Lungi, Gbana Lol Health Post, Port Loko District / Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Sierra Leone
Latitude 08 37.167N & Longitude 013 11.081W
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.
When the LWI Sierra Leone team arrived, community members were utilizing a protected hand dug well located three-hundredths of a kilometer away from the community to meet all of their water needs. Because of this families were left suffering from dysentery, typhoid, malaria, respiratory, diarrhea and other preventable water related illnesses. The LWI Sierra Leone team was pleased to hear the community utilizing covered latrine pits which help to prevent further spread of diseases in the area. The local Health Post has only one bed tends to forty (40) people daily who have exhibit signs of TB, malaria, typhoid, and dysentery. There are two-hundred people in the surrounding area, who go to this Health Post to seek treatment. During the teams’ stay community members assisted the team with the water project. Most of the community members earn a living as nurses, airport workers, petty traders and gardeners to help provide for their families. The nearest school is located two kilometers 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 provided community member Elizabeth Kargbo, 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 sixty-two, trader, Adama Bangura, who stated, “Thanks for the new water source. It is chlorinated and it is safe for drinking without rust.”
Lungi, Gbana Lol Health Post
Port Loko District/Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Sierra Leone
Latitude 08 37.167N & Longitude 013 11.081W
Latitude:08 37.167 N
Latitude:08 37.167 N Longitude: 013 11.081 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.
The LWI Sierra Leone team shared bible stories with the community members to spread the gospel. The Health Post Staff had been praying for a well. The staff prayed with the team at the beginning of the project and at the completion of the project, they gathered for the dedication. At the dedication the Hygiene teacher shared Psalm 91 and talked about how God delivers and saves.