Location: Sierra Leone

Regional Program:
Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 373 Served

Project Phase:
Installed

Functionality Status:
Functional

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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. We still receive periodic reports of people being quarantined due to showing symptoms of Ebola.

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!

Background Information

This community is made up of 59 households totaling 373 people. It is a mixed community with Muslims and Christians alike. The close proximity of the church and mosque makes this location unique because they interact more on a family level. Children from Muslim families attend Christian schools, and children from Christian families attend Muslim schools. Their unrelenting attitude towards education and religious tolerance makes this community a candidate for the water project. Muslims generally get up at 5am to attend prayer. Christians on the other hand get up at 6am to attend morning service if you are Catholic and others either attend services at their own churches or at home. The slight change in schedule keeps the school-going children and adults in an always ready mode.

The children get up the same time as the adults to fetch water from a well that is about 200-300 meters away. After fetching water, they set fire to warm the leftovers from the night before. After eating, they iron their uniforms and get ready for school. They get to school at 7:30am-8am and begin their day. By 12pm, they are out for lunch. A typical lunch for some of the less fortunate consists of gari (dried, ground cassava root) bread or handouts from some friends. They get home at 2:30pm and start fetching water all over again.

The women go to the market to sell their products the same time the children go to school. The community is comprised of petty traders, carpenters, electricians,nurses, local chiefs, airport workers and wheel barrow pushers.

In this type of community, women do the cooking and the domestic chores. Life is harder for women. The Muslim men sometimes have as many as four wives. The women take turns with their respective children for the day to day running of the household. With no other source of income, the women and children normally do not eat dinner until 7pm. They eat the profit they made that day. No sales, no food.

Exasperation drove this community to action. “Enough is enough! All the other communities are getting help except us!” The community members gathered together and wrote a letter and it was submitted to our organization. Upon receiving the letter, an initial visit was done and we determined from the report that there was need. The community absolutely had the need. The well that was there was able to be rehabilitated. The community was willing to attend hygiene meetings and community engagement meetings and were willing to work with us. They will be able to provide water and labor during the rehabilitation process. The community will also form a Water User committee which will include a very diverse group to head posts: chairperson, caretaker, and treasurer to name but a few. The committee will be our eyes and ears on the day to day running of the well.

Current Water Source

While some packaged water is available and at least one building has a small rainwater catchment tank, the community primarily relies on an unprotected well or a nearby river for all of their water needs. Everyone that enters the well area is required to take off their shoes. Women and girls cover their heads. After doing so, the 5 gallon containers are rinsed and water is then pumped. The containers are lifted to their heads for the journey to the house. The five gallon containers are generally used by 9-year-olds and older. The 5-year-olds use a one gallon container. The line at the pump is very long so that sometimes they end up spending more time than it is permitted by some parents. The water gets home and is dumped into a drinking rubber with a cup turned upside down. That one cup is normally used by all the family members and guests.

They use 5, 2, and 1 gallon containers; some with covers. The containers with covers are normally left for fetching drinking water. Otherwise, a majority use open containers. They use open rubber buckets to fetch water for bathing and laundry. Water for drinking is stored in a container with a lid and off the ground. The rest is normally on the floor and uncovered. The gathered water is kept in their living rooms uncovered which is the breeding ground for mosquitos.

The containers used are not always clean. When needed, they are cleaned with soap, water and sand. If they are not dirty, they are just rinsed with water.

Being an open, unprotected well, this water source is contaminated. There is evidence of cockroaches, flies, bird droppings, insect droppings and other contaminants at the site. As a result, the community reports cases of typhoid, stomachache, diarrhea, fever, bloated stomachs and skin infections. The water is contaminated and hardly gets treated.

Sanitation Situation

Over 75% of the households have pit latrines.  The other households generally use a neighbors latrine, so open defecation is not an issue.

The latrines are generally in bad shape, some having no roof. During the rainy season some households use a bucket in the home and then empty it into the latrine when the rain stops. The pits have no hole covers and are left open to all types of insects, bats and rats.

More than 25% of households have bathing rooms, but none have hand-washing stations.

Most households dispose of trash by throwing it in the back yard. Some have dug rubbish pits for this purpose.

Overall, the community’s attitude toward sanitation and hygiene is negative. We are hopeful that training will bring great change!

Training Sessions

Sanitation and hygiene training will consist of 3 sessions of about 2 hours each spread over 3 days. Based on the initial survey, topics will include:

  • Safe water storage
  • How to keep water from getting contaminated
  • Discussions of good and bad hygiene habits
  • Healthy/Unhealthy communities
  • Handwashing stations/tippy-taps
  • Rubbish pits
  • Dish racks

It is our hope and desire that every household will construct a tippy tap by the end of the well rehab. We always encourage participants to share what they’ve learned with other community members and friends.

The tippy taps are installed on the day of the hygiene training, the tippy taps are easy to manage and maintain. We are hoping for 100% representation for the community houses. We are expecting every house to have a tippy tap by the end of the well rehab.

Construction Plan

This well was originally constructed in 2010.  Since then, there has been damage to the well casings, and the well pad. The current pump is an India Mark II and the depth of the well is 64 ft with a static water level of 60 ft. The metal hatch on the well is in place, but badly damaged. During the dry season, the water level drops below the pump level causing the community to suffer for water.

The rehabilitation process will include making new casings for the well, repairing the well pad, improving the wall around the well area, and installing an all-new pump. To date, 3 new casings have been made.

We did not construct this well and this is the first time we are working on it. What we are going to do differently is monitoring and more monitoring. We have found that the one thing that make a lot of NGO projects fail is they do not have a proper monitoring in place. We hand over the well to the community yes, but we make sure the community is educated on the proper use, maintenance, and the day to day running of the well.

