5 Solar-Powered Wells were Completed in Matam – Project “Drill for Wellbeing”

Having water in a home means improved quality of life and wellbeing.  Access to water plays an important role in hygiene, health, and sustainable development.

Providing access to secure drinking water for all people is one of the sustainable development goals, the SDGs, of the UN.  The fundamental water supply and the access to sanitary facilities for people in remote and rural areas in developing countries is a special challenge that the YOU Foundation – Education for Children in Need and its partners is successfully addressing.

The goal of this project is, in addition to providing access to drinking water, to improve the income of Matam through the utilization of a new water supply, to encourage small farm-based activities, to empower women and to improve the overall situation of the poorest families.

Through contact with the regional water supply facility and a list of potential cities, a decision could be made as to where this project would take place.  The villages of Gourel Barry, Gourel Sike, Ballel Ndiakiry, Gourel Bade and Lordouga, with a total of 2600 inhabitants, were selected to participate in the project.

With the inclusion of the local Senegalese administrative authority and the communities, the beneficiaries of the project received local training concerning the fundamentals of the project. This participatory approach allowed all involved stakeholders to share responsibility for the project.

Presentation of the project to the Governor of Matam

Introduction of the project to the mayor

Meeting of community members

The project team, organized by the YOU Foundation, coordinated the different aspects of the project.  This included, in addition to the construction planning, the financial organization, human resources, as well as logistic and monitoring activities.  Monitoring occurred with certain individuals selected by each community visiting the construction sites twice a month to receive updates from the project management as to the status of the work.

The construction began after the offers of local businesses were received and reviewed.   The offers were evaluated based on certain criteria such as cost, experience with similar constructions, timing of completion, and available staff capacities and allowed for the selection of a construction business.

Planning of the local construction measures

Drilling by a local business

Set up of a solar panel to operate the well pump

A completed well with tank

The phases of the well construction were as follows:

  • Drilling and damming
  • Building of water tower
  • Installation of solar pump
  • Installation of tanks and pipes

The construction usually took 1 to 3 months.

The use of the wells in the villages (4 of 5) started shortly after construction was completed. In every village, an inauguration ceremony took place with the village and community leaders as well as with the head of the local women’s group.  This meeting was an opportunity to mention that the maintenance of the wells and the related income earned would be the responsibility of the women’s organizations.

Between April 6 – 23, 2021 trainings were organized in the villages.  The goal of these courses was to the teach the beneficiaries of the project, in particular women, how to maintain and sustain the newly built structures.

Trainers were mobilized to teach classes in the following subjects:
Agriculture
Accounting
Finance management

Also offered were courses in:
Soap production
Fruit and vegetable production
Gardening

Challenges such as language barriers, heat, and remoteness of locations were effectively managed so that the living conditions of the people in the region could be improved through the newly built wells.   Access to hygiene, health, and food is a significant step to give the poorest of our world a humane and sustainable future.

Help build more wells for the poorest!

Project “Brunnenbau” (please selct when donating)