Ro­tary club’s vil­lage water trib­ute to Les

Ormskirk Advertiser - - Student Life -

RO­TAR­I­ANS have been in ac­tion help­ing pro­vide a vil­lage in The Gam­bia with fresh water.

The late Les Wil­son, past Dis­trict Gov­er­nor and mem­ber of Maghull and Aughton Ro­tary Club came up with the idea.

Over a meal in July 2019 with John McIl­roy also a mem­ber of the Ro­tary club, An­gela and Nigel Wil­liams mem­bers of Ch­ester River­side Ro­tary Club and past As­sis­tant Gov­er­nor Minyan Jobe, a Ro­tar­ian of Fa­jara Club vis­it­ing from The Gam­bia put some ideas to­gether and came up with a plan.

The vil­lage of Gun­jur was cho­sen. The water would not only pro­vide fresh water for the com­mu­nity of ap­prox­i­mately 200 peo­ple but also pro­vide water for the Gun­jur Darru Salam Women’s Gar­den.

Be­ing able to grow crops and then sell them would pro­vide in­come for the fam­i­lies to send their chil­dren to school.

Minyan Jobe re­turned to The Gam­bia in Septem­ber to get cost­ings and to twin the water project with Ro­tary Club of Brusibi.

An­gela and Nigel flew out to The Gam­bia in Novem­ber to work with

Sight­box Trust for six months, which An­gela is an am­bas­sador for.

Gun­jur was not far from where An­gela and Nigel were liv­ing, so Les, John and mem­bers of Maghull and Aughton asked if they would over­see the project on their be­half.

Var­i­ous meet­ings took place with the lo­cals to de­cide ex­actly where was the best place to po­si­tion the gar­den and where to run the water from.

Af­ter each meet­ing the lo­cal women would of­fer fresh fruit and break out in lo­cal song and dance.

This was a tra­di­tional way of them show­ing how happy and ex­cited they were to have been cho­sen to re­ceive fresh water and be able to grow and sell crops so their chil­dren could have an ed­u­ca­tion.

Once agreed with both Ro­tary Clubs and the lo­cals, a so­lar panel bore­hole and pump with five pipes run­ning from it to the gar­den area was built.

Drilling be­gan deep into the ground to find fresh water and once the cor­rect level was reached a sleeve was put down and a pump placed on the top.

A stand was put up to hold the tank to con­tain the water.

Ex­tra lines were at­tached from the tank so that in­di­vid­ual stand­pipes could be placed around the gar­den.

The lo­cals and the women work­ing in the gar­den were so ex­cited when the first tap turned and fresh water came out in April but due to Covid19 the of­fi­cial han­dover of the project which made na­tional TV news with danc­ing and sing­ing took place on June 27 and it has been named “Wil­son’s Wa­ter­ing Hole” in mem­ory of Les Wil­son.

De­lighted vil­lagers at the stand­pipe in Gun­jur

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