The Rotary Club of Edmonds in partnership with Njawara Agricultural Training Center successfully concluded the first phase of a water project in rural Gambia, West Africa. The project was based on a broad base sustainable rural development aimed at improving nutrition and reducing poverty among rural women through vegetable production. The funds provided by Rotary Club of Edmonds went to repair and construct new wells use in the garden for both domestic water consumption and irrigation.
The 670 strong women from Konteh Kunda, Illiasa, Alkali Kunda, Kachang, India and Jajari village, in the North Bank Region of The Gambia have scored significant improvements since help arrived from Edmonds. Reliable water supply enhances productivity, health and income of women participants allowing them to be self-reliant in this male dominated society. Extra income also means women participants can financially support their daughters’ secondary and in some cases tertiary education without relying on their fathers who will pull girls out of school for reasons such as early marriage or lack of school fees.
Members of Rotary club of Edmonds visited the project sites in Gambia and held series of meetings with the beneficiaries and NJawara Agricultural Training Center members of staff. The club is now raising funds to resolve the water and irrigation problems permanently in at least two villages, provide quality seeds for participants, fence the gardens to avoid animal invasion, provide technical assistance and horticultural gardening training through Njawara Agriculture Training Center. Marketing, soil management, proper storage techniques of perishable vegetables using local materials and facilities, light mechanical farming, organization and leadership training will be some of the focus areas of training by the institute.