Children like him often are tasked with getting water, so their education is affected by this problem. Each morning, children will stand in line to fetch water and return home to do morning chores before going to school. There is usually one main source of water which is in the school grounds. It is fenced and it's a protected hand-dug well with pump. This well is congested most of the time. The rush to fetch water, especially in the morning, sometimes brings arguments that will result in a fight.
The crowds also affect the students who also have to wait to get water and are late if the line for water is too long. Foday, a 13-year-old student who lives in the community, told us that he is late to school every day because of the time spent fetching water.
"I am too old to stand a long time in the queue for water," explained Santigie Mansaray, a 73-year-old community member.
"So I must wake up my kids at 5:00 in the morning to go and fetch water. Sometimes they cannot get enough due to the long lines or arguments that break out. The last time my little kid was beaten up while trying to get water.
After school, children return home to fetch more water, wash their uniforms and help with afternoon chores before heading off to extra lessons for school. After the lessons, they go help their parents either farming or at the market. Children will return to fetch more water in the evening for cooking dinner and for their evening baths.
The pressure on the school well leads people to seek other sources of water. When it goes dry due to overuse, people go to a nearby hand-dug well without a pump. Here they deep a container with a rope to fetch water - which exposes it to contaminants.
(Note: We are currently monitoring the school well to determine whether it is a good candidate for a rehabilitation next year.)
Macauley Street is almost a mile from the wharf. One can hear the waves of the tides at the Atlantic Ocean from here. The people in this community make a living by farming, fishing or petty trading. There is a nearby swamp in which people plant vegetables like, cucumbers, onions, pepper potatoes, and tomatoes. These products are harvested and taken to the city for sale.
What we can do:
We will be drilling this well at #5 MacAuley Street. This project will relieve the people here of their water challenges.
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 open, contaminated well for their water. By drilling this borehole, Tholmossor Community will be provided with plenty of accessible clean drinking water.
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.