Project Status



Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 512 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/17/2023

Project Features


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Community Profile

The well in Kriema Kiamp hasn't worked since 2007. For the past 14 years, the 512 community members have been drinking nothing but swamp water.

Consuming the water from this source has had deadly consequences for the community members here from cases of typhoid and dysentery. The swamp is also at the bottom of a hill, which means the fertilizers from the farms up at the top of the slope pollute the pool of water below. The community elders advise the children to fetch the water early in the morning: by late afternoon, all the debris from the swamp would have settled at the bottom of its container.

"Imagine having to drink that water day to day," said 16-year-old Sulaiman S. "We cannot afford to buy plastic water sachets, so we make do with what is available. The lack of water translates to not bathing regularly, especially for children. The water is sometimes so salty bathing with it causes salt flakes on our skin."

"After spending the major part of the day at the farm, I am expected to come home and prepare food for the entire family of hungry children," said 30-year-old mother, Zainab Kuyateh. "If I am lucky enough to have water stored from the night before, the cooking will go normally. But if there is no water, I then have to scramble down the hill to the swamp to try and get water clean enough to cook with."

For many of the villagers, the walk to the swamp takes 15 minutes. But for those less fortunate, the journey is long and hard at an hour each way. This places an unbearable burden on the children, who are the ones most likely to fetch water for their families. This story is told most eloquently by the patches of hair missing from some of the children's heads caused by years of carrying heavy buckets full of water, multiple times a day.

Time and health aren't the only costs of Kriema Kiamp's water problems. "A source of income that requires the use of large quantities of water is the processing of palm oil," Zainab explained. "It takes the use of plenty of water, preferably clean water, to properly prepare good quality palm oil."

"The lack of water has caused most families to only process palm oil during the rainy season: a big hit on their livelihood when they depend on it for providing money for school fees and other household expenses," Zainab continued. "Our total household income decreases in the dry season, which should be the time that it increases, but because of the lack of water to tend to the palm oil processing, no income comes in."

Despite their consistent water crisis, community members have made great developments over the years. They have built a bakery, two rice mills, and several fishing boats. They have constructed their homes from more durable materials and increased the number of children attending school. They were very proud to tell us that Kriema Kiamp has a young lady from the village that has gone far as a student of nursing at the university in the Port Loko District.

The people of Kriema Kiamp are ready and willing to improve themselves and their lives. The only thing holding them back now is a lack of safe, reliable water.

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

Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul is dry for a few months every year and needs major work to supply adequate, clean water to the community year round. The pump will be removed, and 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.

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


08/11/2022: Kriema Kiamp Community Well Rehabilitation Complete!

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

15-year-old Sulaiman S., whom we spoke to when we first visited Kriema Kiamp, recounted what life was like prior to the well's rehabilitation. "Before, I used to go to the swamp to fetch water, and the location of the swamp water is far and [a] little bit hilly, which is very difficult to go there. The water is not safe and pure to drink. During the rainy season, when [the] rain comes, all [of the pieces of] rubbish are deposited there, which caused the water [to be] dirty, but I had no choice."

Sulaiman collects water from the rehabilitated well.

"But today I am happy because the pump [is] renewed, in good order," Sulaiman continued. "Now, it produces enough water. It is safe and pure to drink, which [will] contribute to my health. I will not be accessing unsafe water anymore. I say thanks to the donors."

Sulaiman pours water while community ladies celebrate.

"This water well will help me achieve some of my things. Before, I [found] it difficult to launder my uniform, but with the help of this water well, I will launder my uniform on time. All these issues have now [been] resolved, and all things will be completed."

"I am happy today because the pump has [been] restored," said 34-year-old farmer Zainab Kuyateh.

"It is new and produces clean water. I say thanks for this water well in my community. Now, I get access to the well easily without wasting time, and the water is clean and safe to drink. This [will] impact my life because water is a priority and [a] right, and because safe and pure water contributes to my health," Zainab said.

"Before, I [would] usually go to the swamp to collect water, and the location of the swamp water [is] very far [away]. I spent [a lot of] time fetching water because [the well] produced [a] small quantity. This caused me, sometimes, [to waste] all day."

