Location: Sierra Leone

Regional Program:
Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:
Installed

Functionality Status:
Functional

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Explore The Project

Stories and Community Profile

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!

Welcome to the Community

The Suctarr Community is home to 593 people from 56 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. To learn more, click here.)

Nothing seems normal about this community, filled with hospital staff and soldiers. Children are constantly crossing a high traffic street filled with buzzing motorcycles to fetch water from the hospital yard. You can often hear the cries of family members visiting the government hospital. The diversity of tribes, military personnel, nurses, lab technicians and pharmacists makes this community an ideal candidate for a new well project. It is always a scary thing for children to enter the hospital grounds to fetch water: Children as young as ten years of age face the danger of being exposed to numerous types of bacteria.

On a typical day, Muslims and Christians wake up at 5:30am for bucket baths and then go to morning prayers. The children also begin their days at 5:30am to prepare for school. They are released from classes at 2:30pm. Once children get back home, they help out with domestic chores.

Water Situation

The only water source for this community is located inside the government hospital. It is a protected, hand-dug well fitted with an India Mark II hand pump. You will seldom find an adult using the pump; children are primarily responsible for fetching water for their families. These little children must stand on a six-inch block just to reach the hand pump. They tote a five-gallon container full of water back home, where it is separated by purpose: drinking or domestic. Water reserved for drinking is kept up on a table and covered.

The water from this well is safe for drinking, but there is a gross overuse of the pump. Children must wait for their turn to fetch water after they cross a dangerous, busy street. Because this is the only water source, there are still hundreds of community members that suffer from a shortage of safe drinking water. Reports of cholera and typhoid are common.

Sanitation Situation

100% of households have pit latrines that are in above average condition for a Sierra Leone community. This is because most community members have professional positions and thus earn enough money for better living quarters. You can find clean porcelain in both the latrines and bathing rooms, and some are even tiled! There is no open defecation here.

Over 75% of households have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines for drying belongings.

The members of this community who work at the Lungi Government Hospital have had extensive hygiene training by our organization and other NGOs who supported the hospital during the Ebola epidemic. They are still practicing what they learned!

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will be trained for three days, three hours a day on hygiene and sanitation. The facilitator will use the PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method to teach topics including:

  • How to build a hand-washing station
  • The importance of having a dedicated kitchen
  • Having helpful tools like dish racks, clotheslines and animal pens
  • What makes healthy and unhealthy communities

Plans: New Borehole

We were contacted not only by the community, but also by the hospital, both complaining of the overuse and business at their well. This well, located inside hospital grounds, is intended only for patients during the day, but the community begins lining up outside with their containers before 5pm! They are not allowed inside the compound to fetch water until 6pm, allowing the patients an opportunity to fetch their water first.

Having a new well on the other side of the street will save children from the dangers of both crossing a busy road and entering a hospital treating the ill. The community has chosen #27 Government Hospital Road as the location for this new borehole, across from the busy hospital itself.

We will be using an LS200 drill rig, equipped with 4000psi drilling power. It is safe, mobile, and easy to operate. Once we drill and line the well, construct the well pad and wall it in, we will fit the well with an India Mark II pump.


Project Videos




Project Photos


Recent Project Updates


11/29/2016: A Special Thanks from the Hospital

We’ve added a video of a thankful doctor who works at the Government Hospital. He talks about the impact of the water, sanitation and hygiene project you generously funded! Check out the new video under the “See Photos & Video” tab above.

The Water Project, along with this doctor, Thank You for bringing change to this hospital and the community surrounding it.

Thank You for unlocking potential!


The Water Project : 41-sierraleone5087


08/08/2016: #27 Government Hospital Rd. New Well Project Complete

We are excited to share that the new well at #27 Government Hospital Road, across from a hospital in Suctarr, is providing clean water for the surrounding community. Locals no longer have to risk their lives to cross the busy street, and they no longer have to compete with sick patients for their water! 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 #27 Government Hospital 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

By the time we arrived for training, the community had selected thirteen people to serve on a water user committee. This group will oversee the operation and maintenance of the new well. The committee members were informed weeks ahead of schedule so that they could encourage over 50 households to attend.

