Location: Sierra Leone

Regional Program:
Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 254 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!

Welcome to the School

Ahmadiya Muslim Primary School has a student population of 254; 129 boys and 125 girls. It employs 11 teachers and two supporting staff.

A normal day begins at 5:30am with a quick bucket bath in preparation for morning prayers. After prayer, teachers like Alie Bangura head off to school to unlock and prepare the classrooms. The students, both from nearby and some from far away, make their way to school for 8am classes. The first break is at 10:10am and lasts ten minutes. During that time, the children line up and use the toilet. Even though new pit latrines were constructed by UNICEF, the water well was not touched. The children that are enrolled in this school come from the Temne and Susu tribes which are predominately Muslim.

The road that leads to the swamp where locals fetch their water is surrounded by beautiful landscape. It is all green, bushes full with fresh tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and cassava leaves just a step away from the water source giving the area a diversity of colors. The animals such as goats, sheep and chickens make their way to the farm everyday with their owners. The goat and sheep herders travel with their animals in order to simultaneously tend their gardens.

Water Situation

Locals take the path to fetch water from the swamp, since it is such a short walk. The water is about two feet deep, where women and children dip their rubber buckets, weaving this way and that to avoid floating debris. The water they gather is separated into different containers once home; one container for domestic chores and the other only for drinking.

There is no doubt that the water people fetch at the swampy river is contaminated. There are women doing their laundry just upstream! The water is also open to contamination from surface runoff, rainwater that mingles with fertilizers and chemicals from the nearby farm. The people are not educated on water treatment they could undertake before drinking.

The known negative consequences of a safe water shortage for this community are immense. The schoolchildren as young as ten years old have skin rashes and bloated stomachs. The high rate of school absenteeism is due to runny stomachs, typhoid, dysentery and cholera.

Sanitation Situation

The school has a total of six pit latrines that are in great condition since they are new. There are also three hand-washing stations with soap located outside of the classrooms.

The garbage is thrown behind the school building and burnt. During hygiene and sanitation training, we will share about how to dig a proper pit with a fence around it, and how to maintain it properly so that is more hygienic.

The current health situation in the community is fairly good. What they lack in safe drinking water they make up for with a clean environment, proper hygiene and good toilet facilities. Although they do not have safe drinking water, they take the necessary precautions to reduce sickness within their community.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Teachers will be trained for three days, three hours a day. The facilitator will use the PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method to teach topics pertinent to this school and their surrounding community, such as but not limited to hand-washing and practicing other healthy personal hygiene habits such as teeth-brushing.

11 hand-washing stations will be constructed by the teachers during training, and they will pass this knowledge on to their students.

Plans: Well Rehabilitation

The hand-dug well on school grounds was installed in 2012 by the Africa Muslim Agency. The well is not deep, but the casings are in great condition. The pump on the well stopped working last year, and then the well dried up.

The well needs to be cleared and deepened to a total depth that will provide a static level of between five and seven feet of water. Four cassions will be made with cement, iron rods and granite stones. The pipes and pump will have to be replaced. The existing fence is crumbling and will have to be improved. A new well pad has to be made. We see this type of cement deterioration a lot; other organizations do not use the right amount of cement and sand in their mix, so the projects do not last.

This rehabilitation will give the school a safe and reliable source of drinking water, and the project will be monitored to ensure it stays that way!


Project Photos


Recent Project Updates


08/08/2016: Ahmadiya Muslim Primary School Project Complete

We are excited to share that the well at Ahmadiya Muslim Primary School is rehabilitated and providing clean water for the students, staff, and their families. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted at the school, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines. This water and new knowledge give the school and greater community a strong foothold in eliminating water and sanitation-related illness. Please enjoy this update detailing all the work that was done at and around Ahmadiya Muslim Primary 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 in this school and village. You made clean water a reality, and now 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: New Knowledge and Hand-Washing Stations

In preparation for training, the school and community came together to decide on a leadership team to be in charge of well operations and maintenance. A mix of teachers and staff were chosen, along with five community members. It is important to include these community members in leadership because nearby families are also encouraged to use this well when school is not in session.

