Rotary club’s village water tribute to Les
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