9 December 2011

Senegal: Peace Corps Volunteers Installing 52 Water Pumps in Rural Senegal

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Washington — Peace Corps volunteers Marcie Todd of Citrus Heights, California, and Garrison Harward of Ojai, California, are installing 52 water pumps over the course of a year in villages across Senegal.

"We installed a pump in one large community with only two wells that has never had easy access to fresh water. With this new source, they are already discussing possibilities for starting a community garden and fruit tree nursery," said Harward, a graduate of California State University, Chico, who has been working as a sustainable agriculture volunteer in Senegal since August 2010. "Based on what I've seen here they certainly have the motivation and dedication to get the job done. This is just the start of many good things to come in the community."

In August, the Peace Corps volunteers began installing the rope pumps, which use a simple, appropriate technology that accelerates the process of pulling water out of wells. The pumps relieve congestion around wells in local villages and give people access to more water.

"Fifty-two pumps in 52 weeks is a massive quest for two Peace Corps volunteers and a few local partners," said Todd, a graduate of University of Redlands. Todd noted that each installation takes considerable time and preparation, and each pump costs about $100.

More than 3,190 Peace Corps volunteers have served in Senegal since the program was established in 1963. Currently, 254 volunteers serve in Senegal. Volunteers work in the areas of business, agriculture and health. Volunteers are trained and work in 11 languages: Bambara, Diahonke, French, Fula Kunda, Malinké, Mandinka, Pulaar du Nord, Pula Fuuta, Sereer, Soussou and Wolof.

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