Project Status

Project Type:  Well Rehab

Program: Well Rehab - Sierra Leone

Impact: 300 Served

Project Phase: 
Community Managed
Implementing Partner Monitoring Data Unavailable
Initial Installation: Jan 2015

Project Features

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Community Profile

Upon completion of the project, our partner in the field reports...

Community Details

For the 300 resident community of Bramah Junction safe water was not available nor was it accessible by Bramah Junction or for the nine surrounding villages that frequently used the latrines and also needed access to safe water. According the Living Water field staff:

"The well had not been in use for a long time. There was no pump and [the well] was open. There was a lot of debris in the well, which needed to be cleaned thoroughly. We also had to sink the well again so that we would have an adequate water supply for the community. The casing and lining also had to be repaired. Because of this, the people were using a spring for drinking water. [Consequently], cholera, malaria and respiratory illnesses combined with lacking hygiene and sanitation in the homes, visibly marked the community. From a distance you can see flies hovering over dirty dishes, unattended [or dirty] children’s faces, littered, dirty cloths and open defecation. Because the people do not clean their environment, there have been an increasing number of disease-causing agents in the community. The frequent practice of open defecation had led to huge contamination of water sources and food products. The community also experienced terrible hazards with snakebites. There is one stream in the swampy area that serves multiple purposes, including drinking, domestic use and traditional and cultural rituals. A poor location of toilets and the proximity of the burial site to the drinking water source altogether contribute to contamination of water [used] from the unprotected spring."

This community exists in a basic environmental area that is comprised of poor land quality and suffers land degradation, deforestation and soil depletion—all that increase daily burdens for this farming community. With limited food resources already unavailable to the people, the compromised lands they have to farm further weaken any potential for community development. To perpetuate an already limited opportunity for community development and good health, Ebola was introduced to the community. There have been 12 Ebola cases and 3 deaths due to Ebola in the community to date. The Living Water field staff went on to share:

"As of this moment, six homes are quarantined with a total of 45 people in them. The government and its development partners are striving hard to provide food for these households—all in effort to contain the monstrous Ebola virus from further spread. It is the same in Bramah that it is for the rest of the country that the people always live in fear of losing loved ones due to the Ebola Virus
Disease (EVD)."

Because of the growing number of Ebola cases in Bramah Junction and in neighboring communities, a mini holding and treatment Ebola center has erected some three miles from this community for prompt isolation of assumed and confirmed Ebola cases. Living Water Sierra Leone has donated seven plastic toilet shields to this center to help create more suitable sanitation facilities at the center while the Living Water team continues helping mitigate the impact of the virus through the procurement of safe water.

Although the procurement of safe water and sharing essential hygiene and sanitation lessons are paramount for community development, and in the community of Bramah Junction, informed decision making on behalf of Ebola awareness is equally essential for life, it is only the gospel of Jesus Christ that truly prospers both body and soul. Through hurt, pain and discouragement, the 65-household community of Bramah Junction was shown love through good works and commitment from the Living Water Sierra Leone team, hygiene and sanitation team and Living Water evangelist in partnership with the local St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Together, the team and the church not only gave love a face, but also shared hope in Christ—who alone satisfies the deepest thirst.

Hygiene Promotion

"The hygiene and sanitation condition in the community was a big issue as there were various health-related hazards, poor environmental sanitation and lack of proper hygiene practices," shared the Living Water Sierra Leone H&S coordinator. "After training the community together with other stakeholders, [the community] indicated that they will institute various bylaws that will help encourage people to practice proper hygiene behaviors to improve the health and sanitation condition of the community." In all, there were 75 people that were educated about good hygiene and sanitation. Using a LWI Traditional Method, which is a participatory method to help community members discover ways to improve their hygiene and sanitation choices and implement community-driven solutions, the team shared life-saving hygiene lessons. Some of the lessons taught were: disease transmission, germs, healthy and unhealthy communities, hand washing-proper techniques and water-saving methods, good-bad hygiene behaviors, tippy tap, proper care of the pump and keeping the water clean.

Encouraged to use safe water to have good health, the community constructed tippy taps that are usable by the entire community and a pit latrine for individual use. The church and water committee will continue to promote the adoption of good hygiene and sanitation behaviors and will also continue to share Ebola awareness to help eliminate the virus in the community.

Community Member Interview

"We used to get water from a contaminated water source and the water was dirty, not suitable for use, but we did not have a choice," shared 45-year-old community member and farmer, Saidu Koroma. "Now we are boasting of clean water, which is close to our home and we do not have to walk long distances [for water]. It has no odor and is safe for drinking and other domestic use."

Christian Witness

Even through the Living Water Sierra Leone team entered the Muslim-practicing community with the hope of safe water, the people were reluctant to join the team in prayer. The Catholic church helped the Living Water team campaign for Christ during the week and will continue to lead campaigns for Christ! The church will continue to support the gospel message in this area by fulfilling the following roles:

• The church will provide a crucial role in nurturing new converts and provide a platform for fellowship of Christian believers.
• The church will remain committed to encouraging its members on proper hygiene and sanitation practices so that they can continue to help the community in the name of Jesus.
• The church will continue to organize JESUS film viewings, with continued support from Living Water Sierra Leone.

In all, there were 75 people (15 men, 30 women and 30 children) who heard the Good News, and there were 56 Bibles distributed to help support spiritual growth. The team, with support from the church, also shared the story of the "Woman at the Well," to help beneficiaries better relate to Scripture.

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Project Photos

Project Type

Well rehabilitation is one of the most cost effective ways to bring clean, safe water to a community.  Sometimes it involves fixing a broken hand pump, other times it means sealing a hand dug well to prevent it from being contaminated.  These repairs, and often time total replacements, coupled with sanitation and hygiene training make a huge impact in communities.