REACH – Somaback, Senegal
There are 1,643 people living in the village of Somaback, which is part of the Niakhar community in the region of Fatick. Somaback was founded in the 1950s by Malick Sall and Djeguane Sarr. The people of Somaback belong primarily to the Serrere and Wolof ethnic groups, and there are also some Fulani people. Both Islam and Christianity are practiced here. Somaback is 52 miles from Kaolack and 5.5 miles from the closest paved road.
The primary incoming generating activities in Somaback are farming and livestock breeding. Farmers grow millet, peanuts, beans and corn as their staple crops. Most families have well water in their homes. There is no electricity but there is cell phone reception. The nearest medical clinic is 1.2 miles away in the village of Mbadatte; people generally travel there by donkey or horse cart.
The leaders of this community are the chief, the head of the parents association, the women and youth representatives, the school principal and the religious leaders.
The school in Somaback started as a few grass thatch structures. Community members raised some funds to begin building a permanent school, but have been unable to complete it due to financial struggles. There are 215 students (95 girls and 120 boys) enrolled in school in Somaback. They study with 3 teachers in grades 1 though 6. Formal education has been available in Somaback since 2007, but because of the lack of classroom space many children in the community are not enrolled.
The new school in Somaback, Senegal has 2 classrooms and 2 latrines built with cinderblocks, metal roofing and a poured concrete foundation.