This project was implemented by another partner, but is now monitored and maintained by The Water Project together with Mariatu's Hope.
A Sierra Leone team member stated, "This is just an incredible school and a beautiful rural community. As we walked through the bush to pay our respects to the Chief who was too ill to attend the dedication ceremony the birds were chirping and everything was so green and lush. There were beautiful gardens. It was so exciting to see the community come out in full force, literally!! There was cultural music, dancing and costumes. There was so much excitement in the air. The love was flowing so freely. Next year we will be doing an agricultural project in this community for another donor and will be using the fertilizer from this composting toilet the following year. It is truly amazing how God puts things together!" When the team arrived, families were suffering from dysentery, malaria, diarrhea and severe dehydration. During the team’s stay, community members assisted the team with the water project whenever possible. Most community members earn a living by petty trading, making palm wine, teaching, working as bankers, tailors, airport workers and other professions. There is a school located in the community whose students, teachers and administrative personnel all have access to the new, safe water source.
The Sierra Leone team had an opportunity to meet with twenty year old community member and student, Juliana Sesay. Juliana was talking to me as she tried out the sinks and washed her hands with soap and water. She was so excited about this project. She said that she was a former student of this school and they never had such an opportunity as this. She is so excited for the students who are presently attending the school. She said they used the old pit latrines that had recently collapsed. She thanked The Water Project and Penson for their generosity.
The hygiene training was held in a full day training session. The Sierra Leone team had previously trained the teachers at this school when the new water well was dug. They have been implementing the hygiene lessons in their classes. These teachers are really terrific. They have shown that they can handle more. They were really excited and fully participated. The teachers will train the students and the students will in turn train their communities. The goal of this project is that the community would grab hold of the importance of using a latrine and build a latrine at their homes so the community will eventually be Open Defecation Free or ODF. The students are already bringing this message out to the community and are actively using tippy taps at their school and some have already trained some community members how to make their own tippy taps. They have taken the lead. A Child Health Club is being formed and this group will take the lead on presenting the lessons to their community. A water and sanitation committee will be created for the school well. During the hygiene education, the team addressed: Disease transmission, germs, hand washing, proper water saving techniques, healthy and unhealthy communities, how to take proper care of the pump, how to keep the water clean, community mapping and identifying good and bad hygiene behaviors, clean hands and clean hearts and dental hygiene.