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Location: Sierra Leone

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

Community Profile & Stories

Ebola’s Impact

Ebola has been a tragic reality for the people of Sierra Leone over the last two years. Though considered stable at the moment, the country is still very cautious.

Our teams have remained safe and are on the front lines of Ebola prevention through this water, hygiene and sanitation program.  Your support acknowledges and celebrates their selfless work and bravery.

The entire team continues to express their gratitude for your support of communities in Sierra Leone, and we can’t wait to celebrate safe water together!

Please enjoy the following report comes straight from the field, edited for clarity and readability:

Welcome to the Community

Dumbuya Road runs through Yatiya Community, home to 674 people from 51 different households. (Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This site would make a great location for a second project. To learn more, click here.) It is found sitting upon a beach overlooking the magnificent Atlantic Ocean. The people in this community are deprived of many things, but are always walking around with smiles on their faces. We felt a keen sense of belonging after their warm greetings. Mangos, cucumbers and onions were offered for our enjoyment. These people are predominately from the Susu tribe, who are masters of the sea.

A normal day’s beginning syncs with the ocean’s tide, since a majority of the community depends on fishing for their daily bread. Fishermen are awake at all hours of the night. When the time is right for fishing, they will go regardless of the hour. Competition between fishermen often results in fights. Whenever a fisherman casts his net first in an area, all the other boats behind him get the leftovers. The fisherman are men and boys ages 10 to 50. They eat, sleep and dream fish.

This community also exhibits great agricultural knowhow, with a large percentage of the area’s onions, cucumbers and peppers planted in this community. The community is mostly illiterate.

Prayer in this community is a rarity; there are countless numbers of mosques, but rarely do people go.

Water Situation

Locals fetch their water from an unprotected spring. A small bowl is used to scoop water into larger five-gallon buckets. When scooping, women and children must take care not to disturb the dirt at the bottom. When the bucket is full, it is covered and transported back home. The gathered water is then separated into containers according to use: one for drinking and the other container for domestic chores. The drinking container is kept up off the ground on a table or stool, and is covered throughout the day. However, an entire family will use only one cup for drinking, found sitting atop the lid. When staff asked for a drink of water at one of the households, the mother took the cup, wiped the lip of it with a cloth, and handed it over! We weren’t daring enough to drink, but used the water to wash up instead.

Water in this open source is undoubtedly contaminated. The stream is located just downhill from a cemetery, and rain washes dirt and debris into the water. Our staff recounts that this could be the worst water source they have ever visited, and would prefer to drink the milky-white water found in other communities rather than this!

Sanitation Situation

No more than half of these homes have bathing rooms in which people can bathe or brush teeth. A little more than half of households have a pit latrine. They are latrines typical to impoverished areas, with palm leaves weaved together to make walls. A few feet inland on the beach, and you can find a pile of rubbish and feces, since most seaside communities use the beach as a toilet. Staff immediately hit it off with a twenty-year-old fisherman by the name of Mohamed Turay. During our conversation, nature called! I had only two choices: to use the beach that is within view of hundreds of people, or a latrine found back in town, ten minutes away. Of course I opted for the latrine back in town!

The young fisherman seems to be near the end of his career. Hardship and suffering are written all over his face. Even his skin reflects the consequences of dirty water and bad hygiene, with its blotches and discoloration. He looks forward to a new well with great hope. “Thank God! Things are finally turning around! It is time we learn how to read to follow the God of Mariatu’s Hope.”

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will be trained for three days in hygiene and sanitation. The facilitator will use the PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method to teach participants how to make their own hand-washing stations, wash hands, construct proper latrines, and many other topics. By the end of training, each households should have their own hand-washing station.

Plans: New Borehole

The community went through the application process. On receipt of their application, we visited to assess the community’s needs. To decide where to locate the well, we measured distance to ensure the location is far from latrines. Upon confirmation from the Ministry of Water Resources, we based our GPS coordinates on the projected location of this well: #5 Dumbuya Road.

The community will play a vital role in the implementaion of management and maintenance of this well. The community drafted a constitution for well usage. A gender-balanced water user committee was formed, voted upon and selected by the greater community.

Recent Project Updates

11/20/2017: A Year Later: #5 Dumbuya Road

A year ago, generous donors helped build a new well and latrines for the community surrounding #5 Dumbuya Road in Sierra Leone. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from partner Nanah Mansaray with you.

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07/19/2016: #5 Dumbuya Road New Well Project Complete

We are excited to share that the new well at #5 Dumbuya Road is providing clean water for the surrounding community. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted nearby the well site, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines. This water and new knowledge give the community a great foothold in eliminating water and sanitation-related illness. Please enjoy this update detailing all the work that was done at and around #5 Dumbuya Road, and make sure to click on the “See Photos & Video” tab above to find new pictures of the finished project.

Thank You for unlocking potential in this community. You made clean water a reality, and now you have a chance to make sure it keeps flowing. Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this well and hundreds of other projects!

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at a community member’s home, who lives roughly 200 feet away from the well site. This home is also a few steps away from the central mosque, a meeting place for the entire community. Thus, this was a very convenient place for all training participants. The chairperson of the committee in charge of the new well’s oversight and maintenance was informed of the training schedule ahead of time. This enabled the chairperson to make calls on every household to make sure there would be at least one representative present from each.

