Mayaya Village

Regional Program:
Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Latitude 8.67
Longitude -13.24

500 Served

Project Status:

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Stories and Community Profile

Mayaya Village was founded by the Bullomite Tribe, and was an affluent area. Elaborate, fenced homes were built up for large families. Since then, Mayaya Village has been taken over by the Susu Tribe. The previously impressive homes are now barely standing, yet are still inhabited by hundred of people. The Susu people living here rely on farming and fishing to earn their daily bread.

Amidst sprawling land, there’s a swamp that serves the people of Mayaya Village. Lots of activity goes on here. Most people bring jerrycans to fetch water, wading in knee deep and dunking the container. Many others bring their laundry to clean and then bathe after its done. The swamp’s water is contaminated by soap, dirty clothes, and dirty people. Debris is visibly floating in the water.

The consequences of drinking this water are devastating, but locals have no other option. Diarrhea is a daily condition that accompanies rampant waterborne disease.

When this project is funded, Mayaya Village will receive a new well that will provide clean, adequate drinking water.

Water Situation

During our visit to the swamp, we observed little boys playing in the water before bringing it back home to their families. These small children and women are those most responsible for fetching water, but little do they know that their daily habits contribute to drinking water contamination. Not only do locals need a clean water source, but they need to learn how fetching, transporting, and storing water must be done properly to ensure its safety.

The consequences of drinking this swamp water are devastating. People suffer from diarrhea on a daily basis, and nobody is a stranger to waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid.

There is also a well that often breaks down and needs repair. With the recent construction plans for a main road, community leadership has been informed that the well is marked for demolition. Even if it is not shut down, this well is already too little for a community of over two thousand people, and the long lines have forced women and children to abandon their wait and walk to the swamp. This well cannot efficiently serve this large population.

Sanitation Situation

Less than half of households have their own pit latrine. The pit is dug to about ten feet deep with a large slab of concrete with a hole suspended over the top. The pits are even lined with plastic, making these some of the better latrines we’ve seen. This is because the community was affluent when it was first established. The families that don’t have their own latrine usually share with their neighbor.

This area was hit hard by Ebola, which changed the mindset of those who survived. Many of the survivors now understand the importance of washing hands and bathing on a regular basis, so we ran into over a dozen hand-washing stations during our visit. Many of these even had a cleaning agent such as soap or ash.

Households dispose of their garbage down at the wharf. When it piles up too high, it is burnt and later used as fertilizer in gardens.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Training will last for three hours a day for three days. The facilitators have already assessed sanitation here and decided that hand-washing and using the latrine will be strongly emphasized. Though quite a few hand-washing stations were observed during our initial visit, we require that each and every family have their own place to wash their hands. During our hand-washing sessions, community members will be taught how to make their own hand-washing station out of a plastic jerrycan, sticks, and rope. These are the best solution for rural areas, since all the materials are all easily replaceable. Though pit latrines in this community are well-built, we also require that every family have their own.

Training will also result in the formation of a water user committee that will take responsibility for their new well. The members will manage and maintain the pump to the best of their ability, and will call our office if they need a mechanic to make a repair.

Plans: New Borehole Well

The proposed location for this borehole is in an open field where it is least likely to be contaminated. There is an old school building on this field, but the school has since moved to another area of the village. This new well will be in a location opposite to the side that already has a well, providing equal water access for all community members that previously needed it.

The borehole will be drilled with an LS200 hydraulic rig, and the well will be installed with an India Mark II pump.

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: A Year Later: Mayaya Village

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a well for the Balaya Street community in Lungi Town, Sierra Leone. Because of these gifts and the contributions of 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 our partner, Madieu Turay, with you.

The Water Project : 5095_yar_1

02/06/2017: Mayaya Village Project Complete

We are excited to share that there is a new well in Mayaya Village, and it’s now providing clean water! Hundreds of 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. 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 Mayaya Village 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, our caretakers, and our mechanics maintain this well and hundreds of other projects!

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held near the construction site under the shade of a mango tree. There was already a committee of nine people who oversee special events in the community, so we relied on them to get the word out about the training sessions. They found participants eager to learn about different, better ways to take care of their communities, homes, and selves.

Attendance was lower than we had hoped, with 11% of the community represented. What was missing in numbers was made up for in participation and excitement. The first day, locals brought their own plastic containers so we could teach them how to make hand-washing stations. We used these to practice hand-washing in groups, and then moved on to talking about the importance of having and using a latrine.

