A Tractor's Touch

Transforming Lives in Kerr Wally

June 30, 2023

Sarr, tractor driver at Kerr Wally, NBR

Photo: Rohey Samba-Jallow, UNDP 2023

In the quiet rural community of Kerr Wally, located at the heart of the North Bank Region of The Gambia, the sun rose and set over a life filled with countless challenges and arduous tasks. Each day brought its own struggles—building houses with limited resources, trekking through dense forests to obtain timber, and toiling tirelessly to cultivate the land for farming. But hope arrived like a gust of wind on a fateful day when the Programme for Accelerated Community Development (PACD) introduced a remarkable addition to Kerr Wally: a sturdy tractor.

The arrival of the tractor in December 2021 breathed new life into the community. The engine's roar marked the beginning of a transformative journey, igniting a spark of optimism that spread like wildfire among the villagers. Momodou Joof, the dedicated Chairman of the Village Development Committee (VDC), recalls the moment vividly, his eyes gleaming with the memories of the community's triumphs.

With the tractor's arrival, the toil and drudgery of farming and economic activities slowly faded into the background. The tractor, affectionately referred to as "The Mighty Workhorse," brought with it the promise of relief from laborious tasks that had burdened the villagers for generations. The women, who were often at the forefront of the community's farming efforts, rejoiced at the prospect of an easier future.

"It has been a journey of transformation,"
Momodou Joof, Village Development Committee Chairman at Kerr Wally

Momodou Joof at Kerr Wally, NBR

Photo: Rohey Samba-Jallow, UNDP 2023

Under the warm African sun, the women farmers found respite from the backbreaking work they had known all their lives. No longer burdened by the strains of plowing, planting, cultivating, fertilizing, and harvesting crops, they reveled in newfound freedom. Their weary bodies found solace, and their minds were freed to explore new possibilities.

As seasons passed, a collective sense of achievement began to blossom within Kerr Wally. The tractor became a symbol of progress and prosperity, empowering the community to achieve feats they once deemed impossible. Together, they reaped the fruits of their labor, accumulating a total income of GMD 1,450,515 over the course of 17 months. It was an unprecedented triumph, and the entire village basked in its glory.

However, the impact of the tractor extended beyond financial gains. It rippled through the community, breathing life into dreams that had long been stifled. The village's hospital, worn by time and in desperate need of refurbishment, was revitalized with the newfound funds. Walls were painted, equipment was upgraded, and hope was restored. The once dim corridors now echoed with the sounds of life and healing.

Photo: Rohey Samba-Jallow, UNDP 2023

In a show of solidarity, the community also directed their resources towards empowering the women. Recognizing their invaluable contributions to the village's prosperity, GMD 100,000 was allocated to support the women's ventures in vegetable gardening. The fields flourished with vibrant greens, not only nourishing the bodies of the villagers but also symbolizing the growth and resilience of Kerr Wally's community.

Momodou Joof, with pride swelling in his chest, reflects on the profound impact PACD's tractor has had on their lives. "It has been a journey of transformation," he muses. "Our village has witnessed the power of unity and the unwavering support of the PACD team."

Today, the story of Kerr Wally serves as a beacon of hope, a testament to the resilience and determination of a community that once faced insurmountable challenges. Through the arrival of a humble tractor, the community has not only alleviated their hardships but has embraced a future brimming with possibilities. The tractor's triumph has become a symbol of empowerment, reminding the villagers that, together, they can overcome any obstacle and build a brighter, more prosperous Kerr Wally for generations to come.