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Location: Sierra Leone

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional



Community Profile & Stories

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.

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!

Please enjoy the following report comes straight from the field, edited for clarity and readability:

Welcome to the Community

#7 Kamara Taylor Street runs through Yongoroo, Lungi, Sierra Leone. This fishing village is heavily populated, with many households holding more than 20 family members. We are focusing on this area for projects because of the critical water shortage here.

The community is dependent on fishing. Even young children are kept from going to school so that they can help with the fishing business. Even the young girls in the community are involved. If not taught how to sell fish, the young girls are given away to older men for marriage.

There’s no time to sit down and eat. Early in the morning, people go in droves to the nearby stream to bathe, regardless of gender. After the adults bathe, it’s the children’s turn. After bathing, people attend morning prayers and then start their workday down at the beach. The women go pick up and pack their fish to sell at inland markets like Makeni or Kono where fresh fish is not plentiful. These saleswomen dry the fish over an open fire in hopes that it can stay fresh during the very long journey. Women work long into the night doing this, chewing kola nuts to stay awake. Because mothers are so busy trying to sell fish and the sons and fathers are very busy trying to catch fish, cooking is relegated to girls between the ages of 12 and 16. These young girls are responsible for day-to-day running of the household. There is no playtime for these girls. After learning how to dutifully care for their families, the young lady is then considered as prepared for marriage.

Water Situation

Local women and children fetch water from the same stream in which the community bathes. They bathe alongside animals, but downstream, you might be able to spot someone else filling a bucket with water to be used back home. The stream is also contaminated by surface runoff and open defecation!

Several different types of containers are used to fetch water from the stream. Children start by carrying a one-gallon container, but as they grow, they’ll graduate up to a five-gallon container. Some of these have covers like a jerrycan, but others are just open buckets that let water slosh around. When the water gets back home, it’s left to let the dirt settle to the bottom. Then before drinking, the water is filtered through a cloth and then poured into the cup.

The negative effects of drinking water from the stream include typhoid, cholera, and bloated stomachs filled with worms. Cases of diarrhea and dysentery appear on a daily basis. Some people even die from drinking this water, but for the others, it’s just a fact of life.

Sanitation Situation

Less than half of households have a pit latrine. The families who don’t have a pit latrine use the beach as a restroom, which is common in fishing communities. Under 25% of families use bathing rooms to wash up, or use dish racks and clotheslines to dry their things. During our visit, we couldn’t find any hand-washing stations. Trash is swept together and then dumped in the sea. The tide goes out and pulls the dirt, garbage and waste away, but then what goes out comes back in!

The wharf and beach are covered by hundreds of people with not a single toilet nearby. People spit and urinate publicly whenever and wherever.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training and Hand-Washing Stations

There will be three different training sessions over the course of three days. Community members and local students are invited to participate in discussions, presentations, demonstrations, and onsite training at the well. The most important topic these people need to learn is hand-washing: how to do it properly and how to build a hand-washing station of their own. We will also teach about disease transmission and how to build barriers. By the end of training, a water user committee will also have been voted on and formed so that there can be proper operation and maintenance of all the new water points in this community. The committee will decide on a fair water user fee, and will penalize if improper behavior occurs.

Plans: Well Rehabilitation

This specific well slated for rehabilitation was dug by the community in 2003 at #7 Kamara Taylor Street. There had been no issues with the well up till recently. When the pump started to malfunction, they called a local repairman and pooled all of their money together to get the pump fixed. As is often the case, the repairman swapped out all of the good parts on their pump with used parts for his own gain. With these used parts, the community’s pump soon gave out again.

We will take off the broken pump and open the well to air out for a few days. Once we can safely get into the well, the technician will measure the diameter of the existing casing. From there, we will construct four more casing to be tied together and lowered to the bottom. This process will deepen the well and ensure that there is an adequate water supply. We’re going to try getting between five to seven feet of water, and then will recover the well. Once the well pad is secure, we will install a new India Mark II pump.

The paramount chief brought this community to our attention once again. Two years ago we repaired two wells, but they had been drilled too shallow and were overused. They have since gone dry. This community is in need of enough water sources to serve such a massive population! We have decided to repair this well, dig the other two deeper, and drill another two! We believe that by the time all of these projects are up and running, that everyone in this community will have full and fair access to clean water.


Recent Project Updates


10/05/2016: #7 Kamara Taylor Street Well Rehabilitation Project Complete

We are excited to share that the well at #7 Kamara Taylor Street in Yongoroo is rehabilitated and providing clean water for the families living in the area. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted in the community, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines. This water and new knowledge give the 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 #7 Kamara Taylor Street, 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 village. You made clean water a reality, and now have the 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was held under a huge tree. After 15 minutes it started to rain and the group moved to shelter in the nearest house. Since we made contacts early on, it was easy to get the word out about training. These locals form the water user committee, which is responsible for overseeing and maintaining the new well. They also encourage behavior change in their community, teaching others to build helpful tools like dish racks and hand-washing stations.

A large number of locals have never had the chance to learn about good health practices. On the first day of training, there was a turnout of 63 people. This is the day we taught about how to build a hand-washing station and how to wash hands. Since this community is comprised mainly of fishermen, washing hands is especially important! So many people handle fish on a daily basis, with no gloves. These folks came with one-gallon containers to build their hand-washing station, while we provided the rope and sticks.

