One Billion Thirsty

Waterloo, Kissi Town Refugee Camp Section A, Sierra Leone

Project Location

Waterloo, Kissi Town Refugee Camp Section A, Sierra Leone

GPS Coordinates

Latitude 08 20.229 N & Longitude 013 02.592 W

People Served

700

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, “This is a refugee camp for both Liberian and Sierra Leoneans.”

“We have done a lot of work in this camp, and some other people have run water from a dam, but it still is not enough water for this community. Every family is allowed only two rubbers of water from the water from the dam. After that they go to the swamp. Seeing the joy on the faces of the people of this section was just something you don’t forget too quickly. The other big problem here is sanitation. Most people do not have sanitation because the houses are so close together so they use small black plastic bags to defecate in. The hygiene team talked at great length about the need for sanitation to members of this community.” During the team’s stay, community members assembled a water committee consisting of three men and four women who assisted the team with the water project whenever possible, provided any materials they had available and provided security over the water project during the night. Most community members earn a living by petty trading, teaching, working odd labor jobs for daily wages, practicing skilled trades and by working at the nearby hospital. The community’s practice of open defecation combined with having no access to a clean water source greatly contributed to the spread of disease in the area. It is hoped that after the well rehabilitation and hygiene education the majority of these preventable water related illnesses will be eradicated. Before leaving the community, the team provided community member, Foday Kamara, with a LWI Sierra Leone contact number in case their well were to fall into disrepair, become subject to vandalism or theft.

Testimony

The LWI Sierra Leone team had an opportunity to meet with forty-nine year old community member and trader, Aminata Bangura, who stated, “I am so thankful for this new hand pump. We have only been allowed two rubbers of water and that’s just not enough so we are forced to get water from the swamp. I’m excited that we will have clean, pure water for our part of this community again with no limits. Thank you!”

Well Characteristics

Location Name

Waterloo, Kissi Town Refugee Camp Section A, Sierra Leone

Location Type

Village

Region/Provice/District

Western Area Rural

GPS Coordinates

Latitude 08 20.229 N & Longitude 013 02.592 W

Altitude

52.1 m

Total Depth

33.2 m

Static Level

12.1 m

Casing Material

PVC

Pump Type

Afridev

Depth Of Cylinder

22.0 m

Well Yield

18.9 liters per minute

Gravel Pack

Yes

# Of People Served

700

The Project

Test Results Are From: LWI Test Kit

Total Dissolved Solids (as per TDS meter)

044

Chlorination

Yes

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 help keep livestock and wild animals away from their clean water source.

Evangelism

The community had actually been praying for relief from their suffering with regards to their water situation. They were so thankful when the team arrived at their well. They gathered with the team around the well to pray before beginning the project. During the hygiene training, the Gospel was integrated into the lessons. At the dedication, the Gospel was presented and the well was prayed over. The people were running to the well from the other sides and singing and dancing and celebrating the clean water. Before leaving the community, the team had an opportunity to establish a partnership with Hope Presbyterian Church who will continue to cultivate community members after the team leaves the area.

Waterloo, Kissi Town Refugee Camp Section A, Sierra Leone

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