Our implementing partner reported from the field...
A LWI Sierra Leone team member commented, “Knowing the impact of these new toilets on the lives of these students and on the members of this community will stay with us for a very long time. They are so thankful to God. During the building of this project, the school was broken into and several lengths of iron rod were stolen. We were able to work with the head teacher and others to talk about the theft. Unfortunately, the iron rod was never returned so additional expense was incurred.
At the dedication, the representative for the Paramount Chief exclaimed his delight for the project and gave so much thanks. The head teacher remarked to us that since they got their well rehabilitated last year that there has been a decrease in sickness and vomiting and diarrhea has become very rare. School attendance is also better. When the children want water they no longer go to other places to get it. They know the water at the school is pure. The students at this school scored very high on their NPSE. Of the 45 that took the test, 44 passed, which is very good.” When the team arrived, community members were practicing informal defecation and were suffering from malaria, diarrhea and severe dehydration. Most community members earn a living working as petty traders, gardeners, teachers, some work for the local government and others work for the nearest airport.
The LWI Sierra Leone team had an opportunity to meet with eleven year old community member and students class 6, Isatu Bangura, who stated, “I feel happy because now I have a fine toilet. Before we didn't have toilets, just a hole in the ground. I love that I have a place to wash my hands with soap and water. When I grow up I want to be a doctor. I would like to be a member of the Child Health Club.”
The hygiene training took place with two other schools who were also receiving sanitation projects. When the initial well rehab was done on this well, our team taught the students. This time, the teachers were taught using an SSHE/SLTS school sanitation and hygiene education, school led total sanitation approach. This method is more sustainable and hopefully will produce a result of long term change in the lives of these students and this community.
The teachers were engaged and were really excited about the training. Actually, when we had the training the teachers were on strike because they had not been paid for some of their time from the previous school year and had not received their contracts for this school year. Their dedication to the project and to the students showed up when most of them walked approximately five km to the training. Every teacher attended the training. This is really something they can be proud of and because of their dedication, the project will be more successful we hope.
As part of forming the Child Health Club, a water and sanitation committee will also be formed to care for the well at the school, which will help make it a more sustainable project. During the hygiene education, the team addressed: Disease transmission, germs, hand washing, proper water saving techniques, healthy and unhealthy communities, Oral Rehydration Solution, how to take proper care of the pump, how to keep the water clean, community mapping and identifying good and bad hygiene behaviors, disease transmission stories, clean hands and clean hearts and dental hygiene.
Nearly 20 years ago, we set out to help the church in North America be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving the poorest of the poor. 600 million people in the world live on less than $2 a day. 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water.
For all practical purposes, these statistics refer to the same people; around the world, communities are trapped in debilitating poverty because they constantly suffer from water-related diseases and parasites, and/or because they spend long stretches of their time carrying water over long distances.
In response to this need, we implement participatory, community-based water solutions in developing countries. Since we started, we’ve completed water projects for 7,000 communities in 26 countries.
It all began in 1990, when a group from Houston, Texas traveled to Kenya and saw the desperate need for clean drinking water. They returned to Houston and founded a 501(c)3 non-profit. The fledgling organization equipped and trained a team of Kenyan drillers, and LWI Kenya began operations the next year under the direction of a national board.
That pattern continues today; we train, consult, and equip local people to implement solutions in their own countries.
Remembering the life-changing nature of that first trip in 1990, we also lead hundreds of volunteers on mission trips each year, working with local communities, under the leadership of nationals, to implement water projects. It’s hard to know which lives are changed more—those “serving” or those “being served.”
Our training programs in shallow well drilling, pump repair, and hygiene education have equipped thousands of volunteers and professionals in the basics of integrated water solutions since 1997.
Living Water International exists to demonstrate the love of God by helping communities acquire desperately needed clean water.
LWI's Sierra Leone program launched in the wake of the nation's civil war. The operation trains ex-child soldiers and women who were victimized during the hostilities, equipping them to rehabilitate broken-down wells and educate villagers in basic health and hygiene practices.
New well and latrines for a school and community in Sierra Leone
Project Type: WAsH for Schools
Location: Port Loko District/Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Sierra Leone