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On the second day we taught about what things make a community healthy or unhealthy. Training participants were even more than the first day, and certainly more than we anticipated. We had to run back to the office and get more handouts and illustrations to go around! We gave examples of disease transmission and how it happens in the village. Our strongest emphasis was on building and using latrines. This was also a good day for teaching about personal hygiene; we brought toothbrushes and demonstrated how to brush teeth!

The third day was on taking care of and maintaining the well pump. We also taught about how animals need to be kept out of the house. Chickens are normally left to wander, and often spend time in the kitchen with dogs, goats, and other animals! Some animals are even allowed to sleep in the home overnight. We taught how to build pens for these animals.

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We have already made several follow-up visits to see how the community is using this new knowledge. The community had held a massive cleaning activity on Sunday, so a lot of the litter was gone. We found makeshift urinals down at the wharf, and hand-washing stations were present either near the latrines or at the entrance of most homes.

Section Chief Pa Alimamy Kamara was very excited about the training held for his people. He said, “The rainy season is the most dangerous time of the year, and cholera, malaria, and typhoid are the most prevalent diseases during the rainy season. We are very thankful to have this training; we are not only getting water but we are also getting advice and education on how to live our day to day lives. Cholera has also started in the county. Health living and healthy practices are now needed more than ever. We appreciate the donors and everyone involved in the process.”

Project Result: Well Rehabilitation

Construction for rehabilitating the well at #7 Kamara Taylor Street began on May 30th.

We started by dismantling the old pump and handing it over to the community to store. We realized we had to deepen the well to yield adequate water, so we constructed four new casings while the well aired out for seven days. This increased depth by over eight feet. We had to use thick ropes to help us lower the concrete casings to the bottom. The well now has a total depth of 67 feet and a static water level of 61 feet. After finishing the inside work, we were finally able to install the new India Mark II pump.

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The biggest challenge was definitely lowering the concrete casings deep into the well. We struggled to find enough manpower to lower such heavy objects such a distance! Rehabilitating a well that we didn’t drill is a very difficult and dangerous process.

The handing over ceremony was conducted on a Friday afternoon, since Fridays in Sierra Leone are mean for prayer and rest. We gathered more than two hundred people to witness the first sips of clean, clear water. We led off with thanking everyone who made this much-needed project a success. The children even had a water fight as things were winding down!

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The man above is Pa Issa Koroma, who lives closest to the well. He is a grandfather who no longer has a source of income. This rehabilitated well not only brought Pa Issa Koroma clean water, but something to do! He has adopted the big responsibility of being the well’s caretaker. He seemed to be the happiest in that group of hundreds! If there’s any issue with the well, we’ll hear from Pa Issa Koroma.


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09/21/2016: #7 Kamara Taylor Street New Well Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, the neighborhood around #7 Kamara Taylor Street in Sierra Leone will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A well is being rehabilitated so it will once again provide safe, clean water to the community. The community will also receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the difference these resources will make!

We just posted an initial report from our partner in the field including an introduction to the community and pictures. We’ll keep you updated as the work progresses.

Check out the tabs above to learn more, and Thank You for caring for the thirsty!


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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos


Monitoring Data


Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Port Loko, Kaffu Bullom, Lungi, Yongoroo
ProjectID: 5100
Install Date:  10/05/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Functional
Last Visit: 07/13/2017

Visit History:
09/27/2016 — Functional
11/08/2016 — Functional
12/05/2016 — Functional
02/17/2017 — Functional
04/13/2017 — Functional
07/13/2017 — Functional





A Year Later: 7 Kamara Taylor Street

December, 2017

Before this pump was constructed our children and wives normally woke up very early in the morning to fetch dirty water.

A year ago, generous donors helped construct a well for the community around 7 Kamara Taylor Street in Yongoroo, 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, Nanah Mansaray, with you.


During the rainy season in Yongoroo, near Kamara Taylor Street, a murky, contaminated open stream does not see the traffic it did a year ago.  This year many of those who were making the daily walk to the stream for drinking water are now able to draw clean water directly from the pump at 7 Kamara Taylor Street.  Nanah Mansaray, a field worker for Matiatu’s Hope, reports, “The pump is working properly and the community people are really enjoying the facility.” Consistent access to clean water is definitely a source of joy in this community.

Kadiatu drinking clean water from the pump in Yongoroo.

Kadiatu Kamara, age 10, shares, “The biggest change that have happened in my life since this project was completed is that I would normally go to the stream to fetch water, which was not clean and safe, for drinking, but now I have access to clean and safe water for drinking, bathing and even laundry. I am very happy about this facility.” Because fetching water is primarily the responsibility of the women and children, the countless hours spent accessing water inhibit the ability for many to fulfill school obligations or explore wider family, social, or business possibilities.  However, the community now has eyes on new possibilities.

Nanah Mansaray interviewing a community member about changes he’s witnessed over the last year.

Clean water is definitely a critical component to improved health in Sierra Leone, yet training in hygiene and sanitation is the work that makes improved health truly sustainable.  Mariatu’s Hope continues to monitor and engage the community as they work toward long-term sustainable sanitation and hygiene practices.


While it may seem like one project is just a drop in the bucket, this functional well on Kamara Taylor Street is changing many lives that will in turn change many lives.  The ripple effects of these projects are truly astounding.  We are excited to stay in touch with this community and to report the impact these heroes make as they continue on their journey with clean water.

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.


Contributors

Project Underwriter - Stephen Montoya
Yakima Foursquare Church


Want to start your own campaign? Learn more »

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.