Senegal Builder Crowdsources Funds for Water Wells, Changes Lives

Jul 25, 2023

Thought Question: If you were to start a fundraiser, what would your mission be and how would you do it?

Senegal is a country in sub-Saharan Africa. It's one of the area's most economically stable nations. But it still lacks an important resource: water. This is true for many countries in Africa. Senegal's north, especially, is very dry. It doesn't have enough lakes and wells for humans to use.  

Women in Senegal’s north walk for miles each day. They lug big buckets of water from wells and rivers far away. People often must choose between drinking water or watering their crops. Climate change also has played a harmful role. It's caused more and more droughts around the world.  

This is where Mamadou Diakhate enters the picture. He's from the country’s capital city of Dakar. Beginning in 2020, the builder started online campaigns asking people to donate money. He did so to raise funds to build wells near Senegal villages where people need water. 

"In many villages, there were water problems," Diakhate told Reuters. He said "this issue notably impacted on learning." Diakhate used to work in school construction. "I met women walking 7 or 8 kilometers (5 miles) to get water for their crops. I knew we had to do something.”  

Using funds raised online, his group has built more than 50 wells. Nine more are in the works. 

Local officials say Diakhate’s efforts are greatly changing the region. The village of Ourou Amady Bagga now has enough nearby water to grow more vegetables for sale. That's boosting the local economy, said the village chief. His name is Yoro Boubou Ba.

"Communities … can't do everything, and the state can't do everything either," Diakhate told Reuters. "But we're going to continue to do our part and push these communities to really live better."

Photo from Reuters.

Which statement best summarizes the main mission of Mamadou Diakhate? (Common Core RI.5.2; RI.6.2)
a. to help schools build better facilities for learning
b. to construct water wells and provide access to water for villages
c. to encourage people to grow more crops for food supply
d. to spread awareness and educate about the harmful effects of climate change
For more formative assessments, visit to start a free trial.

News brought to you by The Juice

Start a free trial today