The people of Sierra Leone are suffering from a lack of access to clean and safe water. The problem...hundreds of hand pumps are broken.
Even the "wells" that are in use are often no more than an open pit with "water" in the bottom. When we heard that the solution to these problems was simple and cost effective, we had to respond.
Together with our partner, Living Water International, we're helping change lives in Sierra Leone. Join us and see for yourself.
Today, we're restoring and repairing wells in Sierra Leone for about $4,500 per well. When we can work at a school, we add latrines to the project and provide a total water and sanitation solution for about $15,000. It makes an incredible impact.
In most cases the well "repairs" end up being a complete overhaul or reconstruction of the well. Then, to protect the water source the existing well (hole in the ground) must be cased and capped. The communities then need a new pump.
In every case, the technical work is combined with community training and follow-up to ensure the work is sustainable. Community members are taught about proper hygiene and well maintenance. At schools, the teams are even installing toilets to provide a complete sanitation solution. When you put it all together, an effective and lasting solution is put in place. Lives change.
Keeping with our goal of utilizing local management and labor whenever possible, our implementer's operation works to train former child-soldiers and women who were victimized during the hostilities of the recent civil war. They are being equipped to rehabilitate broken-down wells and educate villagers in basic health and hygiene practices. Hope is restored for everyone involved.
When LWI began operations in Sierra Leone, they chose to forego heavy initial capital costs and focus first on well rehabilitation. This strategy has allowed LWI to become acquainted with the country's water needs, while providing clean water for a much lower cost than a new borehole.
There are MANY broken hand-pumps in Sierra Leone. Most of these broken wells were drilled on contract before and after the civil war. When a company or organization's contract ended - so did their in-country presence. The wells fell into disrepair. There are also hand-dug wells all over the country. Many of these wells can be rehabilitated into closed, clean and safe water points
Work is taking place primarily in Koya District, Port Loko District, Western Area Rural, Bombali District and Tonkolili District. Teams move to where there is the most need. As word has gotten out, the teams receive requests for assistance. They do a survey trip and identify all the nearby wells that need work.
Sustainability is about relationships in Sierra Leone. So these initial contacts are always followed up. Going back and calling them on the phone to see how the pump is working is one way to stay in touch.
Join us. Get involved today and help change everything for a community in Sierra Leone.
“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