Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 383 Served

Project Phase:  Decommissioned

Project Features

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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!

Welcome to the Community

This community is the most famous and the most populated in the Rotifunk area. It is the only community that has two primary schools.

A normal day begins at 5am with prayers in this community that is united in religion more than tribe. It is highly respectable and admirable for a community that will put aside all differences and unite for the betterment of their children. The community is made up of different tribes and the tolerance for each other is an example for others to follow.

The children and women of our country are the work force for all domestic and lots of income-producing jobs. The children wake up at the same time as the adults to do their chores. The children wake up in the morning to fetch water that will serve the rest of the day, sweep the compound, wash plates and pans, and warm up the left over rice which is a favorite for children. The best part of the meal is at the bottom of the pot! The adults enjoy it just the same. The children, after filling their stomachs, head off to school at 8am. They arrive and do morning devotions at their various schools. This is a very religious-tolerant area; the children from Muslim families attend Christian schools and the other way around.

The women, as usual, head to the market to do their petty trading. In this community the women are the breadwinners of a majority of households. The men on the other hand know every football player, their stats, age, how long they have played, and everything imaginable. A lack of jobs and skills move the young men into other interests. After school, the children go to help their parents prepare food. In some households, children ten years and above, mostly the female children, will prepare food in the absence of their parents. The girl child at an early age is taught domestic duties, with more emphasis placed on grooming for marriage than grooming for education. It is prominent and common in mostly Muslim communities for young girls to be in an arranged marriage to a man three to four times their age.

The children, with so many constraints and worries, end up dropping out of school before they complete their secondary school education. The children who can afford it go ahead and continue with their private lessons. A lot of children flock to churches and mosques at all hours of the day to pray and wish for a better life, a life without early marriage, a life without female circumcision, a life of safe drinking water and less distance to fetch water. The male children are allowed to play football, but all extracurricular activities not allowed for the girl child.

An application was sent to our office by Mohamed Bah, a good and caring member of the community, who saw the needs of his household and others. He dug the well, but was unable to finish it due to other family responsibilities. We then conducted an initial survey to find out more. We found that because of the huge population of the community and the need for a safe water source, it is indeed in need of a project.

Water Situation

The community currently relies on an unprotected well less than .5 km away, built by Mr. Mohamed Bah. Women and children approach the well with shoes off and hair tied. A rope is tied at the end of a five-gallon container with a three-inch hole cut at the top to allow water to quickly enter the container and then be drawn up sixty feet, the depth of the well. A hatch hole big enough for an adult to go through is the opening of the well that children as little as ten years of age use to fetch water on a daily basis. The children bend down at a forty-five-degree angle to hoist the nearly ten kilograms of water with a nylon rope. Because of these conditions, the well's water is contaminated.

Since this is a highly populated area, communal living is common. There are households such as the Haja Salamatu Kabba household that has more than 28 people living between three rooms. With such close quarters, it is normal for sickness to be shared, even though families are careful to keep their drinking water amongst themselves.

There's also a lot of traffic on the roads, and children are often hit by motorcycles on their way to and from the well.

Sanitation Situation

Over half of households have pit latrines. The condition of these is good, considering that so many people use them. A majority of the latrines have roofs and a separate side for bathing. During our initial visit, it was obvious there are not enough latrines for the high population and thus open defecation is an issue. Around half of households have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines in order to dry their belongings safely.

There is a rubbish pit that is available to the whole community. People that live far away from this pit throw their trash behind their homes and burn it when the pile gets too high. The needier people search through these rubbish piles looking for anything valuable that they can use or sell.

The most important barrier against disease transmission is hand-washing. Unfortunately, no hand-washing stations were observed during our initial visit. It's just not a part of life here. There's also a huge lack of each kind of sanitation facility, including latrines, bathing rooms, drying racks, and rubbish pits.

Jariah Bah is a young woman from the Fullah tribe, a very religious group of people that focus on their unique practices and traditions. Because of their deep-rooted beliefs and secret societies, many children are marked with tattoos and scars --- leading to tetanus and hepatitis. Jariah has children of her own, and she's grateful that her people will now have the opportunity to hear about which practices make a healthy community, and which ones don't. "God's time is the best time. We have been looking for Musa. Musa means Moses, and God brought him to our community to take us and our families to a land with clean water and healthy lives."

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Community members will be trained for three days, three hours a day. The facilitator will use the PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method to teach certain objectives chosen in relation tot he community's needs: Hand-washing and constructing helpful facilities such as bathings rooms, animal pens, dish racks, and rubbish pits.

Plans: Well Rehabilitation

We will finish the work that Mr. Bah started. He dug this well in the dry season to ensure that there would be a good amount of water year round. There has been no further construction on the well since it was dug and lined. The lining of the well is in great condition! It is 20 meters deep and far away from any latrines and rubbish pits.

New casings will be cast and then sunk. Since the well was dug over three years ago, dirt has built up and other debris has collected. This will all need to be cleaned out. After it is clean, we will inspect it for any damage that needs immediate attention. After those casings are sunk, pipes will be installed and then a new Afridev pump will complete the construction process.

Project Updates

December, 2017: A Year Later: Abidjan Street, Rotifunk Community

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a well for the community in Rotifunk at #4 Abidjan Street in Lungi, 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.

Project Photos

Project Type

Hand-dug wells have been an important source of water throughout human history! Now, we have so many different types of water sources, but hand-dug wells still have their place. Hand dug wells are not as deep as borehole wells, and work best in areas where there is a ready supply of water just under the surface of the ground, such as next to a mature sand dam. Our artisans dig down through the layers of the ground and then line the hole with bricks, stone, or concrete, which prevent contamination and collapse. Then, back up at surface level, we install a well platform and a hand pump so people can draw up the water easily.

A Year Later: Abidjan Street, Rotifunk Community

December, 2017

In the last year we have experienced improvements in hygiene and sanitation as well as in the rearing of animals and in construction.

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in #4 Abidjan Street Well Rehabilitation Project.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help #4 Abidjan Street Well Rehabilitation Project maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a well for the community in Rotifunk at #4 Abidjan Street in Lungi, 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 area around #4 Abidjan Street is the fastest growing section in Rotifunk with over two thousand people in the community now.  In the midst of this burgeoning population, Mariatu’s Hope has helped the community access clean and training in hygiene and sanitation.  Many people have access to this well, which is located near schools in the community.

While water for drinking is perhaps the greatest benefit that the well has provided this year, access to water has had a wider impact on the community’s health and the economy.

Community members fetching clean water at the well.

Mohamed Sallieu Bah, a pharmacist in the community, identifies improvements in hygiene and sanitation, in the rearing of animals, and in building and construction.” Just as a river changes the landscape of a valley, access to clean water is changing the social landscape of Rotifunk.

Mohamed Sallieu Bah and his son Mohamed.

One of the changes that Mohamed Lamin Bah, age seven, has seen in his community is the ability of students, including himself, to arrive at school on time.  Since collection of water is largely the responsibility of women and children, those without access to clean water spend countless hours walking to an unprotected source to gather water.  Access to a water well in the community has also helped to reduce teenage pregnancy as the girls are not as vulnerable as they were on long walks to an open water source.

As the community around 4 Abidjan Street continues to benefit from safe drinking water, Mariatu’s Hope will continue to walk hand in hand with them through consistent monitoring, evaluation, and maintenance. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and report back more positive stories.

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.

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help #4 Abidjan Street Well Rehabilitation Project maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of #4 Abidjan Street Well Rehabilitation Project – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.


Project Sponsor - Christ Outreach Church Women of Faith