By: Foday Manneh
SuperSonicz Micro-Finance has built and inaugurated 24 garden reservoirs with water pipe networks for women gardeners in Mandinary village, Kombo North, West Coast Region.
The handing-over ceremony was held on Wednesday, January 11, 2023, at the famous village eco resort “Mansa Garden.”
The project undertaken by the micro-finance institution is part of its unique access-based financing scheme, which provides such projects for communities through loans.
The head of operations at SuperSonicz, Modou Lamin Jobe, said his institution is committed to providing micro-finance services promoting financial inclusion, especially to women actively engaged in agricultural activities.
He outlined some of the critical intervention areas his institution is focused on delivering, including the provision of fertilizers and seeds to farmers, which can be repaid after harvest.
“We have supported the women of Banyaka in a similar project, and we are currently building the first-ever community garden for Allunhareh village in Basse,” Jobe said.
According to Jobe, the Mandinary project fee amount to D1,410,813. However, he assured beneficiaries that the contractor, DHK Global, will be responsible for any maintenance of the reservoirs for free for the next 12 months.
The project will cover a payment period of one year. It shall be processed accordingly with D1550 for loan servicing and D300 as deposits into the association’s account — making it D1850 for each member. This will be paid every three months before the end of the agreed period.
At the end of the 12 months, the association of 168 members of Mandinary women garden is expected to save D201, 600 accumulatively as their revenue.
“We thank SuperSonicz for the support given to us,” the village women’s leader, Fatou Bojang, expressed.
“If our water problems end, it will greatly benefit our livelihood,” she added.
Fatou also appealed for more government and private sector support to help them with the garden’s electricity.
“We need electricity to operate the borehole when the solar power slows down. Therefore, we urgently need support to resolve this problem,” Bojang appealed.
The Chairman of the Village Development Committee (VDC), Jammeh Ceesay, said the garden was created in 1982 to provide a livelihood for the villagers. He commended SuperSonicz for their foresight.
“This is women empowerment at its best because it is impossible to continue giving someone money every day, but if you teach people how to make money, that makes life easy for all, and that’s what SuperSonicz has done,” Ceesay acknowledged.
The Director of Agriculture in the West Coast Region, Mustapha Drammeh, conducted the official inauguration and thanked SuperSonicz for complementing the government’s efforts, saying the support will go a long way in addressing the burden women gardeners in Mandinary face in accessing water.
Mr. Drammeh also urged the women of Mandinary to take ownership of the project and make the best of the financing opportunity.