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The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Mr Joseph Solomon Koroma
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Clean Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Clean Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Clean Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Clean Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Clean Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Clean Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Clean Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Clean Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Clean Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Clean Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Clean Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Well Pad Construction
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Well Pad Construction
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Filter Pack
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Drilling
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Drilling
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Slotting Screen
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Drilling
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Drilling
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Drilling
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Drilling
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Drilling
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Headteacher Ann Marie A Kamara
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Tippy Tap Construction Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Tippy Tap Construction Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Tippy Tap Construction Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Tippy Tap Construction Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Training
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  School Garbage Pit
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  School Latrines
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Student Carrying Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Students Carrying Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Students Fetching Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Students Fetching Water
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  School Hand Dug Well We Need To Deepen
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Students In Class
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Students In Class
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Students
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  Students Outside Classrooms
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  School Compound
The Water Project: St. John RC Primary School -  School Compound

Project Status



Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 375 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Community Profile

St. John Primary School started as a community school in 1970 by Pa Charles Benjamin. The school had no building of its own, so Late Pa Charles Benjamin negotiated with a community elder who consented that his home be used as a temporary school. At that time, the school only had three community teachers headed by Pa Charles Benjamin and all of them were not trained or qualified. The enrollment during that period stood at fifteen.

They built their first classroom structure in 1973. The building was designed to host classes one to seven along with an office space for the headmaster. There has been a lot of staff turnover, and in 2012 they hired a headteacher by the name of Mrs. Annmarie Alexandra Kamara. By that time, the school had grown to 548. Enrollment has declined until today, with a current enrollment of 375.

There are now two school buildings, one for seniors and one for juniors. Each building has office space. There are also two latrine structures. Two latrine doors for the staff, two rooms for the boys and another two for girls. There is a big football field often used by the school for interclass football matches and also by the community for sectional football leagues. There is a temporary structure used as a kitchen located very close to the hand-dug well.

Water Situation

Depending on the time of year, water quantity can be low or dry in both protected hand-dug wells and the swamp.

Most hand-dug wells in this part of the country, where the water table is way below the reach of private local diggers, are dry in the months of March, April, and June. Since the community hasn’t been able to deepen their hand-dug wells to find water, they walk further into the swamp to dig holes for water. This is normally the time of the year that the water situation graduates to a crisis. Students have relied on trips to the swamp for about three months so far this year.

The hand-dug well at the school is just like the others in this region, and students spend several school days out in search of swamp water. The holes dug in the ground here look like they’re meant for animals. The water is yellowish and the surrounding environment is dirty.

Most parents who send their children to this school can’t afford lunch. As a result, kids use water to help curb their hunger.

Sanitation Situation

The current teachers have a great educational background. They will not compromise on hygiene and sanitation. But one factor that impedes good hygiene here is the absence of water. That is where improvement needs to take place. Handwashing facilities need water to function, and water is also needed to clean the latrines. They are on good footing in terms of hygiene and sanitation but need some support with regards water.

What we can do:

Training

There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for three days in a row.

After our visit, the hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach gather students, teachers, and community members together at the school. They will teach about good and bad hygiene, penning in animals, and building good tools like handwashing stations and dish racks. Most importantly, the trainer will emphasize the importance of having and using even basic pit latrines.

Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul is dry for four months every year and needs major work to supply adequate, clean water to the school year round. The pump will be removed, and a hand auger will be lowered and powered by our drill team. This hand auger will allow the team to drill several meters deeper to hit a sufficient water column that will ensure the well supplies water throughout all seasons. As the team drills, casing will be installed, transforming the bottom of this hand-dug well into a borehole. PVC piping will connect this lower system directly to the pump, a construction that we know will also improve the quality of water.

Once this plan is implemented, these students and teachers will have access to safe drinking water in both quality and quantity, even through the dry months.


This project is a part of our shared program with Mariatu’s Hope. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for clarity) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Sierra Leone.

Project Updates


08/21/2018: St. John RC Primary School Project Complete

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point at St. John RC Primary School, already providing clean water to students, teachers, and neighbors! Students no longer waste valuable class time in search of the water they need. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines.

New Knowledge

Two days before the training, the team sent a representative to remind the school’s headteacher. The headteacher then informed the neighboring homes about this same program. Participant recruitment for school is always straightforward. The students are already at school waiting for us! It was an extremely hot day and it was stuffy inside the classroom. Some of the community members stood outside looking through the windows to see what was going on. Students, teachers, and community members were fully engaged despite the heat.

Topics included handwashing and how to make a tippy tap handwashing station, good and bad hygiene, disease transmission, tools like dish racks and clotheslines, oral rehydration solution, animal care, latrine use, and pump maintenance.

Making tippy tap handwashing stations

We love using pictures and demonstrations to clearly communicate new health habits. One of our favorite activities is the disease transmission story, for which we call on volunteers to hold up five common scenes. These pictures show how germs enter a community and follow a dangerous chain to the mouth. There was a bit of finger-pointing between the students, but it was so simple for them to see how not using a latrine, not penning in animals, and ignoring handwashing can result in illness.

“We have had problems with water shortage, but now they have been solved. Now, we need to put what we have learned from your hygiene team into practice,” said Headteacher Kamara.

Headteacher Kamara

“This team has taught us new ways to wash our hands which are very effective in washing away diseases. With diseases washed off our hands, we are guaranteed good health. With good health in this institution, our learning will improve.”

Clean Water Restored

The first thing the drill team did when they arrived at RC Primary School was to contact the headteacher. She showed them an area where they could store some of their materials.

Here is how they restored clean, reliable water here:

1. Raised the tripod

2. Found the original depth (for this well, we measured 41.8 feet)

3. Socketed the pipes

4. Installed casing

5. Lined up the drill rods

6. Drilled!

Drilling by hand is always hard labor. They met sand up to 44.8 feet, then stone clay up to 51.8 feet. They started seeing black clay that is bad for water quality, so they stopped at 53 feet.

7. Installed screening and filter pack

8. Cemented an iron rod to well lining, and fixed it with an iron collar at the top

9. Bailed the well by hand for three days

10. Tested the yield (we got a static water level of 38 feet going at 28.7 liters per minute)

11. Built a cement platform, walls, and drainage system

12. Installed a stainless steel India Mk11 pump

The hand-drill method allows the team to install the cylinder far below the aquifer so that the community has great water access throughout the year.

13. Water quality test

The Ministry of Water Resources has verified that this well meets the World Health Organization’s standards for drinking water.

The high heat was the only challenge for the team, and they just had to persevere to get the job done.

It was “well worth it” for the team to restore reliable water here!

“I stay not too far away from this well and I have personally suffered some consequences related to water shortage as both a teacher and community member. Whenever we had a problem with this well, the only choice we had was to trek with kids to neighboring communities to fetch water. For cleaning, we normally sent the kids down to the swamp and the hill is too steep for some of them. We missed valuable study time during our pursuit of water,” shared Teacher Joseph Koroma.

“So this well is going to improve both our learning and sanitation situation.”


The Water Project : 39-sierraleone18263-clean-water


06/06/2018: St. John RC Primary School Project Underway

Dirty water from the swamp is making students attending St. John RC Primary School sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!


The Water Project : 8-sierraleone18263-students-fetching-water


Project Photos


Project Type

Dug Well and Hand Pump

Hand-dug wells are best suited for clay, sand, gravel and mixed soil ground formations. A large diameter well is dug by hand, and then lined with either bricks or concrete to prevent contamination and collapse of the well. Once a water table is hit, the well is capped and a hand-pump is installed – creating a complete and enclosed water system.



Contributors

Project Sponsor - Pineapple Fund