This project was implemented by another partner, but is now monitored and maintained by The Water Project together with Mariatu's Hope.
As you will see from the report below from our partner in the field, the Lungi Police Barracks E-Line, Block 7 water project is one of those cases where we just don't know what we are going to find. The community came together to do the work of this project, and the well was completed in a timely manner. Unfortunately, the water supplying the well is not fit to be used for human needs. However, the need for water is vast and varied. With this in mind, the construction team met with the community and agreed to complete the well and leave it functional, even with the contaminated water. Community members recognize the danger and intend to boil any water used for people. But this well can also be used to provide water for other purposes in the community. Even in its compromised state, the well meets a definite need. Signs warning of the danger will be posted on the well, and efforts will continue to find the source of the contamination and hopefully rectify this issue.
The report below, straight from our partner, describes the community and situation in greater detail:
A Sierra Leone team member commented, "When the dedication was happening, one woman got up, confessed her sins and accepted Jesus Christ as her personal savior. For Aunty Fatmata this is her birthday!" When the team arrived, community members were utilizing a water source unable to sustain their water needs and because of this, families were suffering from dysentery, typhoid, malaria, respiratory illnesses, diarrhea and severe dehydration among other preventable water related illnesses. The Sierra Leone team was pleased to learn of the community’s use of a covered pit latrine as this will help prevent further spread of disease in the area. During the team’s stay, community members assisted the team with the water project whenever possible, provided food for the team and guarded the team’s equipment during the night. Most community members earn a living by petty trading, teaching, working as police officers or other civil servants. The nearest school is located .1 of a kilometer away from the community whose students, teachers and administrative personnel all have access to the new, safe water source. Before leaving the community, the team provided community member, Abass Koroma, with a contact number in case their well were to fall into disrepair, become subject to vandalism or theft.
The Sierra Leone team had an opportunity to meet with fifty-two year old community member and police officer, Nancy Jones, who stated, "The old water source is not hygienic and it has a taste and bacteria. The old water source is very far and it has a hill and it is hard to fetch water. The school well is difficult because of so many people and normally they close the well when school is in session so the school will have enough water. The new water source for us is clean and well protected and much closer."
There were 80 adults and 15 children who attended this hygiene training. The Sierra Leone Church School Child Health Club taught the hygiene training alongside our partner's trainers. They did a great job. As the hygiene training went along, the participants began to see some of their own weaknesses in the area of good hygiene. They appreciated what they learned, especially when they saw their own children teaching them. The police barracks housing has latrines for each house. The area where they were getting their water from was the stream and it was very shallow. They also get their water from the school hand pump, but this is part of a very large community and water is hard to come by. We are rehabilitating another well in this barracks housing. Although this well failed the coliform bacteria water quality test, we chlorinated and re-tested and it failed again. We then chlorinated and re-tested for a third time and again, it failed the water quality testing. We chlorinated the well with 65% HTH chlorine. This community is desperate for water for a multitude of purposes from drinking to washing, etc. We have told them that they should boil the water from this well and advised them that they should use the other well that was just rehabilitated for their drinking water and use this well for other purposes. The main point here is that we are telling everyone to boil their water due to the cholera outbreak. The community is aware of the situation and asked to leave the well as it is so they would have access to water. They all agree that they will boil any water they use for cooking or drinking from this well. We will continue to monitor this well and see if we can find out where the problem is coming from. This is a very congested area and the houses have been there for many years. They have septic tanks for their sewage. Perhaps there is a problem with one of the tanks.