For those who partake in the holy month of Ramadan, you will be well aware of the intense thirst that can be experienced through the physical abstention of food and water – a thirst that can easily intensify in warmer temperatures. For the people of Tambacounda and Kedougou in Senegal, where temperatures can reach up to 45 – 50 degrees Celsius, this intense thirst is part of the reality of fasting in Ramadan in such high temperatures.
For a long while, there has been a pressing need from the local population for access to affordable clean water and ice, all year round. However, during Ramadan this demand heavily increases and up until recently resulted in a massive hike in prices of ice and water, meaning that such a basic necessity was inaccessible for many, simply because they were unable to afford it. For others, they had no other choice but to pay the prices asked.
The O’Peace Solution
As a man of action and in the spirit of service to humanity, Sheikh Aly N’Daw set up the O’Peace water project in Tambacounda in March 2019 to address these needs of the local population and created an affordable product that was able to provide quality to all.
Whereas previously the local population were used to paying at least 100FCFA (rising up to 500FCFA during the summer months and Ramadan) for packs of ice usually made from tap water, Sheikh Aly and his team began to provide small packs of ice made from purified water to be sold for 25FCFA – a price that even school children could afford.
For the locals, having such a high-quality product available at such affordable prices was the solution they had been in need of all along.
The Next Phases
Since the inception of the project in 2019, O’Peace has continued to grow and progress, expanding now to Kedougou – a region close to the Malian borders.
The acquisition of special ice-making equipment that reduces the time it takes to produce blocks of ice from 24 hours to just 3 hours, means that this increased production can serve increasing demands and the needs of a much wider population.
However, there have also been some challenges along the way, including:
- Being able to obtain an adequate water supply to fulfil the demand
- Ensuring a constant electricity supply due to regular power cuts in the area
Thankfully, both of these issues have now been addressed and in recent weeks, their solutions completed.
To solve the challenge of obtaining an adequate water supply, Sheikh Aly N’Daw explained the importance for O’Peace to have its own water well. Hence, the O’Peace team in Senegal have dug and created their own. And in March 2021, a power generator was installed to ensure a constant electricity supply. This is fantastic news for all as it ensures the smooth running of such a vital project.
After much-dedicated work, the full O’Peace water plant is now in full flow, complete with its own well and power generator, as well as a water filtration system which double filters the water that passes through, and an ice-making station.
This is the first Ramadan in Kedougou where the demand for clean water and ice at affordable prices is being fulfilled, and we are so grateful that the vision of Sheikh Aly N’Daw is now a full and visible reality.
In line with Sheikh Aly’s vision, the further expansion of the O’Peace water project is in its planning stages, with a view to extending ‘quality for all’ to those in the neighbouring regions of Fouta, Balla and Casamance, among others.
We wish a blessed Ramadan to all observing the holy month and are thankful that O’Peace is delivering a wonderful solution to one of the biggest problems once faced by those in the regions of Tambacounda and Kedougou.