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The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Florence S Boyah
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Bricking The Well
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Yield Test
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Flushing
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Flushing
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Drilling
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Drilling
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Drilling
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Patrick Boyah
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Finished Tippy Taps
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Breaking First Ground
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Oral Hygiene Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Training
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Madam Florence Boyah
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Shelter Set Up For Bathing
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Handwashing Pitcher
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Inside Latrine
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Latrine
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Abu Bakarr Kamara
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  The Swamp
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Controlled Well
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Household
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Household
The Water Project: Mahera Community, 3 Robolla Street -  Household

Project Status



Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 196 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Community Profile

This area is just down the street from our offices, so we’ve seen the need on a daily basis. Mahera’s population is growing fast and even has a few multistory buildings. Most trees have been cut down.

Extended family lives together under one roof. Any member of a family who can afford it will always take care of one or two family members, or will even take in a neighbor or friend’s son or daughter to live with them at home.

Many people only made it through the first few grades of school and struggle to find employment now. The largest employer in this area is the airport, while the rest engage in petty trading.

The majority rises early for Muslim prayers. Children get ready for school to arrive by 8am. School is out by 2pm, but students preparing for exams stay later. Adults are out for the entirety of the day trying to make ends meet.

Water

There is a hand-dug well that has a pump on it. The one big disadvantage associated with this well is stringent control, and access is not always guaranteed. The water gets low and sometimes disappears altogether.

We approached the landowner and asked if he’d allow us to drill a borehole at the bottom of his dug well so the community could get water year round. However, he did not feel ready to sign a document allowing the community full access to this well.

We walked further down the rugged road to see the swamp that people also use. People dig holes in the swampy ground to pool enough water in which to dunk their buckets. You would not want to pay a second visit to this water source. The water in these holes looks like palm wine, and the surrounding environment is very unhygienic.

To think that a landowner would make his fellow neighbors struggle to access safe drinking water is deplorable.

“I know clean water is a source of long life. But here, you must drink any water, and that is why most of us get diarrhea and cholera. So when I don’t have enough clean drinking water, I am at risk of contracting these two diseases,” Farmer Abu Bakarr Kamara said.

Sanitation

Except for a few urban self-contained homes (one large building instead of several small structures), latrine facilities are in very poor condition. Most people in this community have a very different view of latrines: specifically, because it is a place to defecate, they are very careless about it. They will hardly sweep near it, the inside will be wet, and the hole left open for flies. Some do not even have “kulas,” or water containers, in them.

Plastic pitchers are used for rinsing hands. Clothes are being washed and dried properly on clotheslines, but there aren’t many dish racks for storing eating utensils up off the ground. There aren’t many animals pens, with animals allowed to roam wherever they please – even in and out of homes! Mrs. Florence Boyah is a retired headteacher who admits things aren’t as they should be.

“Most of what you are describing to me is something we know very well of, but just do not take it seriously,” she said.

“There is no denying that our state of hygiene is regrettable, particularly for some neighbors. Just look around! No dish racks, dirt all over the place and even the clotheslines for most homes are not enough. Look at the condition of the toilets in most homes, you will not even want to use any of those. We are living in a death trap as far as hygiene is concerned in this community.”

What we can do:

Training

There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for three days in a row.

Community members will learn how to make a handsfree handwashing station called the “tippy-tap.” We will use these tippy taps for handwashing demonstrations, and will also teach about other tools like dish racks and the importance of properly penning in animals. We will highlight the need to keep latrines clean, among many other topics.

These trainings will also strengthen a water user committee that will manage and maintain this new well. They will enforce proper behavior and report to us whenever they need our help solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

New Well

We will be drilling this well along Robolla Street. This project will relieve the people here of the heavy control and rationing they’re encountering at the private well.

Our team will drive over the LS200 mud rotary drill rig and set up camp for a couple of nights. Once the well is drilled to a sufficient water column, it will be cased, developed, and then tested. If these tests are positive, our mechanics will install a new India Mark II pump.

This community has been pushed to the swamp for their water. By drilling this borehole, Mahera Community will be provided with plenty of accessible clean drinking water.

