The Mokaifema Community live in Moyamba,
Sierra Leone. Their current water source is a
swamp, over a mile from the community. The
animals are taken to the same watering hole and,
while there, leave feces behind in the water.
Women wash their clothes there as well, and
collect water to take it home for daily needs.
Poisonous snakes are very common around this
water point, and snake bites are also common. If
treated immediately, people can survive the bites,
but at an expensive financial cost.
The water also contains parasites, typhoid, cholera,
and other waterborne illnesses that people die from,
especially children under five years old. Diarrhea is a
daily problem, as well as kidney infections and dehydration.
People cannot bring home enough water to meet their daily
needs. Children have a difficult time focusing at school,
due to illnesses and dehydration.
Living Water International’s (LWI) program implementation through WASH Program Areas is unique in that it aims to bring lasting
physical and spiritual development in communities through a multi-year program focused on specific regions, thoughtfully integrating and contextualizing principles of water access, sanitation, hygiene, church mobilization, gospel proclamation, and sustainability. This project is within our WPA of Moyamba.
LWI will provide training and backstopping support during the first six years, until the local water committees and community have gathered enough fees to build a reserve for funding future maintenance. Water users will pay small monthly water user fees by household and these funds will be collected and managed by the water user committee, for future repairs and maintenance of the system. The well caregiver will be equipped to do the ongoing general care.
Safe clean water near people’s homes will allow community members to be healthy and to grow small gardens. They will have time to have micro businesses, once they have time back from collecting water from the swamp. Families will have more money to spend on their own families vs on medications from snake bites, parasites, and waterborne illnesses. The community will stop seeing as many children with “runny tummy.” Children will be more successful in school, having the ability to focus on their schoolwork. Time poverty will stop. There will be a feeling of pride in the community, as they learn how to stop the spread of diseases, build their own latrines, and have safe water.
Without a safe water source, the Mokeaifema community was in a state of crisis. The 327 residents resorted to getting water from a local swamp. The women and children made the journey to the swamp to get water for their families at least once a day. It was a time-consuming and dangerous chore. Venomous snakes inhabited the swamp, and the residents worried about being bitten while collecting the water they needed for drinking, cooking, hygiene, and chores.
The water was visibly contaminated by animals, dirt, and feces. There were also unseen threats: harmful bacteria and contagions in the water made it unsafe for drinking. But the residents had no other options, so they drank the water and suffered the consequences. Diarrhea and dysentery were common. The residents couldn’t work or care for their families when they were sick with waterborne diseases.
Moisiah Morovia is a 56-year-old farmer who lives in Mokeaifema. He and other community members knew the swamp water was making them sick, but they had no alternatives. They were caught in a vicious cycle of scarcity, need, and ill health that they couldn’t escape on their own.
We drank from the community swamp that’s open to wild animals.” He added that the threat of snakebite was something else the residents feared. He told the story of a woman who was bitten: “A woman was bitten by a
venomous snake. She nearly died, but through the support of the community health personnel, she survived. But plenty of money was spent to get her back on her feet.”
|Project Type:||new simple well project|
|Depth of Well:||32 m|
|Previous Water Source:||swamp|
|Main Water Collectors:||women and children|
When leaders in the community heard about Living Water International’s work in the area, they knew they had found the answer to their water crisis. Living Water Sierra Leone responded to the community’s need by coming to drill a new well in Mokeaifema! They used a drill rig to drill until reaching a safe water aquifer 32 meters underground. Then, they cased the borehole with PVC piping and tested the water to ensure it was safe to drink. Mokeaifema no longer had to drink swamp water!
The Living Water staff also helped the Mokeaifema community establish sustainability practices to help ensure a future of safe water access, and guided them in the selection of a well caretaker who will oversee the care and maintenance of the well. Living Water will stay in contact with the caretaker to support sustainability efforts and monitor the well’s functionality.
During their time with the Mokeaifema community, the Living Water staff facilitated a sanitation and hygiene promotion activity. The residents learned how to use their safe water to improve their overall health through a series of interactive lessons. These lessons included proper handwashing technique, how to maintain good oral hygiene, and how to safely transport and store water from the well.
In addition to providing safe water for this community, your gift facilitated an
outpouring of God’s living water. To this end, the Living Water staff shared the gospel with the community through a screening of the JESUS film, which depicts the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Two hundred and thirteen people attended the screening, and 121 pieces of gospel literature were distributed for residents to keep as gifts.
Safe water has changed everything for the Mokeaifema community. Moisah
explained that with safe water access, residents no longer have to “drink from
the community swamp,” risking their health. He knows that safe water means better health, restoring hope and life in the Mokeaifema community.
Thank you for giving water, for life, in Jesus’ name!
All projects are made possible by World Changers.