10 sierraleone5095 training

Attendance greatly improved on the second day, when we taught about the differences between a healthy and unhealthy community. To do this, we used presentations, illustrations, and group discussions. Community members were able to talk together about what they saw in the pictures and how those activities might affect their health. We ended training with a session on care and maintenance of the well pump.

Even though attendance was less than we thought, we still think training was a big success. After our training, every household had built a new hand-washing station, dish rack, and a latrine. This was before the well was even finished!

Mabinty Sillah

Mrs. Mabinty Sillah, pictured above, was one of the participants who touched base with us after training. She said, “I am an active member of this community. We have lost plenty of lives during the almost two years long Ebola epidemic. We have learned our lesson. When Ebola first started in our country, I can boldly admit now that I was one of the people who did not believe the existence of Ebola in the first place. I have gotten used to hand-washing with force, now after having lost our loved ones, I am more interested in learning new ways to prevent sickness in my community. Whenever there is a training with so much free knowledge, if I am not at all sick I will always be there. The training we received during the epidemic was never this extensive.”

2 sierraleone5095 training

Project Result: New Well

Drilling for this borehole began on November 21, 2016.

The well site was agreed upon by the entire team, because it is far away from any contamination: latrines and grave sites were hundreds of feet away. Two identical holes were dug a few feet away from the base of the drill rig to serve as supply and waste pits. After ever five feet of drilling, a fresh load of water mixed with bentanite is poured to keep the hole from collapsing. When they reached 61 feet, the drill team decided it would be adequate. When the pipes were placed, a cement mixture was poured on the outside of the hole to fasten them in place. Two days later, the water was bailed until the desired color and taste were attained. The screen and fill was packed to ensure the water stays clean. The well was shock chlorinated on the day of pump installation to make sure any bacteria would be long dead before the water is used for human consumption.

32 sierraleone5095 drilling

Local men provided helpful labor and security, along with sand and stones for actual construction. Young ladies also helped by fetching water need for the drill rig. The older women cooked three times a day for everyone else who was working.

A large number of people gathered on a sunny afternoon to celebrate their new borehole. Ancestral song and dance were performed, with the most excited being the women who are tasked with fetching water on a daily basis. Alimamy Kamara is one of these women who told us that this borehole is “the best thing that has ever happened in our village. We have been drinking dirty water for quite a long time, but God has finally saved us. The water is clean, colorless and odorless with a very reduced chance of contamination.”

The Water Project : 47-sierraleone5095-celebration

01/12/2017: Mayaya Village Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, Mayaya Village 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 an introduction to the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We’ll keep you updated as the work progresses.

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

The Water Project : 2-sierraleone5095-fetching-water

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Kaffu Bullom, Lungi, Mayaya
ProjectID: 5095
Install Date:  02/06/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 03/14/2018

Visit History:
04/05/2017 — Functional
05/26/2017 — Functional
12/04/2017 — Functional
03/14/2018 — Functional

A Year Later: Mayaya Village

December, 2017

This project did not give water only and leave, they also taught the community how to take care of their homes and families and also how to avoid disease transmission.

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a well for the Balaya Street community in Lungi Town, Sierra Leone. Because of these gifts and the contributions of 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 our partner, Madieu Turay, with you.

The people of Sierra Leone have faced an onslaught of health threats.  Madieu Turay shares, “Over the previous years during the raining season, there was a lot of sickness cases in this community like cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, malaria, stomachache and even Ebola as well.” But Madieu has witnessed a change in this community that he attributes to the health and sanitation training along with the access to clean water, announcing, “we are observing no sickness like those I have mentioned above.”

Alusine Sumah

Alusine Sumah, a chairperson in the community also notes the freedom that many have found from the illnesses listed above, which he sees a direct result of fetching water from a well instead of an open swamp.

Emma Summah

Emma Summah, age 17, notes how the water well has opened up time since she is not getting water from the swamp for drinking, laundry, and cooking. Emma confidently reports, “I have never been late to school since the coming of this project in our community.”

While this well has had a tremendous impact in the community, Alusine conveys an ongoing need for clean water and sanitation in the area, pointing to overcrowding at the water point and the need for more hygiene and sanitation training.  Because of Mariatu’s Hope’s ongoing commitment to walk alongside these communities, and because of the knowledge and strength of people within these communities, we are confident that people on Balaya Street will continue to experience health where once there was sickness.

While it may seem like one project is just a drop in the bucket, the people on Balaya Street know the vast seas of impact that clean flowing water can bring.  We are excited to stay in touch with this community and to report the good news as they continue on their journey with clean water.

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.


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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.