By: Alieu Jallow
The residents of Sare Sofi are celebrating the availability of safe drinking water. Following The Fatu Network’s publication in August 2023 about the dire water situation in the village, which had forced them to resort to using open wells dug by the village many years ago, strict measures have been implemented on the only available health facility borehole to ensure that everyone gets a portion of the water they need.
Against this backdrop, Direct Aid The Gambia came to the village’s rescue by providing 20,000 liters of safe drinking water to address the long-standing water emergency.
Mr. Alasan Sey, Secretary-General of the village development committee, had earlier told The Fatu Network’s reporter Alieu Jallow in August that the village had been suffering for a long time due to the unreliable old hand pumps that are no longer functioning. As a result, they have been forced to resort to using their old open wells, which they deemed unsafe and unhealthy for their system. Many women had developed chest aches as a result.
Two months later, Direct Aid The Gambia intervened by providing them with a borehole and a 20,000-liter water tank. Speaking to our reporter, Alkalo of the village Sirreh Sey expressed gratitude to the donor and Fatu Network’s efforts in bringing the issues confronting them to light.
“We no longer have water issues in the village, and the coming of this borehole has restored peace, confidence, and, above all, water is no longer scarce,” he said.
Kora Baldeh, a member of the council of elders, expressed the timeliness of Direct Aid’s intervention, lamenting that the village had been experiencing severe challenges in accessing water for a long time.
“Alhamdulillah, the challenges of water have been a big headache for us and our animals, so we thank Direct Aid for wiping our tears, as this water project is a milestone within the district, and we are grateful.”
Echoing the voice of the women, Fatou Sama, a women leader, voiced her gratitude to the donor for coming to their aid, perceiving their greatest nightmare as becoming history.
“There was a big water crisis in our village for centuries, and with the coming of this borehole, it has eased our difficulties. We thank Allah and the donors.”
Nambo Keita explained how, as women, they faced most of the burden of getting water in their households before the borehole came. She emphasized that they had been drawing water from their deep wells, which left dreadful marks on their hands.
“You draw water and draw water until your hands are left with marks, but now Alhamdulillah, you will enjoy sleep and wake up with no body aches. You can rush to the tap and get your water without having to hassle or worry.”
Hon. Bakary B. Kora, NAM for Upper Fulladu, expressed delight over the timely intervention of water in the village, underlining the urgent need for water in Sare Sofi village, as they had been crying out for it for decades, which, to him, is now history.
Speaking on behalf of the donors, Osman Fadulalla said Direct Aid is involved in charity work through the donation of mosques, borehole drilling for underprivileged communities, sponsoring orphans, and the construction of Arabic and Quranic schools.
Other speakers included the Village Development Committee chairperson Nfamara Jerreh Keita and Cherno Musa Sey, the imam of the village, who echoed similar sentiments, noting that the water will go a long way in mitigating their longstanding necessity for water and promoting health within their community.
The villagers were full of excitement following the handing over of a twenty-liter water tank. The dire need for access to safe, clean, drinkable water in Sare Sofi in the Central River Region of The Gambia is now history. However, some residents expressed concerns over similar challenges within the district and region, thus calling on other donors to come to their aid, as water is an essential part of life and religion.