One Billion Thirsty

Gbaneh Lol, next to Chief’s house, Port Loko District, Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Sierra Leone

Project Location

Gbaneh Lol, next to Chief's house, Port Loko District, Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Sierra Leone

GPS Coordinates

Latitude:08 37.315 N, Longitude: 013 11.264 W

People Served


Report Presented To

1billion Thirsty

The Country

According to the most recent UNDP report, Sierra Leone is ranked 158th out of 169 countries with comparable data in the United Nations Human Development Index.

The brutal civil war that stretched from 1991 to 2002 cost tens of thousands of lives and destroyed much of the country’s economy and social infrastructure. The displacement of millions coupled with the exodus of many trained and educated people has made recovery even more challenging. Even so, Sierra Leone has made some strides in development, democracy, and stability. In September 2007 Sierra Leone conducted credible national elections that peacefully ceded leadership to the opposition party.

Unfortunately, in spite of recent advances, Sierra Leone remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with more than half of the population living below the poverty line. Unemployment rates continue to rise, primarily affecting youth and ex-combatants. Sierra Leone also has the world’s highest maternal and infant mortality rates, due in large part to widespread malnutrition. The health system collapsed during the war and has not been able to recover enough to meet the health needs of a growing population.

Water catchments, rivers, ponds, and lakes are the main sources for water during the rainy season. Open hand dug wells replace these sources when the rains stop. Nearly half of the country lacks access to clean drinking water, while almost 90 percent do not have adequate sanitation services.

Our Work In Sierra Leone

Living Water Sierra Leone launched in the wake of the nation’s civil war, during which many community water sources (wells, pumps, etc.) were destroyed.

Our in-country program directors work tirelessly for the people of Sierra Leone, collaborating with the government and other NGOs to stay on the cutting edge of best practices for the communities they serve. Working within the Western area, Port Loko, Bombali, and Tonkolili districts, the national team builds toilets at schools and rehabilitates wells and hand pumps in villages that desperately need clean water. Additionally, Living Water Sierra Leone has implemented a robust hygiene and sanitation program using participatory methods that empowers teachers and students in local schools to teach others in the community about the sanitation and hygiene practices that will keep them healthy.

General Information

A LWI Sierra Leone team member stated, “One policeman living in the village took the lead to help translate some of the lessons, and proposed a weekly cleaning of the environment so that the village would be a healthier place to live.”

When the team arrived, community members were utilizing an unprotected spring located two kilometers away from the community to meet all of their water needs. Because of this and the community’s practice of open defecation, families were suffering from typhoid and malaria. During the team’s stay, community members assembled a water committee consisting of five men and five women who assisted the team with the water project whenever possible, provided food and guarded the team’s equipment during the night. Most residents earn a living by small-scale farming and are of Muslim faith. There is a health clinic located in the community that has 4 beds and treats 30 patients daily. The local clinic treats 500 people in the community and surrounding areas. There is a school located one 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, Chief Adakalie Kamara with a LWI Sierra Leone contact number in case their well were to fall into disrepair, become subject to vandalism or theft.


The LWI Sierra Leone team had an opportunity to meet with forty year old community member and petty trader, Adama Bangura, who stated, “The old source is an open stream and people toilet too close to it. They drink from this well because there is no other source of getting water. The new well is protected from defecation, and we will take good care of it.”

Well Characteristics

Location Name

Gbaneh Lol, next to Chief's house, Port Loko District, Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Sierra Leone

Location Type


Work Type

Rehab-Broken hand pump w/ well pad


Port Loko District/Kafffu Bullom Chiefdom

GPS Coordinates

Latitude:08 37.315 N, Longitude: 013 11.264 W


29.6 m

Total Depth

14.6 m

Static Level

11.7 m

Casing Material


Pump Type


Depth Of Cylinder

14.1 m

Diameter of Casing

1600 mm

Well Yield

18.9 liters per minute

Sanitary Seal Depth From Surface


# Of People Served


The Project

Test Results Are From: LWI Test Kit

Total Dissolved Solids (as per TDS meter)




It is policy of Living Water International to shock chlorinate water wells at a minimum: after completion of drilling and installation of pump and before use by end users, After the well seal is broken during maintenance or rehabilitation and before use by end users.

Hygiene Education

During the hygiene education, the LWI Sierra Leone team addresses: Hand washing, how to properly transport and store water, disease transmission and prevention, how to maintain proper care of the pump, as well as signs and symptoms of dehydration and how to make Oral Rehydration Solution. All of these lessons are taught in a participatory method to help community members discover ways to improve their hygiene and sanitation choices, and implement community driven solutions.


A LWI Sierra Leone team member commented, “We gathered the community around the well to talk about the new pump and shared about the love of Christ with them. The team prayed with them before the project began and upon completion, the hygiene participants gathered around the well to hear us preach Psalm 126:1-3 and dedicate the new hand pump to the glory of God.”

Gbaneh Lol, next to Chief’s house, Port Loko District, Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Sierra Leone

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