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The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Celebrating The Well
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students Play In The Water
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Dedication Attendees
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students Play In The Water
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Head Teacher Gives Speech
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Head Girl Makes Speech
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Celebration
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Chief Makes Statement
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Head Teacher Gives Speech
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Principal Celebrates The Completed Well
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  School Head Teacher Drinks From The Well
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Singing And Dancing At The Dedication
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students And Community Gather For Dedication
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students Dancing
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Bailing
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Bailing
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Diarrhea Doll
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Drilling
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Drilling
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Pupil Mabinty
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Pad Construction
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Pad Construction
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Pad Construction
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Drilling
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Drilling
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Preparing To Construct Tippy Taps
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Hannah Kanu
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Handwashing Demonstration
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Raising Tripod
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students At The Training
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students Work On Disease Transmission Activity
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Tippy Tap Construction Exercise
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Toothbrushing Conversation
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Washing Hands With New Tippy Tap
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Yield Test
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Chlorination
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Pumping Water After Installation
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Fishing Net
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Household
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Household
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Main Water Source
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Mashing Rice
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Mrs Hannah Kanu Head Teacher
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Pa Kolleh Kamara
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  School Building
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  School Field
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  School Latrine
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  School Materials
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  School Sign
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students Fetching Water
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students Inside Class Room
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Washing Dishes
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students Playing
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students Carrying Water
The Water Project: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School -  Students Walking To Fetch Water

Project Status



Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 339 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/12/2020

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Community Profile

DEC Menika Primary School is situated in a rural area at the entrance of the village. It is surrounded by trees of various varieties and a large open field. The school is far away from the village with the only neighbor being the local clinic and the homes of the primary health provider and caretaker of the school.

In the wake of Sierra Leone’s civil war, this rural community decided they needed a school. The people saw the benefits of education when certain provisions made to communities that were affected by the war were withheld because there were no educated individuals to represent the village.

It started with 76 pupils, two teachers, and a headmaster. The first headmaster was Alhaji Kamara, who was responsible for the fast transformation of the school to its present location. Within one school year, the community came together and constructed the present school. He stayed on until 2018. Today, some 332 students attend the school.

In contrast, the school’s experience with water has been a challenge. A hand-dug well was attempted more than a decade ago and never finished. Another attempt in 2008 to finish the project also failed. There is a public health clinic adjacent to the school with a working well, but it is meant only for patients. As a result, students must get water from the community well located about a 5-minute walk away from the school.

The water is accessible throughout the day and night but with the large crowds, some students either return to school late or decide to head to the swamp instead. This means either time is lost waiting to get water or the students are exposed to a contaminated source – which causes some to fall ill and miss school.

“Our children have to come to the village to fetch water for the school and they use that as an excuse to skip school. The number of absences are plenty and we want to reduce that by making sure everything they need is at the school,” Pa Koleh Kamara told us.

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:

Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul was never finished. It needs major work to supply adequate, clean water to the community year round. A hand auger will be lowered inside and powered by a 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, everyone within the community will have access to safe drinking water in both quality and quantity, even through the dry months.

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

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

No handwashing stations were observed here. After our visit, the hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach community members how to build a tippy tap (a hand-washing station built with a jerrycan, string, and sticks). They will use these tippy taps for handwashing demonstrations, and will also teach about other tools like dish racks and the importance of properly penning in animals.

These trainings will also strengthen the water user committee that manages and maintains this well. They enforce proper behavior and report to us whenever they need our help solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

Project Updates


05/28/2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at DEC Menika Primary School

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural schools like DEC Menika Primary School in Sierra Leone

We trained people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19.

With distancing and/or small groups: Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

We began training communities before the first reported case of COVID-19 in the country and before the government enacted public health guidance related to it. We worked with trusted community leaders and Water User Committees to gather community members for the training. Although community members did not observe social distancing during the training, we sensitized them on its importance and effectiveness in combating the spread of the virus.

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

– Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

– Proper handwashing technique

– The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

– Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

– Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

– What social distancing is and how to practice it

– How to cough into an elbow

– Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

– How to make and properly wear a facemask.

During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point.

Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.


The Water Project : covid19-sierraleone19267-covid-training


01/30/2020: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School Project Complete!

We realized a glitch in our system meant that you may not have gotten this update when we first sent it, so we are sharing it again so you can read about the good news you helped make possible!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point at DEC Menika Primary School in Sierra Leone that is already providing clean water to students and neighboring community members! We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training, which focused on healthy practices such as handwashing and using latrines.

