The Gambia in particular and West Africa in general has not been ravished by Covid but to date there has been no scientific or medical explanation, so lets just be thankful and try to work on the myriad of other problems, such as lack of clean water and sanitation, underfunded education, massive youth unemployment and a healthcare system which results in the following sad rates for Infant Mortality (Gambia 40/10K, EU 3/10k) and Maternal Mortality (500/100k,3/100K) Source:https://www.macrotrends.net/
The impact of Covid in Europe (and now the Russia/Ukraine war) has been so severe that fund raising has been well nigh impossible, therefore we are especially grateful to the small number who continue to support our work, a special thank you, you know who you are.
We are currently working on some technical problems with one of the nine villages in which we have provided clean water systems, the others are functioning well and have extended the network as village populations have grown. The first "PING" village, Bafaluto, has almost doubled in size since 2008 and thanks to a very active Water Committee they are adding 20,000lts water storage to complement the original tank of 25,000lts.
In the last year we have introduced Drip Feed Irrigation in 3 sizable trial plots, roughly 35 by 25 mts. We are delighted with the results. This led to discussions with Momodou and others on how more people could be involved in producing agricultural produce in a more structured way than happens in a traditional village garden. The outcome is the establishment of a farming Co-Operative based at Njongon village. It is in its very promising formative stage and we will keep you posted on progress.
PING is working with FFG (Future Farmers of Gambia) a locally registered charity which Momodou set up years ago. This will make it simpler for the registration of the Co-Op as a legal entity to enable it to enter into contracts such as land rental/ownership or bank borrowings. We provided a small start-up fund of £500 and will fund salaries of the current 6 members (4 men 2 women) during the difficult formative months. Each member pays a joining fee of £100 (spread over 6 months) into the Co-Op's temporary bank account. If you would like to earmark a donation specifically for the Co-Op development just drop us a note, (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will ensure that it is used as such.