We are the Baton Rouge Professional Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. We are working on a development project in the village Sam M’Bollet, The Gambia. The first phase of the project is to provide Sam M’Bollet with an abundant and clean water supply. Working with our partners Gambian Longevity through Village Enterprise (GLOVE), GAM-Solar Energy and Engineering, Sunray Energy Foundation, and Rotary Club Alexandria Metro, we plan to implement a Solar Water Pump and Distribution System by November of 2014.
Sam M’Bollet is a remote village located in the northern region of The Gambia, a small country in West Africa surrounding the Gambian River. While the desert environment of Sam M’Bollet is harsh, it may be cultivated for peanut crops. Composed primarily of subsistence farmers the village has few people who bring income from outside the community. The Sam M’Bollet community is vibrant and consists of several tribes living together harmoniously. Their population is larger than 1000 with more than half children.
Our group and NGO partner GLOVE aim to participate in several developmental projects in this community such as latrines, compost and irrigation. However, the most important and immediate need is an adequate water source. Villagers of Sam M’Bollet don’t know what it’s like to have clean water or for it to come from taps. Recently, their already inadequate water supply took an additional hit when two of their three wells collapsed. The woman and children spend hours every day collecting water from the single remaining well that is contaminated with bacteria. Once collected they carry it in buckets on their heads back to their homes. The village is increasingly desperate now that two of their wells have collapsed.
Our project will implement a new, uncontaminated well to feed a solar pumping and distribution system to deliver water to 9 taps located throughout the village. Water quality, travel distance, sustainability and output volume will drastically improve with the new system. The system is designed for 10 years of population growth and can provide over 20 cubic meters per villager for a future population of 2000. Sunray Energy Foundation has been chosen to monitor the systems output meter and collect monthly funds for a savings account for the village. These funds will provide maintenance support, future pump upgrade to support more than 2000 villagers and a sense of ownership for the community.
Working with GLOVE and contractor Gam-Solar, we have developed a design implementation plan for the solar water system that will be sustainable for years to come. Funds have been allocated by EWB-BRP and Rotary for drilling and pumping systems but not for the tap soakaway structures. What we need your help to fund is 9 concrete tap soakaways.
Our contractor, GAM-Solar has quoted these soakaway-tap systems at 225,000 Dalasi (about $5,906). These soakaway systems are important as they protect the tap structure while eliminating erosion and possible nesting of malaria transmitting misquitos. Malaria is the number one cause for disease in developing countries. The soakaways consist metal reinforced concrete with high material and transportation cost due to the remote location of the village. The soakaways are also designed to satisfy requirements of The Gambian Department of Water Resource. Any additional funds obtained will go toward travel expenses for project leads, medical safety officers and village educators to insure a successful implementation of our water system.
It is the mission of Engineers Without Borders to provide sustainable development solutions for communities in need. All travel, assessment, design and implementation plans are subject to scrutinizing review and quality control at our national office. Our organization and partners have a successful track record and are determined to make the most of every penny put toward the Sam M’Bollet Water Project.
We invite you to contribute to Sam M’Bollet’s future water supply in our first step to improving the health and vitality of the Sam M’Bollet community. Please help us finalize funding for the Sam M’Bollet water system. Stay tuned at Hopemob.org and EWB-BRP.org.