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Published on Nov 3, 2009
For three months, thousands of Senegalese had been living in and tiptoeing around warm stagnant flood water. And this had Malick concerned.
As the head of CRS health program in Senegal, Malick Ndome is worried about them.
Because they are his neighbors.
Malick lives in Pikine, and he saw first hand the flooding this year. Its become a yearly occurrence, as his neighborhood, which is home to almost 1 million Senegalese, is a former swamp with almost no drainage systems.
The flooding blocked roads, disrupted garbage pick-up, and caused septic tanks to overflow. The mosquito population exploded. The residents of Pikine moved in with friends or rented expensive apartments, they slept on roofs and dumped their garbage anywhere they could.
They were forced to adapt to their new conditions: They hiked up their dresses and pants, held their noses against the stench, and got used to it.
CRS and its church partner Caritas decided help. Malick led the effort and managed the purchase of water pumps to clear flooded homes, organized garbage collection and distributed water purification tablets.
Now, after months in water, Pikine is finally drying out thanks to Malick and CRS.