Project Updates


08/20/2018: Clean Water in Mahera Community

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point in Mahera Community, already providing clean water to families! People here no longer have to rely on dirty water from the swamp. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines.

New Knowledge

Having gone through a baseline survey, the team procured the materials needed for Mahera Community’s hygiene and sanitation training. Later, the team sent a representative to inform the community about the proposed event. Even though the community agreed on a date ahead of time, our team still had to do the extra work of going house to house to call the people to the venue. Once we called them, they came out in huge numbers. Training was held under shady mango trees at Pa. Boyah’s compound.

Everyone was excited and volunteered for demonstrations, asking questions when they didn’t understand something. Even the little ones were engaged. One girl asked how long she could use a single toothbrush and was taken aback when she heard it shouldn’t be used for more than three months.

Most people here think you can brush your teeth without any toothpaste, and that you can use your toothbrush for as long as it is not broken. This was new news for most of them, considering the cost of certain kinds of toothpaste. But by the end of the training, they all agreed with the presenter that they should be purchasing toothpaste. In Sierra Leone, there are kinds of toothpaste that the government took off the market because they were burning people’s gums. This is the low-cost toothpaste that most people can afford.

Most communities in this region are not healthy, so the team decided to present photos of healthy and unhealthy communities. The instructor would select pictures at random and then ask the participants’ assessment of whether it was good or bad. People here live so close to each other that we’d catch sidelong glances as we showed the pictures.

Another popular activity was when participants learned how to make their own handwashing stations, called tippy taps.

Helping each other make tippy taps.

“This team has performed a very wonderful job in this community, and I must start by asking God to continue to give them the courage in educating our communities about hygiene and sanitation. I changed my toothbrush after the presentation on tooth care. Most of what I heard on tooth care was news to me and I appreciated it very much. I never knew I should change my toothbrush every three months and the way I have been taking care of it was all wrong,” shared Mr. Patrick Boyah.

Mr. Patrick Boyah

“But thanks to this training, it will really have some impact on not just me but the community at large.”

New Well

We worked with the community to select a spot central to everyone.

Two pits were dug next to the drill rig, one for the drill’s water supply and another for what was pulled back up out of the borehole. Since the community already struggles with finding enough water, we ordered a private supplier to deliver the water we needed for drilling.

Day one of drilling started with filling the two pits with water mixed with bentonite. A 4″ carbide tipped bit was fixed to the five-foot-long drill stem. The mud pump was started to supply water to the drill rig and the drilling starts. During drilling, the team, after every five-foot length of drill stem put into the hole, would take material samples. The bags were labeled, 1, 2, 3 etc, and these are to be reviewed later to determine the aquifer locations.

They found red clay for the first 35 feet, sand until 50 feet, but it was unusual to not find much water flowing through the sand. We kept going into another layer of sand that had lots of water and a little clay up to 100 feet deep. The second day of drilling was meant to expand the hole and clear it of mud. This well’s total depth is 100 feet, with everything going smoothly.

The team forcefully pumps clean water into the well to clear our any mud and debris from drilling. After, filter pack is added so that the screened pipe will be protected. The temporary drilling casing was hoisted out so that we could fortify the pipes with cement.

Flushing out the debris leftover from construction so that this borehole will be safe for drinking.

The well was bailed by hand for three days before a yield test to verify the water quantity, which ended up being 60 liters per minute at a static water level of 53 feet.

With these great results, a stainless steel India MkII pump was installed. Water quality tests show that this is clean water fit for drinking!

At the news of completion, the rest of our team traveled to celebrate clean water in Mahera. People came from all corners of the community, singing, and dancing.

“This water point has helped bring sanity to our homes. Before now, our toilets would not function without enough water, and it would be unhygienic at most times. For those of us with handwashing facilities, we couldn’t keep them filled with water,” shared Mrs. Florence Boyah.

“All this has changed with the availability of water now.”


The Water Project : 30-sierraleone18254-clean-water


06/06/2018: Mahera Community Project Underway

Dirty water from the swamp is making people in Mahera Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your community through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!


The Water Project : 10-sierraleone18254-the-swamp


Project Photos


Project Type

Borehole and Hand Pump

Girls and women walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - we are able to pull water to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.



Contributors

Project Sponsor - Pineapple Fund