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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

This project is a part of our shared program with Mariatu’s Hope of Sierra Leone. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the School

Kulufai Rashideen Islamic Secondary School was established in September, 2004 in Conakry Dee. It started with the community renting a residential home to be used as a temporary school. A permanent structure came about in 2014 when the community erected a six classroom building. At first, six teachers were brought on to teach about 24 pupils. Later, an NGO named Forikolo erected another six classrooms, giving them a total of 12 classrooms. A latrine of three pits was also dug.

The school can boast of four acres of land. On it there is a football field, volleyball court, five permanent structures and reserved land for agriculture and other developmental programs. The school was established to reduce teenage pregnancy, which has now proved successful.

As the roll increased from 24 to the 339 pupils it has today, there has also been an increase in teachers. Four teachers are now on government payroll, while 11 of them are community teachers; making a total of 15 teachers in the school. The school does not have a feeding program, but food vendors always come by to sell their food to both teachers and children who gladly buy from them.

For the school’s first attempt at a public examination, the BECE (Basic Education Certificate Examination) in 2008, eight pupils made an aggregate score of 14. (This surprised the government since it was their first attempt and they did so well.)

The livelihoods of people in this community are teachers, petty traders, fishermen, farmers, and nurses. Most of the teachers rely on their part time salary, except those on government payroll. Some of those teachers also try their own hands at farming and fishing.

There are extracurricular activities at the school such as sports, games, debates and concerts. Extra daily classes are held right after school is dismissed for the BECE students to ensure that they score well on their tests.

Water Situation

There is a well in the greater Conakry Dee area, but it’s far away from the school. Alternatively, there’s a surface water source nearby. Students us 10 to 20-liter containers and drinking buckets to fetch water. When at the stream, they first bend down low to collect some water and swish it around to rinse their containers. After that, they scoop the water out of the stream using drinking cups. When students need water throughout the school day, this is where they’ll go.

Since they live much closer to the well, they’re able to carry clean water the one to two kilometers to school. However, during the school day, there is not time to go back to this well for more.

When delivered back to school, water is stored in classrooms, offices, and the area where food traders set up shop during lunch. Students are also required to keep water near the latrines to help them clean.

After drinking this water, students suffer from diarrhea, vomiting, and stomachaches. Sometimes they even get worms.

Sanitation Situation

There were three usable pit latrines at Kulufai Rashideen. They were made of cement walls and iron sheets for roofs, but we got news that these latrines collapsed during heavy rain. We received a picture of the damage, and it’s obviously irreparable. There are no hand-washing stations either.

Animals roam freely around the compound, and the school doesn’t even have racks to keep utensils and water containers up off the ground away from theses animals!

Principal Fibril Masondo Kamara said, “The existence of this project in the school will be a blessing to us. It is timely because waterborne diseases such as cholera and diarrhea have been attacking our children because of unsafe drinking water. This I’m sure will come to a stop since we have a hygienic water well with pure drinking water. Also, children will not have to go too far in search of water. It is available in school. Cleaning on a massive scale will be undertaken in order to maintain healthiness. Sadly enough, our toilets have been recently broken because of heavy rains of the previous night 21 May 2017. That has sent us one step backwards looking at the financial constraints the school is facing. But I hope God will provide us a new one before the rainy seasons shuts its eyes. We thank God it happened during the night. If it were during the school session it might have caused a problem. Maybe one or two kids would have been inside and it gets broken.”

We will do everything we can to find the school support in building latrines. Thankfully, the school year is almost over. Despite their lack of facilities, we’re excited that we can still offer helpful hygiene and sanitation training.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members, teachers, and students will be trained at the school for three days, three hours a day. If it seems that students are getting too tired, we will space out the three hours more so that they can have breaks.

Our facilitator plans to use the PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method, group discussions, handouts, and demonstrations to teach about management and maintenance of the new pump, diseases transmission, hand-washing, building latrines and using them, and constructing dish racks. An entire session will lead participants through how to build a “tippy-tap,” which is a hand-washing station made from a jerrycan, rope, and sticks.

Plans: New Borehole Well

The well will be located on school ground, which is convenient of course for the school but also the surrounding households. The water user committee will outline the roles so there is no misunderstanding between the school and neighboring families.

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 school and the community around it have suffered greatly having to fetch their water from the swamp. By drilling this borehole, they will be provided with plenty of safe drinking water.


Recent Project Updates


12/01/2017: Kulufai Rashideen Secondary School Project Complete

We are excited to share that there is a new well at Kulufai Rashideen Secondary School, and it’s now providing clean water! Hundreds of students 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 school and surrounding community a great foothold in eliminating water and sanitation-related illness. Please enjoy this update detailing all the work that was around Kulufai Rashideen Secondary School 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 at this school. 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

We informed the principal about hygiene and sanitation training, who then passed on the message to teachers and pupils to get them prepared. Training was held in the school compound under the cashew tree. This location was convenient for all three days.

