads of empty jerrycans from nearby areas to be filled from the separate tap we installed for domestic water consumption.”

Barry drinks water from the basin in the village of Mboss

CREATE! field technicians and Mboss community members show Barry their working garden basins that provide water for their thriving crops.

Most of the water is distributed by gravity to basins in the community garden, where women use it to water their crops, which are now lush and thriving. The scene is almost unrecognizable from six months ago!

Dancing in the village of Mboss

Community members in Mboss hold a reception in celebration of Barry’s visit and their progress over the last 6 months in partnership with CREATE!

“Great participation by all, group members and CREATE! staff,” writes Barry.  In the evening, the village hosted a reception to celebrate. “There was much singing, dancing, and speeches right until dusk and the rising of the full moon above the big baobab majestically overlooking the community garden. Quite a sight, with the big red disk sun also sinking in the west, silhouetting the trees in the distance and last light glancing off the water of full garden basins.”

Though it’s always hard work to get programs started in a new community, Barry is pleased with the morale and commitment of the participants in the village of Mboss. “Great energy, great vibes, positive attitudes from our staff and the groups,” he reports – all attributes that help ensure the success of the program for Mboss over the years to come.