Project start: 2021
Our commitment: Construction of the well, formation of the community
Architectural project: Raoul Vecchio
Donors: Privates, 5x1000, Il mio Dono, Kaira looro
Number of beneficiaries: 17.000 people
The "A well in Baghere" project aims to build and donate in the village of Baghere (Sedhiou Region, Senegal) a modern well equipped with a solar decontamination and sterilization system to facilitate access to drinking water, therefore contributing the improvement of the sanitary conditions of the place. The beneficiary community, better illustrated below, is one of the poorest and most disadvantaged in the entire country, being the Sedhiou Region among the least developed. The project is part of a rural area where accessibility to primary services such as medical facilities and wells with drinking water are absent, from which it follows that the majority of the population draws on water resources contaminated by environmental and climatic phenomena, but also from the fact that 88% of the inhabitants of the region live in homes that dispose of household waste on the street, in nature or in illegal landfills. Life expectancy is 60-65 years based on sex, and infant mortality is 14%, which shows the need and urgency to respond to these problems by promoting accessibility to drinking water which improves considerably the general state of health and avoids the onset of infections and diseases normally spread such as diarrhea, giarda and cholera.
Objectives and benefits of the project
The project responds to a need of primary importance whose consequences have repercussions on the social and health conditions of the community. The goal is to allow access to drinking water for a community of 19,000 people in the villages of Baghere, Diarifa, Bakidioto and Tanaff, according to direct and indirect influence. By promoting the distribution of drinking water, free of viruses and bacteria, a sustainable and fundamental solution is offered for the fight against infant mortality, for the improvement of public health and for the increase of life expectancy.
Furthermore, the well is built according to modern methods to allow reaching depth and thus have enough water even in the dry seasons when many traditional wells are empty.
The realization of the project will allow to pursue the following objectives and benefits:
- Allow free access to drinking, filtered and purified water to a large community of over 5 villages;
- Improve the health conditions of the community and reduce mortality;
- Reduce cases of infant mortality due to cholera giarda and diarrhea (a consequence of contaminated water in the other wells);
- Promote access to water even in the dry season;
- Reduce distances for the supply of drinking water;
Beneficiaries and influence area
The well is located in the village of Baghere, the capital of the municipality of the same name. However, due to its proximity and distribution of the fundamental connections, the project does not only affect Baghere but also some neighboring villages and municipalities. The choice of the village, in fact, is logistically strategic to cover a wider and more needy catchment area, also according to the main flows of affluence in the area determined by the presence of markets or structures such as high school, medical service, cultural center.
Baghere is adjacent to the village of Bakidioto and only 800 meters away from Tanaff. The social and commercial relations with Tanaff are such that Baghere and Tanaff can be considered a single pole in which various interests converge. Tanaff has a purely commercial character while Baghere has a religious character due to the presence of the family of the historian Marabout Younouss Aidara, whose tomb in the Baghere mosque makes it a pilgrimage village.
Not far from Baghre the villages of Diarifa, very isolated and deep inland, and that of Tabandian located on the road that connects Baghere with the municipality of Dioudoubou and leading to Sandinieri, the only connection with the regional capital of Sedhiou.
The presence from the neighboring road N6 which connects Ziguinchor with Kolda, and the Tanaff station which is almost halfway, means that the area presents itself as a strategic stopping point from which numerous indirect beneficiaries can also derive who moving from a cities to the other stop in the intervention area.
A settlement area of the project (Baghere-Bakidioto), an area of direct beneficiaries (Baghere-Bakidioto- Tanaff- Diarifa) and an area of indirect beneficiaries given by the communities residing in the villages adjacent to those of the area of direct beneficiaries, these villages are: Talicourtou, Badin, Sansancoutoto, Bissary. These villages, due to their proximity and relations with the direct villages, could therefore be considered direct beneficiaries.
This analysis therefore provides an estimate of direct and indirect beneficiaries according to the connections and relationships of the villages, and does not consider an additional number of occasional beneficiaries
In demographic terms, the following table indicates the distribution in the direct beneficiary villages, thus offering a number of useful users to which direct beneficiaries should be added. Demographic data is based on data from the Plan de Developpement Commune de aghere (2016-18), the national index data of the ministry (2013), the Plan de developpement regional (2016-18)) and the Pland e developpement departmental (2016 -18), to which appropriate statistical corrections were applied on the basis of national and regional trends, and on corrective factors assessed on the basis of the comparison of development conditions between rural and urban areas of the country. These surveys make it possible to determine the beneficiary demographics as of 2021.
The number of direct beneficiaries of the project, or people who can potentially use the well and therefore have free access to drinking water, are 16,906 people, of which 49% children under 15, 4% elderly (over 60), 19% between 15 and 19 years. With an almost equal man-woman ratio.
The high percentage of minors, which exceeds 50%, is linked to the fundamental problem of reducing infant mortality often caused by diseases directly or indirectly related to water.
The construction of a well that gives drinking water to a community is not only a fundamental element for improving public health but is also an opportunity to raise awareness and responsibility on the value of the water resource, which over time becomes increasingly rare and therefore it needs to be managed properly. In the area of intervention, water is also a symbol of spirituality through the practice of the Muslim religion, it therefore acquires a spiritual element, but at the same time it is closely linked to agricultural and productive activities, therefore the management of the resource becomes a factor of extreme importance. To strengthen the value of water and encourage greater awareness of the resource, the well is therefore accompanied by an architectural project aimed at creating a space where one can pray and live in the area adjacent to the well, making this a meeting place and community and not just a place to draw on resources. Living with water becomes a way to empower the community about its use and therefore respect it more. A platform will then be built around the well with a cover made with sustainable technologies and recycling of materials. This platform will be furnished and equipped with elements of furniture useful to create a space (the only one in the village) in which to meet as tradition dictates (the so-called "bantabatoo". The construction of the well also becomes a means of promoting exchange and dialogue between communities and to address the general development issues of the village.