We’ve been situated in the Gambia for quite a while now and the project keeps continuing. As part of the project we’ve spent a week on a local secondary school to introduce the Gambian youth to the concept of solar drying. Teaching about the differences of sun drying and solar drying went surprisingly well and the students learned a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of drying for preservation. All of this was combined with an entrepreneurship workshop, in which we introduced a challenging business game: in small groups, students could buy products and, by thinking of a business plan, could sell these products to a few teachers who acted as customers. Afterwards, we travelled to Serrekunda near the coast to acquire the last few materials, like a solar panel, certain bolts and screws, and the remaining necessary tools.
Prior to building, we took the villagers of Ndokey to Jakaba, so they could see what solar dryer looks like with their own eyes. The solar dryer committee of Jakaba could explain all about usage and maintenance and could share their personal experiences in this way. All of this was done in Mandinka, because the people of Ndokey only speak a few words of English.
Afterwards, we could finally start building. A few building days have past and in the meantime, all the wood has been sawed and have nearly finished the drying boxes, which consist of empty jerry cans. A building day consists of both a lot of green tea – which is something Gambians drink throughout the whole day – and also a decent commitment from the villagers in assisting building the solar dryer. By working in Ndokey, we hope to involve the inhabitants as much as possible and in this way, let them learn one thing or another about the usage of the solar dryer.