The following report was filed by our implementing partner...
The community of Mafanikly is located in the Port Loko district of Sierra Leone. The village was so isolated, about 20 minutes into the bush. There is no school here. Many of the children do not attend school because of the distance and cost. The community helped the team with the repair by providing materials, labor and food. The pump had been spoiled for eight months leaving the community to drink from the waterside. There was a disconnected rising main, the pump was badly worn and rusted out.
The old pump was pulled and a new Afridev was installed. The pad and apron were badly damaged so that was repaired as well. Most people in the community earn a living by petty trading and farming. When the project was complete, the community established a point person to be the caretaker of the well.
Testimony from a community member
Kadiatu Conteh, 22 year old fish trader spoke with the team about the water needs for her community. "This well has not worked for several months. I’m happy to have access to clean water. The water at the waterside is not pure."
There were 80 adults and 59 children who attended the hygiene training. There were 54 ORS (oral rehydration solution) spoons distributed. Lessons included germs/disease transmission, proper hand washing techniques, healthy/unhealthy communities, ORS, proper care of the pump, keeping the water clean, good-bad hygiene behaviors and disease transmission stories.
About Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is the lowest-ranked country of the 177 countries in the UNDP Human Development Index. Decades of governmental neglect and civil war have decimated the population and left widespread poverty throughout the country. As the civil war raged on from 1991 to 2002, tens of thousands were killed and more than two million people were displaced. Efforts to revitalize the economy are sluggish, while unemployment rates continue to rise, primarily affecting youth and ex-combatants.1 According to a recent USAID report, 70 percent of Sierra Leoneans live below the poverty line. Only 39 percent of the population has access to adequate sanitation facilities, while 43 percent lack access to clean drinking water.
The water supply in Sierra Leone depends on catchments to collect rainwater and hand dug wells during the dry season. During the rainy season, open water sources such as rivers, lakes, and ponds are shared with domestic animals. The inevitable contamination of these water sources leads to a variety of otherwise preventable water-borne (and potentially life-threatening) diseases. Drilling of boreholes, rehabilitating pre-existing wells, and promoting hygienic behavior is essential to the country’s ultimate survival.
CIA World Fact Book, Sierra Leone, 2008
UNICEF, Sierra Leone, 2008