Lungi, Conakry Dee, Next to Hospital Post, Port Loko District/Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Sierra Leone
Latitude 08 41.855 N & Longitude 013 14.276 W
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 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.
Also to see the community go from drinking dirty water to having clean water with a hand pump was just so beautiful.” When the LWI Sierra Leone team arrived community members were utilizes an unprotected hand dug well located within the community to meet all of their water needs. Because of this and the community’s practice of open defecation families were left suffering from cholera, dysentery, typhoid, malaria, respiratory and other preventable water related illnesses. The local hospital helps one hundred patients a day however the hospital only has six beds. This local hospital has served about ten thousand people in the surround community. During the teams’ stay community members assisted the team with the water project, made food for the team, provided any available materials for the team and provided security over the water project during the night. The people of the village of Lungi, Conakry Dee depend on fishing and petty trading for their livelihood. The nearest school is located one kilometer away from the community and now students, teachers and administrative personnel all have access to safe, clean drinking water. Before leaving the community, the LWI Sierra Leone team proved community member Shari Sesay with a LWI contact number in case the well were to fall into disrepair, become subject to vandalism or theft.
The LWI Sierra Leone team had the opportunity to meet with thirty-five year old, nurse, Kanny Barrie, who stated, “Thanks to One Billion Thirsty and Living Water International for giving them clean water and hygiene training that will help them make their work easier. With no protected wells, there has been a lot of sickness.
Lungi, Conakry Dee, Next to Health Post
Port Loko District/Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Sierra Leone
Latitude 08 41.855 N & Longitude 013 14.276 W
18.9 liters per minute
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.
This community is predominately Muslim however the community members cooperated and they accepted the love of Jesus Christ that was shared with them. The women in the community and the clinic workers prayed with the team as they worked on the well. They were so thankful that God had answered their prayers. This inspired most of them and they accepted Jesus Christ as their personal savior.