One Billion Thirsty

Port Loko District Koya Rural, Songo Loko, Sierra Leone

Project Location

Port Loko District Koya Rural, Songo Loko, Sierra Leone

GPS Coordinates

Latitude 08 20.092 N & Longitude 012 56.175 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 commented, “Seeing the community get right into action getting the trench cleaned out was pretty impressive.

When I walked to the swamp with Fatmata, I was also impressed at her knowledge about the bacteria in the water causing sores on their bodies. The fresh mangos were amazing.” When the team arrived, community members were utilizing a contaminate water source unable to meet all of their water needs. Because of this, families were suffering from cholera, dysentery, typhoid, malaria and respiratory illnesses. The LWI Sierra Leone team was pleased to learn of the community’s use of a VIP latrine as this will help prevent further spread of disease in the area. 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 any materials they had available and made lunch and dinner for the LWI Sierra Leone team. Most community members sustain their families by farming, working as petty traders, teaching and trading and making palm oil. The nearest school is located .01 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 and councilor Sillah, with a LWI Sierra Leon contact number in case their well were to fall into disrepair, becomes subject to vandalism or theft.


The LWI Sierra Leone team had an opportunity to meet with fourteen year old community member and student, Fatmata Kamara, who stated, “Drinking water from the swamp makes us have dysentery. We do not feel fine. It makes us sick. Drinking water from the well makes me feel lively. We do not use the water from the swamp to bathe or wash clothes because there are bacteria in the water. It gives us sores on our skin. We use the well water for everything.”

Well Characteristics

Location Name

Songo Loko next to Chief’s House

Location Type



Port Loko District Koya Rural, Songo Loko, Sierra Leone

GPS Coordinates

Latitude 08 20.092 N & Longitude 012 56.175 W


17.4 m

Total Depth

12.8 m

Static Level

12.3 m

Casing Material


Pump Type


Depth Of Cylinder

12.6 m

Well Yield

18.9 liters per minute

Gravel Pack


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. After the hygiene education, the community constructed a fence around the well site to prevent livestock and wild animals from contaminating the area.


The community prayed with the team prior to beginning the work. A LWI Sierra Leone team member stated, “When we came upon an obstacle during the pump installation, we all stopped and prayed.” During the hygiene education, the team shared oral Bible stories with community families and distributed 100 Bibles. Considering 80% of developing countries are oral preference learners, oral disciple making methods are Living Water International’s core component of sharing the Gospel in areas of work. Living Water International provides pastoral care and discipleship of field staff, so pastors and LWI staff are better able to share the Gospel with spiritually thirsty communities. To make disciples of oral learners, LWI Sierra Leone uses stories, proverbs, drama, songs, chants, and poetry to better engage communities. LWI Sierra Leone tells Bible stories to community families and asks questions to help guide community members to interpret scripture into their own context.

Port Loko District Koya Rural, Songo Loko, Sierra Leone

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