In this project, we are currently supporting 200 women from two villages in the Upper Baddibu District of The Gambia by helping them as they cultivate vegetables. Many younger people are also helping in the project.
For the communities, we’ve installed gardens in an area totalling 9 hectares (23 acres). These gardens are irrigated using solar-powered water pumps. We’ve drilled boreholes which reach down to 80 meters in depth. Depending on the conditions, we’re able to pump between 130 and 160 m³ of water per day. The systems serve to help the people generate income for themselves and their families. Not least, they also get clean drinking water from the water that is pumped. Around 1.500 people directly benefit from these water pumps. Since mid-2015, we’ve also supported individual business projects. Such projects include the processing of vegetables and fruits, transporting the produce from the gardens to the tourist centers along the coast, and the wholesale and retail of the goods. With these projects, we are particularly offering younger people the opportunity to build a decent livelihood.
An non-governmental organization called the Rural Development Organization ensures that not only the production and sales are planned and executed accordingly, but also that savings from the proceeds are established. The latter was particularly important to us so that the project is able to run on its own and so that we’re able to hand over the responsibility for it to the villages in 2015. In the transfer stage now, we are engaged with further training- and capacity building measurements. Apart, we want to improve the whole value creation chain. In this way, master’s students from the universities of Hohenheim and Stuttgart went onsite in 2015 and 2016 and worked together to develop the storage and cooling systems, as well as to help with the planning and processing of the goods produced.