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The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Mohamed Yayah Conteh
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Johnny Robert
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  A Year With Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  A Year With Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  A Year With Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  A Year With Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Yield Testing
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Flushing The Well
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Flushing The Well
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Drilling
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Drilling
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Drilling
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Water For Drilling
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Water For Drilling
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Drill Rig
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Breaking First Ground
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Hand Washing
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Woman With Her New Hand Washing Station
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Woman With Her New Hand Washing Station
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Making Hand Washing Stations
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Making Hand Washing Stations
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Solar Disinfection
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Solar Disinfection
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Talking About Dish Racks
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Training
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Training
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Garbage Area
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Animal House
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Latrines
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Community Activities
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Household
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Household
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Water Tank In Community
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  Inside Church
The Water Project: Benke Community, Waysaya Road -  St Marks

Project Status



Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 338 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Mar 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 08/12/2018

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Community Profile

This borehole will be on land donated by St. Mark’s Church, located on Waysaya Road. Being one of the oldest churches in the area, it used to host a huge membership. Since then, several other churches have opened and drawn away its members. Now, there are only 20 to 30 people meeting together on the weekends. Thus, this water will primarily serve the dozens of families living within walking distance: Approximately 338 people from 54 different households.

Benke Community is diverse, with people coming from many different walks of life. Some work at the airport, some are gardeners, business people, and traders. This community is special because though it is diverse, it is quiet and peaceful, as people are tolerant of each others’ differences.

Water

The primary water sources in this area are an open swamp, a medium-sized plastic tank for rainwater, and SALWACO (Sierra Leone Water Co.) tankers. Of course the water from the swamp is free, as well as the water from the community-owned rainwater catchment tank. But when the water in that tank runs out, people either resort to the free dirty water at the swamp or expensive water from SALWACO. It is 5,000 shillings for two five-gallon jerrycans filled by SALWACO.

People do anything they can to avoid water straight from the swamp or expensive water from SALWACO (though many can’t afford 5,000 shillings in the first place). During the rainy season, they’ll put out all of their plastic buckets to catch water.

The water from the swamp is particularly dangerous for consumption. Animals come to sate their thirst, and we observed a burial site nearby. After drinking this water, people suffer from diarrhea. Right now in light of a recent cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone, people are particularly fearful of catching cholera from the rainwater they’re collecting.

Sanitation

All households in this area have at least a basic pit latrine. Their quality depends on the economic status of the household; some are built with mud and have thatched roofs, while others have a modern flush!

There are no hand-washing stations for people to use after the latrine, though. A handful of families are missing helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines to safely dry their belongings off the ground. Those who are missing hygiene and sanitation facilities say that they believe them to be too expensive to maintain.

Vicar Johnny Robert said he cannot say whether or not his community is healthy, but said that “on several occasions when I visit the hospital, I saw people whom am familiar with receiving treatment. As time went on, we hear news about deaths due to malaria, cholera, dysentery, etc. In relation to Ebola, many people died because of ignorance. The washing stations that were distributed are no more seen in the street corners.”

Here’s what we plan to do about it:

Training

There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for three days in a row.

The hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach community members how to build a tippy tap (a hand-washing station built with a jerrycan, string, and sticks). They will use these tippy taps for hand-washing demonstrations, and will also teach about other tools like dish racks and the importance of properly penning in animals. Pictures will be used to teach the community how to discern between healthy and unhealthy hygiene and sanitation practices.

These trainings will also strengthen the water user committee that manages and maintains this well. They enforce proper behavior and report to us whenever they need our help solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

New Well

Everyone living in Benke is in agreement that the well should be at the church, since it is a central location. The community has also voted on 13 household representatives to make a water and sanitation committee that will be in charge of well management and maintenance.

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 community has been drinking dirty swamp water and suffering the consequences. By drilling this borehole, Benke Community will be provided with plenty of safe drinking water.


This project is a part of our shared program with Mariatu’s Hope. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Sierra Leone.

Project Updates


10/22/2018: A Year Later: Benke Community, Waysaya Road

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to drill a well for Benke Community in Sierra Leone. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more…


The Water Project : 3-sierraleone5134-a-year-with-water


03/22/2018: Benke Community, Waysaya Road Project Complete

We are excited to share that there is a new well in Benke Community, 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.

New Knowledge

The first day of training drew the biggest crowd, with dozens of people eager to learn how to build a hand-washing station.

