Water truly means life for people who live in desert regions of Senegal, like the village of Santhie, one of CREATE!’s newest partner communities. However, it can also be one of the biggest challenges to address. Up until about 40 years ago, rural villages maintained their own wells, but when the government began making water available through a commercial system, these wells were abandoned, and in some cases, became trash pits. Over the years, however, commercial water has become cost prohibitive for use in growing food for local consumption. Yet, thousands of wells remain, offering untapped potential as sources of clean, affordable water.
Determined to find a local solution to bring affordable and abundant water back to Santhie, the CREATE! team in Senegal, under the guidance of CREATE! Founder Barry Wheeler, worked with a local fabricator to design a human-powered winch system that could lower people and equipment down into the wells to clean them out and rehabilitate them. Well rehabilitation has turned out to be an impressive example of how appropriate technologies, combined with community mobilization, can solve a longstanding problem.
The winch has proven to be both affordable (costing only about $500 to build), and efficient, as it can be loaded in the back of CREATE!’s pickup truck and taken wherever it’s needed. With the help of CREATE! technicians and expert well builders, young men from Santhie organized to clear the well of its 40 years’ worth of trash debris, clean it, rebuild the walls, and fully rehabilitate it.
The well rehabilitation project has been an outstanding success. When fully operational, and outfitted with a solar powered pump, the well will once again provide the community of Santhie with a renewable source of clean, abundant water. We send our enthusiastic congratulations to Santhie and the CREATE! team that made it happen!
This is an exciting time for CREATE!, as our team works to rehabilitate wells in additional communities. And it is all thanks to the commitment and mobilization of our partner communities, the innovation and organizational skills of the CREATE! field team, and the support of our donors