#4 Abidjan Street Well Rehabilitation Project

Regional Program:
Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Latitude 8.60
Longitude -13.18

383 Served

Project Status:

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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!

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 Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/20/2017: 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.

The Water Project : 5098_yar_2

07/26/2016: #4 Abidjan Street Well Rehabilitation Project Complete

We are excited to bring you news from Sierra Leone: The well at #4 Abidjan Street has been rehabilitated, and is now providing water to the community! Locals have also received training on hygiene and sanitation measures they can take to keep themselves healthy, and they’ve also learned how to build their own hand-washing stations. With flowing water and new knowledge, the community around #4 Abidjan Street now has a hopeful future full of potential. Enjoy the following report, and make sure to check out the new pictures that were added to the “See Photos & Video” tab.

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 maintain this well and hundreds of other projects.

Project Result: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at the well. The well owner was informed days ahead of time, and he was so excited that he went around encouraging everyone to attend for the three days! Two days before training, our team also went door to door to make our invitations.

Attendance on the first day was a little low, because it was on a Friday, which is a holy day for Muslims. The second day, training attendance increased by at least 50%, with children from the nearby primary school attending as well. They were fascinated by the illustrations we used and all the different steps to hand-washing!

The most important topic that always kicks off our training in any community is the importance of hand-washing. The use of soap and/or ashes is very important. Some people start off with the right idea by hand-washing with water, but end up transmitting bacteria anyways by not using soap. The importance of having and using a toilet is the next most-discussed topic.  The next lessons are geared towards explaining about what makes a healthy and unhealthy community.

Because of poor turnout on the first day, we encouraged the attendees to train their neighbors on how to make their own hand-washing stations. We will continue to follow up to confirm that this has been done.

4 sierraleone5098 hand-washing station

To change someone’s mindset and have them realize what they have been doing for the past years is wrong, it takes patience, understanding the community and their suffering, and having the charisma to know that laughter is the best remedy! The facilitator used group discussions, PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training), presentations, demonstrations, and on site activities to teach the community.

After training was over, we deemed it a success. Everybody was so eager to volunteer and come up front to demonstrate! All the households that previously lacked dish racks and hand-washing stations constructed them.


5 sierraleone5098 complete

Project Result: Well Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation efforts began on April 12th. The existing well was opened and left to air out for a week. Once we had the assurance that it was safe for our technicians to go down the well, large sticks were planted deep in the ground with one suspended across. A rope was tied and the technician was lowered into the well. After inspecting the well, he came to the conclusion that four casings needed to be made. The casings were made a few feet from the well and left to dry for a week. The technician was then lowered to dig and then sink the casings. The casings were lowered with the help of a truck. This added another six feet to the well. After we attained the desired depth of 64 feet, the pipe and pump installation was done. The well pad was cast and the pump was walled in. The well was chlorinated before dedication.

All throughout the process, the community was very helpful in providing food for the team and assisting with labor.

13 sierraleone5098 construction

On a May 14th, a sunny Saturday morning, the rehabilitated well was dedicated and handed over to the community. Hundreds of people gathered ready with empty containers and sticks, beating them to the rhythmic African sounds that all children and adults are used to. The sound of music emanates from every corner of the community! We Sierra Leoneans, music is in our blood. From an early age, children hear folklore and always follow it with a song and dance. The children are very excited for the safe drinking water, even more than the adults. The distance they have to travel to fetch water has been reduced drastically; they now have more time to sleep, study and wash their uniforms. A little boy snuck underneath the large crowd to be the first to get a taste of the fresh water. People showed their appreciation to The Water Project and donor with songs of praise in every language: People singing in Fullah, Temne, Susu and Krio. At the count of three, clean water was pumped and a frenzy of people rushed in to get their first buckets of water.

“We have come a long way using a draw string for years to fetch water and now we have the best water in the community. There is time for everything in life, the time came and God brought the opportunity,” said local student Mariama Bah.

The Water Project : 23-sierraleone5098-handing-over

07/11/2016: #4 Abidjan St. Well Rehabilitation Project Underway

We are very excited to report that the project to rehabilitate a well for the community around #4 Abidjan Street in Sierra Leone is underway. A broken well will be restored so that it is a reliable resource for the community, and training will be given in sanitation and hygiene. We just posted an initial report including information about the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures.

Take a look, and Thank You for caring for your help!

The Water Project : 11-sierraleone5098-unfinished-well

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Rotifunk, Lungi, Sierra Leone
ProjectID: 5098
Install Date:  07/19/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 03/05/2018

Visit History:
09/10/2016 — Functional
09/30/2016 — Functional
12/05/2016 — Functional
12/31/2016 — Functional
02/27/2017 — Functional
04/24/2017 — Functional
07/28/2017 — Functional
11/02/2017 — Functional
03/05/2018 — Functional

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.

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.


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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.