The private well in Masoila at the local mosque is shared by so many people both in and outside of Masoila that no one can get the water they need.
Because water sources are few and far between in this area, people from all over come to the well to fetch water for their everyday activities. But this leaves the 250 people who live within the community waiting in long lines during the well's opening hours.
The pump's caretaker will only allow people to collect water at certain times. No matter how early Masoila's people wake up in the morning or how quickly they can reach the well after school or work, they still might end up leaving the well with an empty container, wondering how they will get the water their family needs for drinking, cooking, cleaning, bathing, and more. Sometimes, the well pump breaks or goes dry, disrupting lives even more.
"There are people in the community that would bribe the pump caretaker just for them to be able to fetch water on time," said our field officer Moses. "This really drives the others not to be able to fetch water."
And what's worse is that the water from the well is neither monitored or treated, so it causes perpetual cases of typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and skin rashes. This not only impacts people's long-term health, but it stops them from earning proper livelihoods and learning in school.
"The only water source I have to access is far away from [my] house, and it is restricted sometimes to get water," explained 30-year-old food trader Adama Osman Kamara (pictured below carrying water from the well).
Adama supplements the inadequate well water by collecting rainwater - but that only helps during the parts of the year when the rains come. So she has to be perpetually creative in getting water for her family and her food-selling business.
"During the dry season, I had a lot of constraints for water, and I [had to] hire a motorbike to fetch water for money, which affects me economically," Adama explained. "In addition, I normally go late to my place of business, because of the time I spend at the water source to fetch water. By the time [I have] arrived at the market, I [will have] lost most of my customers.
"Sometimes I cannot prepare food and it causes me to buy food from the street, and I cannot get the taste of the food like what I prepared to eat from my own cooking. Not to talk about laundering, bathing, and cooking: all difficult to complete on time. I will be grateful to have this new water source constructed in our community."
The water crisis in Masoila affects children, too. Like 14-year-old Warrah K. (pictured below coming from the well), who is most often late to school after waiting in the long lines at the well.
"I normally receive lashings from my class teacher because of my lateness at most times," Warrah said. "Sometimes, I [will] not bathe, and I will take days [wearing] the same clothes as a result of the water challenge in our community. This affects me not to practice proper hygiene behavior at home. Providing us with a water source from this organization would be good for us, and this will us to complete domestic activities on time."
What We Can Do:
Where we will be drilling is centrally located and will relieve many people of the long journey to fetch water and the challenge of accessing clean water.
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.
By drilling this borehole, the 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 hands-free 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 restrooms clean, among many other topics.
This training 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 in solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.