We were encouraged by the turnout, with all seven teachers, seven women who sell food at the school, and the majority of students were there.

Some of the topics covered during training were as follows:

– How to wash hands, and how to build a hand-washing station from a jerrycan, string, sticks, and netting

– Good and bad hygiene practices

– Dish racks and how to build them

– Keeping animals under control

– Management and maintenance of the hand pump

There was also a demonstration where the trainer went around shaking hands with all in attendance. Each individual noticed a glittery shine on their hands after the handshakes. This introduced a practical lesson: What are you seeing on your hands? They answer by saying “we are seeing shine-shine on our hands,” and that’s when the facilitators bring home the idea that these signify germs. We are always vulnerable to them, and need to keep clean by practicing good personal hygiene. This set us up for a strong transition into how to make hand-washing stations.

Making hand-washing stations with jerrycans, string, and sticks.

Diagrams portraying unhealthy practices such as walking barefoot, open defecation, outdoor urination, and eating with unwashed hands were all shown and discussed in groups. What behaviors make a community healthy, and what others are counterproductive? These questions also helped participants discover the routes of contamination in their school and at home.

The final day, we continued these types of discussions. While on the first day we had led people through hand-washing station construction, this third day was similar in that we elaborated on the need for and the viability of building other sanitation facilities like latrines, dish racks, and animal pens. We taught participants what materials to use, proving that even the poorest family can afford to build at least a traditional pit latrine. We also taught about chlorinating water, and everyone had brought salt and sugar with them to learn how to make an oral rehydration solution.

The trainer holding sugar and salt, which are used to make the oral rehydration solution.

We even saw immediate results; hand-washing stations were set up around the school, and the market sellers had built racks to keep their goods on. One of these women, Aminata Mansaray, shared, “œI am so impressed about the outcome of the training. I learned new things during the training. One thing I do appreciate was the reminder about personal hygiene. Normally, I sell out food to pupils without washing my hands due to the idea that once I took my shower in the morning, there would be no need of washing my hands again. But during the training you have taught me to always wash my hands before selling food so that I will not transfer germs to other people. All that I learnt during the training, will be shared to other community people because this kind of training I will not neglect!”

Project Result: New Well

Drilling for this borehole began in September 2017.

The school offered the drill team a large classroom next to the drill site for them to stay in. Team members were grateful they had a place to stay dry during the rainy nights.

The drill team had to use approximately 1,700 gallons of water (6,400 liters) to keep the drill rig running, all carried by hand by students and community members.

Two pits were dug to be used for the mud rotary drill, carrying water down the hole and then carrying material back out. The borehole is drilled in sections of five feet, with the team taking a ground sample at those points. Drilling went smoothly up to 60 feet, where they met a rock. The team was able to drill slowly through that rock and then continue to 85 feet. Around that point, the ground cuttings became black. They had to stop there, because black clay is not good for drinking water.

The cuttings are also used for determining the best aquifer location so that screen can be cut in the pipes. Once the drill is removed from he borehole, the casing can replace it. The connections must be made tight so that pipe parts do not fall down the hole on their own! Filter pack is poured down between the casing and the hole. Bentonite and clay help seal the filter pack, after which a cement well pad can be built.

The team bails the borehole until water runs clean, which often takes up to four days. The well then undergoes a yield test. After 30 minutes of pumping with a submersible, the static water level is measured. An hour later, it is measured again. There was no chance of the static water level, which measures in at 35 feet. The submersible pumped 715 gallons in one hour, which means the yield is 44 liters per minute. That’s twice what’s needed for the pump to work at maximum!

Testing the yield

With these good results, a new stainless steel India MkII pump was installed.

All school events were put on hold to celebrate the first cup of clean water from this well. Community members gathered alongside students to sing and dance. The village headman came and expressed his thanks, along with the principal. 17-year-old student Mariama Bangura said, “Ever since our school has been built, we as students of the school have never had a good water facility. I can still remember on one Friday afternoon under a hot burning sun when we mobilized along with our teacher to one stakeholder with a request for a hand-pump and toilet for our school. There was no favorable response. We had no help from the government nor the NGO™s. Thankfully Mariatu’™s Hope and The Water Project have come to our aid. Fetching water from the swamp is no match to our now new safe water source. No more will we suffer from diarrhea, dysentery and cholera!”


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05/26/2017: Kulufai Rashideen Secondary School Project Underway

Kulufai Rashideen Secondary School and the neighborhood around it will soon have a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your donation. A new well is being constructed and the teachers and students will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the difference these resources will make for this school and the greater community.

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

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:  Kaffu Bullom, Lungi, Conakry Dee
ProjectID: 5131
Install Date:  12/01/2017

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional - New Project




Contributors

Project Sponsor - The Matthew Martin Family


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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.