Francis Kamara, who is pictured below, is a resident that is very excited about the rehabilitation that is on going in his community. The Water Project and Mariatu’s Hope have saved lives and continue to save lives in each and every community they enter. Whenever a community member sees a Mariatu’s Hope staff they are immediately thankful. When you see a Mariatu’s Hope staff, The Water Project is right along. Mr. Kamara is once again happy that his family and other families will finally have relief.

Project Results: Training

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at the rehabilitated well, where the facilitator could easily access clean water to demonstrate healthy practices such as hand-washing a teeth-brushing. Community members were informed of the training dates well before to ensure that there would be good attendance.

The first day of training, there was a good show of men, women and children who all brought one-gallon containers to learn how to build hand-washing stations. On the second day, attendance was even higher than the first. That was when participants learned about how to properly handle and treat water, and how important it is to have and use a latrine. The third day was set aside for teaching about the difference between a healthy and unhealthy community, and what kind of practices make a disease-free community. The community was strongly encouraged to build their own dish racks and hand-washing stations. Training was considered to be very successful because topics were immediately implemented; all households had a dish rack by the time training was over! Headmaster of DEC Mamankie School also attended the hygiene and sanitation training, complimenting our facilitator with his expertise.

Well Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation of this hand-dug well began on April 4th. Four casings were cast and then dropped into the well to ensure water at least five feet deep. After sinking casings, new piping was added to reinforce the walls. A new well pad was constructed along with walls to ensure protection and durability of the rehabilitated well.

During this process, the community was involved by contributing helping hands for construction, making food for the work team, and providing security for equipment.

A committee has been formed by different community members who are motivated to protect their rehabilitated well. Each member of the committee has a job description in regard to maintaining and overseeing the well and its pump.

Masses of community members turned out to celebrate the finished project. Binta Jalloh, a 26-year-old trader was never able to sell her produce in time to prepare dinner for herself. She’s a grown woman but doesn’t have a husband or children. Because she’s still single, she’s shunned by most men – They think there must be something wrong with her. She lives a lonely life with nobody there to help her with daily chores like fetching water or cooking. Now, Binta can easily access clean water. “This project is a Godsend. When all hope was lost, God remembered me.”


Project Photos


Recent Project Updates


06/23/2016: 3A Nahun Drive Well Rehabilitation Complete

We are very excited to report that the project to rehabilitate a well for the community at 3A Nahun Drive in Sierra Leone is now complete. The well has been reconstructed, and the community has been trained in sanitation and hygiene, including how to make simple hand-washing stations. Imagine the impact that clean water and clean hands will have on this community!

We just updated the project page with the latest pictures and information about the project. Take a look, and Thank You for caring for the thirsty!


The Water Project : 9-sierraleone5097-dedication


03/29/2016: 3A Nahun Drive Rehabilitation Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, the neighborhood around 3A Nahun Drive in Sierra Leone will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A broken well will be rehabilitated so that it is a reliable resource, and the community will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. We just posted an initial report including information about the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your help!


The Water Project : 4-sierraleone5097-alt-water-source-fetching-water


02/18/2016: Update From The Water Project

You’ve been assigned to a project! Check it out! And we’ll share more once the work begins!


The Water Project : kenya4333-twp-kenya-cheers


Monitoring Data


Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Kasongha, Lungi, Kaffu Bulloum Chiefdom, Port Loko, Sierra Leone
ProjectID: 5097
Install Date:  06/23/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional
Last Visit: 07/11/2017

Visit History:
09/13/2016 — Functional
11/28/2016 — Functional
02/17/2017 — Needs Repair
02/27/2017 — Functional
04/24/2017 — Functional
07/11/2017 — Functional





A Year of Growth for Nahun Drive

Every day that I visit this community, their hygiene is much better than some communities…

It has been just about a year since The Water Project and Mariatu’s Hope began working with the community at Nahun Drive. A well was rehabilitated and the community received valuable training in sanitation and hygiene practices. Recently, Madieu Turay had the chance to visit the community and get some personal perspectives on how this project has impacted local lives.

Madieu has been familiar with this community for some time, and he is happy to see important improvements: “Since the time I have known this community, there were no rubbish pits and dish racks around. But since this project came, every day that I visit this community, their hygiene is much better than some communities… As for my own opinion as to what has caused this change, it is through the intervention of this project and the hygiene training that is conducted through the support of the WaSH Constitution Committee Members.”

Madieu also shared, “This well is working correctly and people take good care of this well. Every day that I pass around there are many rubbers (buckets for carrying water) and people around the well to fetch water. This well works all day long without closing due to the population that come to fetch water.”

6 sierraleone5097 YAR fetching water

Sierra Leone

Mr. Allieu Conteh is a member of the community. “Our community is gradually improving over the past year. [In the past] open defecation, cloth lines, bath shelters and latrines were an issue. But since the coming of this project in our community, people normally clean their compound and clean their dishes before and after eating, even the mosquitoes are not seen regularly as compare before.”

2 sierraleone5097 YAR interview with Mr Conteh

The presence of a safe, close water source probably effects the lives of women and girls more than anyone else as they are often charged with finding water for the family’s daily use. Madieu had the opportunity to learn how this water source has impacted the life of one local girl, 16 year old student Mabinty Kanu.

4 sierraleone5097 YAR Mabinty Kanu 5097

“My life has changed over the year from a student who is late for school to a student who is going to school very early. This project in my community has also created a lot of time for me to study at home. Before, I usually walked a mile to the stream to fetch water before and after school, but now, this project is around my door steps. I do not walk a mile anymore to fetch water before and after school.”

Certainly not every hurdle to development has been removed for the Nahun Drive community. But Mabinty and others now have clean water, a clean community, and the opportunity to really excel in school. Now that’s unlocked potential!


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.