Update 22/3 (11-20-22)
[17.11.2022] Monika writes from Gambia: Hello Andreas, now on with the reporting for the internet.
Things are going well with our garden project. The construction brigade is doing a great job in temperatures that feel like over 40 degrees. No tree, no bush gives protection from the burning sun.
We all have problems with the climate and suffer from the great heat.
The fencing of the garden area to be tilled was almost finished yesterday. The tool shed with a porch is already taking shape. Here they build a little differently than we know it. The four corner pillars of the building are shuttered and filled with cement mix. Today, the ring beam will be poured so that the roof can be put on on Saturday. The cover for the wells should be ready tomorrow, Friday, so that no one can fall in there.
We are happy that we have solved the water problem in the school! Yesterday it was connected to the central water supply. So now our children receive clean drinking water again. The water connection from the village well is used for the toilet. At least, we have also a working well of our own.
At yesterday’s meeting at the Alkalo (mayor) we learned how the garden project will be managed in the future. Several villages have formed a cooperative and this is supported by the Gambian government with seeds, fertilizer, etc. The chairperson of this Kolchose, as it is also called here, is from Labakoreh.
We are very happy that with this project we are giving quite a few women the opportunity to provide for their own livelihood. The garden project is therefore connected with sustainability and not a one-time action.
Probably not all the work will be finished by Sunday. Small things still have to be done afterwards. I am curious to see how far the work has progressed tomorrow. Today we took a day off and were not there. Saturday the school fees will be paid, and we will be back to the building site. Monday we will have another day off.
We don’t completely manage to have the tool shed ready by Sunday. The mason is working alone because he needs the money. He is very hardworking! Yesterday we bought seeds and tools–that was exhausting.
Also, when we were on the phone last night, we realized that we made a mistake in the departure day. We are flying back home already on Monday.
Today we officially put the garden project in the hands of the village, the cooperation (Kolchose) and the women. We felt great gratitude from the alkalo and the women. It was already a special moment.
We say goodbye for 2022 by the sea.