We had a very nice handing over, and all the villages are very happy. We have also started discussing with the women’s groups about the rainy season gardening because we are not sure about the rain this year. It is still cold and most of the people are not sure why and what will happen this season. If there is no rain, they can grow paw paw, sweet potatoes, okra, cassava, cabbage and carrots. If the rains come, we decided that they should not grow onions but instead grow more pumpkins. These make very good food and they dry well. They have to start drying more baobab leaves – they are very good and make a sauce for most of their cooking.
We will try and tell more villages to grow during the rains.
In Jumansarr 2, we have a very good programme. The handing over of the dryer was very successful and we have dried a lot of different things, including paw paw and cassava. Paw paw and mangoes are all the same in drying - mangoes are very late this year that is why we are showing them how to dry with paw paw.
In Bantang there is a Fulla women’s group. They have a very very big garden of chili and cassava and can eat their cassava for most of the rainy season period. They harvested 5 big buckets full of cassava ready for drying when we were there. We filled the trays of the dryer and they will keep the rest until the ones in the dryer are ready for packaging. They will also dry their chilis and grind them into powder and then they send it to the market in Brikama. It is not a good thing for them but they have too much of it.
Sankuleh is a village bigger than Kayaborr, They are very hard working and they grow most of their vegetables. They said that last year food was very difficult for them and that is why they are doing their best to grow more this year. They are very happy to have the dryer and now most of their vegetables will be saved for the rains. The dryer will make a lot of different for them. Without, it most of their vegetable would go rotten so they are very very pleased and say thank you Kabafita Fund.
We are going again this weekend but to Jarra where we have 3 villages really in need of the dryers. They have grown some sweet potatoes at the rice field and have dug shallow wells and watered the potatoes very well. They are now ready and waiting for us so they can dry them. Once they have finished, they will grow another crop so that when the rains come, they will have something for their children. This will not be for sale but for use during the rains when things are bad. When we come back, we will set a date for the sewing machines. I will then take the material given by your friends and them some along with the machines.
We have 3 villages in the LRR (Lower River Region) which are not on the dryer waiting list. They told me a long time ago but they never follow up and I forget them. I would like to make the dryers ready for them now.
I will write to you again when we return from trek on Sunday
Barbara and Sarjo's Trek Reports and experiences.