The Pilot 2008

The Pilot 2008 is devided over 2 locations.

The moment the team of PSTS started to form it was clear to all the members of the team that we have to start with a Pilot 2008 because there is a lot to learn about reaching and motivating the communities. Since The Gambia is devided by the Gambian river in the North and South bank area's we choose to make a Pilot on the two sides of the river.

Over the last year we have seen the positive reaction of the people and how happy they are with the knowledge about Jatropha oil and they can see how this will improve their lives. Loosing the Gambian forest has become a concern but if you need firewood to feed your family there is no other option then bringing the firewood home.

Even before PSTS was registered as a charitable organisation people started growing Jatropha, also hearing about it on the Senegalese radio where they gave a lot of attention to Jatropha. More and more emails were received as a reaction on the first small website that was published, so we knew we were on the right track.

Including fruit trees and other trees

To the PSTS team it didn't make sence to only concentrate on Jatropha but to include many more activities. It was dicided that various fruit trees and other trees into the project, we have been talking about bee-keeping, poultry, vegetable gardens etc. To the team there is one very important message: JATROPHA SHOULD NEVER BE PLANTED ON AGRICULTURAL LANDS , because you can't eat it and food comes first. Jatropha can only be grown on the so called waist lands around the villages, as a fence around vegetable gardens with the extra benefit that animals will not enter the gardens because they don't like the smell of Jatropha and it will create a fence that you never have to replace again like the sticks and bardwire they use until now. Both sides of all the access roads to the villages can be used for tree planting and Jatropha.

The 2 Pilot locations

The final decision about the Pilot locations was not realy in our hands. It just happenend! The community worker Karamo Demba from a village named Ballie came to he office and introduced his community to us. After his detailed introduction it was clear to us that Ballie would become the Pilot location on the North bank. In the mean time we have been in Ballie for the introduction and it was a succes. The first Pilot has started. Since the water table in this area is high the Jatropha's there are green and produce seeds all year round, so seed are available and they have started right away.

For the second Pilot a village on the south bank by the name of Sifoe was mentioned by our very active forrestry worker Ousainou Cham. He knows the area and the people and the introduction has been a succes again.

In the month of May 2008 a field trip is on the way. We are educating the villages all over the country and in the mean time we are collecting seeds from the various locations all over the country for research on the seeds and taking soil samples to be able to build up a databank on the different soil and weather conditions.