On the first day, training started at 2pm. Attendance was high with 64 participants. The most important lesson was held on this first day, teaching about proper hand-washing and how to build a hand-washing station. Hand hygiene is pivotal in preventing the spread of infectious diseases. We also emphasized the use of ash or soap along with water, because water alone does not eliminate germs. The second most important topic was also covered: the importance of having and using a latrine.

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On the second day of training, we discussed what makes good and bad hygiene, and shared stories about disease transmission. On the final day, we taught the community how to make dish racks, and finished up topics concerning what makes a community healthy or unhealthy.

By the end of training, the community had drafted a constitution that outlines usage of their new well. One of the rules that stood out was that “households without a latrine are prohibited from using the well.” By the time we left, many household leaders had constructed a latrine, and many other homes had a new hand-washing station.

A 15-year-old student was delighted she was allowed to attend training. She found it extremely informative and expressed, “I am happy to learn the different techniques used to was hands properly. Because of the donors, we are now boasting of good health and good hygiene. There are still people in this world that do good to other people.”

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Project Result: New Borehole

Construction for this new well began on May 17th.

The team used an LS200 drill rig that has 4000 psi power that can push through beds of pebbles and small rocks. The location was selected and then cordoned off to limit access to well technicians and the community members willing to help. After attaining the proper depth that yields the best water, drilling is stopped, filter is packed, screened, and then back-filled to prevent dirt from mixing with water. After the water is bailed, a sanitary seal is made at three meters. The well pad is constructed 10 feet in diameter using granite stones and a rich mixture of cement and sand. Last but not least, the well is fitted with an India Mark II pump.

One challenge with this process was that the site is in an open area, visible to all. This increased the risk of vandalism, so the committee decided to hire a few youth to help keep equipment like the drill rig secure both day and night. All throughout the process, the community was very helpful in providing food for the team and assisting with labor. The local women even did laundry for our work team! Another small hiccup was that it rained immediately after we painted the well walls for the first time. It all washed off, so we had to repaint.

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The handing over ceremony was held on June 13th, with all committee members and their households there to express thanks through song and dance. We met local farmer Adikalie Kamara at this ceremony (see his picture under the “See Photos & Video” tab), who said, “This new, safe water source has saved our lives for generations to come. Our children will not be drinking water that comes out of the cemetery – God only knows what we have been drinking for years! Our grandchildren can now drink safe, accessible, clean, and odorless water. People that have nothing to benefit from our community have invested thousands of dollars for the betterment of the whole community. I have nothing to say! I am lost for words! May God bless and guide them in everything they plan to do.”

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07/05/2016: #5 Dumbuya Road New Well Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, the neighborhood around #5 Dumbuya Road in Sierra Leone will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A new well is being constructed and the community will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the difference these resources will make for this community!

We just posted an initial report from our partner in the field including information about the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We’ll keep you posted as the work progresses.

Check out the tabs above to learn more, Thank You for caring for the thirsty!

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Port Loko, Kaffu Bulloum, Yatiya
ProjectID: 5086
Install Date:  07/19/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 11/23/2017

Visit History:
09/30/2016 — Functional
11/21/2016 — Functional
12/05/2016 — Functional
03/06/2017 — Functional
04/05/2017 — Functional
05/17/2017 — Functional
08/21/2017 — Functional
11/23/2017 — Functional

A Year Later: #5 Dumbuya Road

September, 2017

Now, after the completion of this water project, our children and young girls are not suffering any more from this difficulty. This is a great change which is positive in our community.

A year ago, generous donors helped build a new well and latrines for the community surrounding #5 Dumbuya Road in Sierra Leone. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from partner Nanah Mansaray with you.



This water project has been beneficial and is improving people’s life in their community because they are now using good and pure water for their daily activities. The community now uses good pit latrine facilities instead of going to the bush, they have clothes lines, rubbish pits, etc. This change was because of the hygienic training that was conducted and introduced to them in their community by the WaSH staff.

Chairlady M’balia Sillah says, “The biggest changes from this water project is we don’t have to buy water from other communities or send our children and young girls to go to far away streams. Now, after the completion of this water project, our children and young girls are not suffering any more from this difficulty. This is a great change which is positive in our community.”


“Our people in this community are using both the water project facility and also using the sanitary facilities been introduced from the staff during education training. There is vast improvement from the people in this community in using such facility. Though there are no difficult continued challenges, we still need to advise the community people time to time about their hygienic and sanitary practices.”

12-year-old Alhajie Turay says that his life has changed drastically since the water project was implemented last year. “Before, my brothers, sisters and friends use to go to school late at times because we fetch water from other communities, the stream or, sometimes our parents buy from traders in bundles. Due to these reasons, I usually was late for school, but after the water project, I can now wake up on time, do my studies in the morning, do my domestic work, eat and dress for school without being late.”


The pump is working properly and they are using the hygienic and sanitary practices properly in their community. The field staff will continue to monitor the operation on proper functioning of the pump and other facilities such as chlorinating the pump and talk to the members of the committee to clean the pump daily and weekly.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.


Project Sponsor - Yakima Foursquare Church

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Country Details

Sierra Leone

Population: 9.7 Million
Lacking clean water: 47%
Below poverty line: 70%

Partner Profile

Mariatu’s Hope works with vulnerable communities and individuals to inspire hope through Maternal Care, Infant Nutrition, Safe Water Access, Proper Sanitation and Health and Hygiene promotion.