We used empty jerrycans, string, and other materials to build these, and encouraged participants to return home and build another. We asked a woman to demonstrate what she knows about hand-washing, and she just rubbed her palms together. We were able to teach how to get between your fingers, back of your hands, and even wrists so that you kill all the germs.

The second day we discussed daily habits and how they affect health in ways the community never imagined.

It’s important to always use a latrine, pen in animals to keep them out of the kitchen, always cover food, and so many other things. The trainer showed how if you don’t go about your daily business the right way, there can be deadly consequences. We also trained on ORS (oral rehydration solution) because we know that even with the greatest effort to prevent diarrhea, it will still be an occasional issue. This ORS will help keep community members, especially children, healthy as they recover from diarrhea.

Making an ORS

The final day was all about caring for the water point so that it serves generations to come. Mrs. Hawa Kargbo is a seamstress in Benke who was happy to have taken this opportunity to learn.

“I was very much impressed from what I saw and learned from the hygiene training,” she said.

“Although I had a small idea on hand-washing, the way how we were taught to practice the various hand-washing methods was indeed an eye opener. From what I saw from the posters on the diseases transmission stories, creates in me a new determination to be more careful when preparing food.”

“From the poster, I saw a chicken stepping in a bowl of food and from that the whole family got infected and fell sick. In short, your training has helped us to take good care of ourselves and everything around us!”

New Well

The drill team camped in the community throughout this process, while the church cooked each meal for them. Tons of people came out on the first day of construction to take up a shovel as a ceremonial start to the drilling.

An exciting moment for everyone!

We had to bring in a water truck for the drilling since there wasn’t a good water source nearby. The borehole was drilled in sections of five feet, with the team taking a ground sample at those points.

Drilling went smoothly to 85 feet, and the samples we took from the hole showed that we were hitting a great amount of water. We lowered the casing to the proper level and then poured filter pack down the outside.

The well was developed by hand by continually bailing water until it runs clean. The yield test was done at 80 feet and ran for over an hour. There was no change in a static water level of 44 feet, even though we were able to pump 650 gallons! Thus, the yield is 40 liters per minute.

The well was protected with a concrete well pad and wall, and then our mechanics installed a new stainless steel pump.

We celebrated clean water with the community at their new borehole, singing, dancing, and giving thanks.

“Surely it is going to be a great relief for us in this community to now have access to a new and safe drinking water source,” Mr. Alusine Sillah said.


The Water Project : 34-sierraleone5134-clean-water-2


12/20/2017: Benke Community, Waysaya Road Project Underway

Benke Community will soon have a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your donation. A new well is being drilled and locals will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the difference these resources will make for the community!

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

Thank you for caring for the thirsty!


The Water Project : 3-sierraleone5134-current-water-source


Project Photos


Project Type

Borehole and Hand Pump

Girls and women walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - we are able to pull water to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.



Contributors

Project Sponsor - Ixtlaccihuatl Malagon

A Year Later: Benke Community, Waysaya Road

October, 2018

“I always love to see safe and clean water, all the time. Before, I found it difficult to find water in the morning to have a shower before going to school, but now that this well is beside me I wash three times a day!” – Mohamed

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to drill a well for Benke Community in Sierra Leone. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – and we’re excited to share this one from local team member Omoh Emmanuel with you.


People have benefited so much from this project. Their surroundings are very clean, with facilities and tools like handwashing stations, kitchens, and clotheslines seen all around.

School children are no longer going to school late because they have good water in a central location. This water has eased the pressure for community members; you can see it in their faces.

We spoke to Johnny Robert who works at St. Mark’s Church and Mohamed Yayah Conteh, a 12-year-old student who lives in Benke. They told us about some of the other changes they’ve witnessed over the past year.

There has been a “great improvement on the water supply and the entire community since the well was dug for us,” shared Mr. Robert.

Mr. Johnny Robert

“We use the well to supply water for the [toilets] and the handwashing stations, which has never happened in the previous years especially in dry season. We also use this water for drinking, cleaning of the church, and also when the church now has programs, the congregation does not have to go too far in search of water.”

Construction of the well is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points are safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding. This well in Benke is changing many lives.

“I always love to see safe and clean water, all the time. Before, I found it difficult to find water in the morning to have a shower before going to school, but now that this well is beside me I wash three times a day!” exclaimed 12-year-old Mohamed.

Mohamed Conteh

“I now go to school clean and neat, very early in the morning without being late to school like before.”

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise and how you can help.