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Brigid with some of the children at Missionaries of Charity House

Clean water for Kunkujang

flowing tap


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Follow our blog buttonIn January this year, my wife and I (both Lions) visited The Gambia with the intention primarily of having a holiday. Whilst there we renewed the acquaintance of ex-Lion Kebba Cham whose university fees whilst in the UK studying had been paid for by the Lions Club of Burnham which was my wife’s club at that time.

On his return to The Gambia with his degree, he is now working for an NGO, with its HQ in Richmond, VA, USA called ChildFund International. He is a Development Officer with this organisation and has responsibility for the management of many small villages in the bush. One of these villages is Gunjar Kunkujang which is about 20km from Banjul. It has a central population in and around the village of about 2000 inhabitants and supports a school with 800 pupils.

We were taken to the village by Kebba and met the Chief and his elders and, on asking if there was any way that we could help, the village had two requests: (1) a mobile medical clinic to visit on a regular basis and (2) an upgrade of their water facilities to enable it to reach more people. Number 1 was arranged easily as we knew through personal contacts that the Order of Missionaries of Charity (Mother Theresa’s order) was seeking a second village to take their mobile clinic to every two weeks. Kebba was put in touch with the Superior of the order in Banjul and the provision agreed

Currently the water well which is powered by solar energy provides 10 taps to supply 2000 people including one tap which is designated solely for the school of 800 pupils. The goal is to extend the pipes and increase the taps to about 25 – if this were done then potentially water would be available to about 10,000 people in the wider area.

To achieve this the basic infrastructure would need to be upgraded – a new water tank to hold the higher capacity, new and larger solar panels to power the water supply and probably a new tower to take the extra weight. We have received one quote for this work so far and the cost is 1,114, 657 Dalasi which equates to about £18.5k sterling. The work can be managed in three phases (1) the installation of the new tank, panels and tower, (2) the provision of the first extension and then the final extension as stage 3

My Lions Club, Bracknell in 105D, have set up a bank account which will manage the funds for the project.  As a couple, we are raising funds via a mydonate page on the Internet, by personal fundraising from families and friends both as a one off gift and ongoing contributions, and also our Region Clubs who have shown interest and at least two schools here in the local area who wish to promote this as a school project. Unfortunately there are no Lions Clubs in The Gambia but ChildFund International is prepared to manage and administer the funds locally if a grant is forthcoming.

My wife and I will jointly manage the project and have already booked to go back in November 2016 at our own expense to monitor progress and will make further visits if required.

Can you help us please to help Gunjar Kunkujang have adequate access to clean water?

Mike & Brigid Hendy