Clean Water Restored

The rehabilitation of the well was a success!

“I am happy because I see the dangers my students face day to day on their way to the stream or swamp to fetch water. Several children have fallen down on their way to the stream and sustained some serious injuries, and some to the extent of being hospitalized for a bone fracture,” shared Abass Kanu, a teacher at the school.

“This water well could not have come at a better time than now.”

Here is how we restored clean, reliable water here:

– Raised the tripod

– Found the original depth

– Socketed the pipes

– Installed casing

– Lined up the drill rods

– Drilled!


We reached a final depth of 18.18 meters with the water at 12.6 meters. The hand-drill method allowed the team to install the cylinder far below the aquifer so that the community has great water access throughout the year.


– Installed screening and filter pack

– Cemented an iron rod to the well lining and fixed it with an iron collar at the top

– Bailed the well by hand for 3 days and flushed it

– Tested the yield

– Built a cement platform, walls, and drainage system

– Installed a stainless steel India Mk11 pump

– Conducted a water quality test


The water point was dedicated during the morning hours. The target was to avoid the hot sun but, alas, this time of year there is no avoiding the hot sun! The children were already out of their classroom upon seeing the approaching vehicle. The community women, men, and children came out to grace the occasion with song and dance, too.

We work very closely with the recipients and want to be sure that we have a strong water user committee. For now, when the pump breaks down the school will contact our office and our trained technicians will go to complete the repair. The school and community will participate in our cost recovery system so that when the pump breaks down, they will pay for the price of the part only. This is done so that they can get used to paying for the part to keep their pump running.

The head teacher gives a speech at the dedication

In the years to come, the water user committee will take over the repairs in addition to purchasing the parts. By doing this, it helps ensure the project will be sustainable and the school and community will be able to manage the well properly and keep safe drinking water flowing. For the time being, we will continue to monitor this well quarterly.

New Knowledge

We worked with the local district council representative Paul Dickson Kamara, an individual that has been to several of our hygiene training sessions in his ward, the local chief Pa Adikalie Kamara, the village elders, and school representatives to plan a hygiene and sanitation training for the students and community members.

Students at the training

Before any hygiene training, repeated phone calls and visits were made to the committee to help them understand the challenges and lack of sanitation facilities in the community. The findings from our baseline survey were brought to the attention of the water user committee to help them make the necessary adjustments before the training or drilling could commence. When all the necessary guidelines were met, only then did our team of hygiene trainers go to conduct the training.

Several follow-up calls were made a day before the training to remind the community and try to ensure we would receive the highest turnout of students, community people, teachers and key stakeholders possible. We were in luck as more than 450 students and community members were in attendance for the 3-day training. The training was held at the nearby health center compound that shares a boundary with the school. The health facility has large trees that can provide shade for the school children and community people. The training was held in the morning before the sun started taking its toll on the participants.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps; good and bad hygiene; disease transmission and prevention; worms and parasites; proper care of teeth; proper care of the pump; keeping the water clean; the cost recovery system; dishracks and clotheslines; the importance of toilets; keeping the latrine clean; balanced diets; diarrhea doll; and HIV and AIDS.

Diarrhea doll demonstration

The goal our organization hopes to achieve with every hygiene lesson is participatory hygiene and sanitation transformation. It simply means that the community or school takes part in showing and identifying depicted scenes on posters and how those scenes relate to their everyday lives. These methods are used to deliver a much-needed message of choosing improved health and hygiene practices.

Handwashing demonstration

It is said that it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks. That is why the involvement of school pupils is one of the key tools in achieving our objective. Children have a way of making parents do what has been learned in school. The participation could not have been any better.

“I know the hygiene training has changed my life and I hope and pray that all the people in the community will have learned 1 thing. Keeping our environment clean is vital to living a long and healthy life. The most important thing is accepting what has been taught and putting it into practice,” said Head Teacher Hannah Kanu.

“With the training, I have placed handwashing stations at my school and will continue to encourage everyone in the community to do the same.”

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : sierraleone19267-students-play-in-the-water-1


12/19/2019: Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Lokomasama, Menika, DEC Menika Primary School drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know the community through the introduction 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 : sierraleone19267-students-carrying-water


Project Photos


Project Type

Borehole and Hand Pump

Girls and women walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - we are able to pull water to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.


Contributors

50 individual donor(s)