As well as raising funds for the Rotary Foundation's international work, including polio eradication, we are working with the Rotary Club of Fajara and the Oasis Project to support a drainage project in the village of Bakau in the Gambia. We have secured a Global Grant from the Rotary Foundation to leverage our own funding and are delighted that work is getting started at the beginning of 2018.
Bakau is a poor community which, in the rainy season, suffers from severe flooding. The resulting standing water is a breeding ground for diseases such as malaria which takes far too many young lives.
The drainage channels in the village have become blocked with rubbish over the years and fallen into disrepair.
Our objective is to work with the local community to repair the drains and alleviate the flooding. This will be augmented with an education programme to help the community understand the importance of maintaining the drains. The Oasis Project has already shown in other ways that the villagers are ready to take ownership of community assets with the right help, so we are confident of building a sustainable solution that will saves lives.
As at the end of January 2019, these are the specific areas of progress:
· Due to the local political situation the project has been stalled but is now back on track with work due to start very soon.
· The project manager, Gideon Adeoye and our partners at Oasis have been engaging with local community groups to gather their support in repairing and maintaining the drains in future.
· Fajara club has gathered considerable support from local agencies. Most notably the National Roads Authority (NRA) will review and oversee technical aspects of the work and also provide storage facilities and the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) will help with the initial dredging of the main channel to assist the flow of water.
· Gideon has developed a plan for the first phase and is currently preparing a more detailed schedule of works in order to ensure we use our budget as effectively as possible. This will be reviewed by Fajara Club and the NRA.
· The initial dredging of the main outflow will hopefully be completed soon, ahead of the rainy season and then work on the drains in the village will start in November.
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