Zainab celebrates with community women.

Zainab concluded: "I usually produce palm oil in my community, and palm oil production needs enough water. Due to limited access to water, this [would] cause delays or stop my production. But today, I have access to enough water. This will help me to complete my production and produce enough quantity."

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to the community members. Several local dignitaries attended the ceremony, including representatives from the Port Loko District Council and the Ministry of Water Resources. Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the water project and reminding everyone to take good care of it. Then, Sulaiman and Zainab made statements on their community's behalf. The ceremony concluded with celebration, singing, and dancing.

Clean Water Restored

The drill team arrived the day before beginning work. They set up camp and unpacked all their tools and supplies to prepare for drilling the next day. The community provided space for the team to store their belongings and meals for the duration of their stay. The following day, the work began.

First, we raised the tripod, the structure we use to hold and maneuver each drilling tool. Next, we measured the well's original depth. We then socketed the pipes and installed a casing.

Finally, we lined up the drill rods and started to drill! We reached a final depth of 24 meters with water at 15 meters. The hand-drill method allowed the team to install the cylinder far below the aquifer so that the community has excellent water access throughout the year.

With drilling complete, we installed screening and a filter pack to keep out debris when the water is pumped. We then cemented an iron rod to the well lining and fixed it with an iron collar at the top.

Next, we bailed the well by hand for three days and flushed it, clearing any debris generated by the drilling process. Finally, we tested the yield to ensure the well would provide clean water with minimal effort at the pump.

Bailing.

As the project neared completion, we built a new cement platform, walls, and drainage system around the well to seal it off from surface-level contaminants. The drainage system helps to redirect runoff and spilled water to help avoid standing water at the well, which can be uncomfortable and unhygienic and a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

At last, we installed the pump and conducted a water quality test. The test results showed that this was clean water fit for drinking!

New Knowledge

Before conducting any hygiene training, we called and visited the local water user committee to understand the community’s challenges and lack of sanitation facilities. We shared the findings from our discussions with the committee members to help them make the necessary adjustments before the training began. For example, we identified households without handwashing stations or ones that may need to repair their latrines. With this information, community members worked together to improve hygiene and sanitation at home.

After this preparatory period, we scheduled a time when members from each household using the water point could attend a three-day hygiene and sanitation training. We then dispatched our teams to the agreed-upon location to hold the meeting. Attendance was great, with people from each household and even some visitors from outside the community who wanted to learn as well.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps, good and bad hygiene habits, disease transmission and prevention, COVID-19, worms and parasites, dental hygiene, proper care of the well's pump, keeping the water clean, the cost recovery system, dish racks and clotheslines, the importance of toilets, keeping latrines clean, balanced diets, the diarrhea doll, and HIV and AIDS.

A training facilitator displays examples of a healthy community versus an unhealthy community.

One of the most notable sessions was when we compared the practices of a healthy community versus those of an unhealthy community. When we first brought out the posters, a woman asked what the difference was between the two pictures. To our staff's surprise, a young man named Santigie stood up to answer. He explained the difference and said that Kriema Kiamp is unhealthy because the community members practice open defecation. People whispered amongst themselves, with everyone eventually admitting that this was true.

"The training was great and valuable to me because I learned a lot of things that I was ignorant of," said 57-year-old trader Adama Kamara. "The construction of a tippy-tap was a new thing to me, and learning about the importance of [a] tippy-tap will enable me to always wash my hands after using the toilet and when I want to eat and after coming from the farm.

"Similarly, the training was valuable to me because I learned about worms and parasites. Based on what I heard from the facilitator and fellow participants, now I have a clear understanding that worms are indeed harmful. There are many ways we get worms which I was not even aware [of] before. The new knowledge I received on preventing worm and parasite infestation will help me to take precautionary steps such as wearing slippers, avoiding drinking contaminated water, and taking worms medicine at least after every three months."

Conclusion

This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members themselves. When an issue arises concerning the well, community members are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!




06/21/2022: Kriema Kiamp Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Kriema Kiamp Community 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 this 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!




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

Project Sponsor - Park Valley Church
2 individual donor(s)