Hygiene and sanitation training only included members of this committee, so attendance was small. Each member was on time, which is a rare phenomenon! This made us feel like our efforts to help were truly appreciated. A benefit of this small attendance was that each participant could have their questions answered. The committee is now well-informed and motivated to share what they learned with their students and families. The teachers even came with some extra hand-washing stations that they found in storage.

We started training with how to make a hand-washing station with one-gallon containers, rope, and sticks. We used these to teach about proper hand-washing, and then followed with a session on brushing teeth. Children as well as adults have never had the opportunity to visit a dentist to be taught about dental care!

24 sierraleone5099 training

We then talked about what makes a healthy community versus and unhealthy one, often referencing the need to keep animals penned and away from kitchens and living areas. Before our training, animals were free to wander in and out of homes. If water was kept on the floor, animals would have the freedom to share it! Even the independent traders who sell food to students keep that food on the ground. We had the chance to point this out to the committee and teach them how to make dish racks and temporary tables in order to discourage this behavior.

The last session was about latrines. The school has new latrines, and so we taught the committee about how to clean and maintain them. Without proper cleaning and maintenance, new pit latrines can’t last more than a year!

Since most participants were well-educated, it was easy to get our hygiene and sanitation messages across. And since they’re local, they’ll know how to best promote health and hygiene to the others around them. We did a followup visit after training to check whether or not people were implementing what they learned. When we arrived, we were met with two of the teachers holding their own training for 254 students! Each latrine building and each classroom already had a hand-washing station outside. Each even had soap available! This is exactly what we had hoped for. Teacher Mohamed Kamara said, “It is good to be reminded about what we need to do to change our lifestyle. It is not everyday that you get the gift of life, the gift of someone teaching and enriching our lives by showing us how to avoid sick from the children to the adults. The people that originally dug this well never did anything of the sort. We as a school, we as parents, and we as a community are forever grateful for this gift of life.” On completion of training, each member of the committee earned a certificate acknowledging their success!

28 sierraleone5099 training

Project Result: Well Rehabilitation

The rehabilitation process began on May 6th.

First, the well was opened and left to air out for one week. It was only after a week that a well technician could be lowered to inspect the lining of the well, which we found to be in a repairable state. Four casings were made and left to dry for another week while the well was dug deeper. The well was dug until it was able to provide a 20-liters per minute yield. Once the desired depth was reached, the casings were lowered and plastered in place. The well was then covered and chlorinated. Pump installation was finished on the same day. After the pump was installed, the well pad and walling work began. This was completed within two days, and was left to the painter to perform his part. The well was painted, stickers put on, and logos painted in time for the dedication ceremony.

31 sierraleone5099 construction

The well was dedicated and handed over to the school committee on the June 29th. The awaiting students and teachers all dressed in their best uniforms to get a sip of the long-awaited fresh, clean and safe water. The students, faculty, community members and parents showed up to thank all the people responsible for the restoration of their well. Fatmata Kamara, another teacher at Ahmadiya Muslim Primary School said, “I am happy to have safe drinking water for my students and myself after years of drinking swamp water.” Because of a committee, organization, and donors that care, this school and the surrounding community will use this well for years to come.


The Water Project : 44-sierraleone5099-dedication


07/01/2016: Ahmadiya Muslim Primary School Rehabilitation Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, the Ahmadiya Muslim Primary School 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 and safe resource, and the teachers will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. We just posted an initial report including information about the school and its 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-sierraleone5099-current-source


Monitoring Data


Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Lungi, Malokoh
ProjectID: 5099
Install Date:  08/08/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional
Last Visit: 07/17/2017

Visit History:
09/27/2016 — Functional
11/28/2016 — Functional
02/22/2017 — Functional
04/19/2017 — Functional
07/17/2017 — Functional




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.