Thanks to the jojo project and others, The Water Project was able to fund the repair of a broken down, rusted out well at The Miracle Praise School in Sierra Leone. All told clean, safe water was given to over 500 people!
This particular community is known as Monkey Bush and is found in the western rural area of Sierra Leone. Most people in the community earn a living by teaching, petty trade, carpentry and farming. The primary school, where the project took place, serves 286 students - 137 boys and 149 girls.
The school in Monkey Bush had a well at one time. But like thousands of others throughout Sierra Leone, this one was basically useless. So many wells were lost or destroyed in the decades long civil war that ravaged this country. Little chance of finding clean and safe water remains for many, and the students of Miracle Praise certainly didn't expect to find it either.
That's when our partner showed up and offered to fix this well and restore a measure of hope to this school.
The old "well" (the hole in the ground) was actually not too bad. "It doesn’t dry up," according to our implementing partner. The problem was, the pump was gone - broken and abandon. Left open, it rendered this water source unsafe as the open well was easily contaminated.
One of the teachers, 25 year old Saffiatu, told the team that many of the students who drank from the open pit well suffered from diarrhea, a dangerous illness out in the rural countryside.
She went on to say, once the well was repaired, "This closed well with a hand pump is clean and safer than the open well. People were worried about the children falling into the open well. Thank you for helping us!"
The community helped out with the project by providing labor. The old pump was pulled and a new Afridev pump was installed. The top was sealed with concrete and the water disinfected. When the project was complete, the community established a point person to be the caretaker of the well.
This local ownership, involvement and management will help ensure the project lasts a very long time. It's a team effort. We're committed to seeing that these wells last. We work to ensure that our implementing partners intend to stick around and make sure proper follow up and reporting is done.
Access to clean, safe water is a critical first step. And so is proper sanitation and hygiene. So, the entire community participated with the children in a sanitation and hygiene seminar where they learned the basics of keeping the well, their bodies and their homes clean.
This training dramatically improves the outcomes of water projects. Combining clean, safe water with safer hygiene practices can have a dramatic effect on people's health.
When the project was complete, the entire school and community gathered around to celebrate and give thanks. The smiles tell it all.
Access to safe, clean water is just the beginning for these students. Today they are able to spend more time in class, less time in bed sick, and a hope of breaking the cycle of poverty has been born.
For as little as $20, you can help provide water for another village like this one. It's an investment that can last an entire child's education. It may not always be easy...but this work matters. Help.
Do you believe that people deserve clean, safe water?
Do you believe a child in Sierra Leone and other developing nations should spend her day in school instead of fetching dirty diseased water from a pit?
Do you believe you can make a difference?
We do. Find out how to help us do more
“Our goal was $1000 to fix two wells in Zambia, and we are so excited to be able to do that and more through The Water Project!”
- Kimberly L., H.S. student