Training began on a sunny Thursday afternoon, May 19th. The first day of training had an attendance of over forty household leaders not to mention a countless number of children, all eager to hear more information about hygiene, sanitation, and the new borehole. On the second day attendance increased as well as participation. We really grabbed their attention when the committee shared their rule that no house without a latrine should fetch water at the well. The third and final day of training yet again brought out people in record numbers. The training topics stimulated the minds of the community and men, women and children participated with an energy that showed in the questions they posed to the hygiene team.

1 sierraleone5087 training

The most important topic and always the first to be discussed is hand-washing: its benefits and how each household needs to have a hand-washing station. Each household representative brought a one-gallon container to be used in construction of their own hand-washing station. We supplied the rope and sticks and taught participants how to construct the stations. The second topic is about a healthy versus unhealthy community, illustrated by pictures that depict typical behaviors of both. There is daily interaction with domesticated animals that are infested with fleas and ticks, and we teach the community how to build barriers between themselves and the germs and parasites. The community was also taught about proper pump upkeep.

By the time we had our followup visit a few days later, five households had already constructed new latrines! Others had made dish racks to keep things up off the ground, and more than twenty households had hand-washing stations at the entrance to their homes.

The chairlady of the 15th battalion infantry division, Isatu Koroma, encouraged other soldiers’ wives to attend training with her. After training, she said “If we had followed this type of training, possibly ebola and cholera would not have killed the thousands of people. This is a constant reminder that should be etched in our short and long term memory. The training was very educational and it comes with clean, safe and accessible water.”

8 sierraleone5087 training

Project Result: Well Construction

The well construction process began on May 10th.

Two holes were dug a few feet away from the base of the drill rig, meant to serve as a water supply and waste reservoir for the drill. The well was drilled to a total of 102 feet, and the screen was installed between 30.8 meters and 24 meters. The top of the gravel pack was at 21 meters, and then the backfill material, bentonite, was used until the sanitary seal at three meters. The well is a total of eight inches in diameters with casings of five inches. Ten ten-foot pipes were connected to reach 100 feet. After the drilling, developing and pump installation was complete, a ten-foot wide well pad was constructed with a wall around the circumference.

12 sierraleone5097 breaking ground

All the while, women of the community cooked meals for our drill team. The children even helped to fetch water for bathing at the end of a long day’s work. The men provided security for our materials both day and night.

On the day of the handing over ceremony, all five hundred plus students and community members were there waiting. There was a lot of singing and dancing as this huge community awaited their first drink of clean, safe water. There were hundreds of sticks and pots to make as much celebration noise as possible to show the donors that this community is truly grateful for this gift.

Eldred Kamara, a 22-year-old secondary student, was very happy about this new borehole a few feet away from her doorstep. The school she attends is about a mile away, and she has no other transportation than her two feet. She used to have to break a sweat to get to her school on time, which has a strict tardiness policy. She had too many morning chores to get there on time, including the fetching of water. With water nearby, Eldred no longer has to rush back and forth, but can instead get to school both clean and on time. Eldred now says, “Thanks to the donors, I can go to school and still have my white school top as clean as snow!”


The Water Project : 26-sierraleone5087-pump-installation


07/05/2016: #27 Government Hospital Rd. New Well Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, the neighborhood around #27 Government Hospital 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.

Thank You for caring for the thirsty!


The Water Project : 13-sierraleone5087-children


Monitoring Data


Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Port Loko, Kaffa Bulloum, Lungi, Suctarr
ProjectID: 5087
Install Date:  08/08/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional
Last Visit: 05/05/2017

Visit History:
09/23/2016 — Needs Attention
10/11/2016 — Functional
12/05/2016 — Functional
02/25/2017 — Functional
05/05/2017 — Functional




Contributors

Project Underwriter - Bill and Kimberly Ackerman
Faith Lutheran Church & School
Village Christian School
David Myers's Fundraising Page
Grace Jester's Campaign for Water


Want to start your own campaign? Learn more »

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.