After mudslides and terrible flooding in the western rural areas of Sierra Leone in August 2017, more than 1,000 people lost their lives, and over 10,000 people were displaced. Emergency holding centres are established around Freetown, but there is a pressing need for water and sanitation facilities. The flooding damaged the water-supplying dam in the area, and almost all of the surrounding water points have been contaminated with coli bacteria. To avoid outbreaks of cholera and typhus it is vital and urgent that access to safe and clean water is established, to prevent the disaster from escalating into an epidemic of water borne diseases. At the initial phase of the intervention a needs assessment was conducted on ground, and the scope of the intervention was mapped out in cooperation with partner EWB-SL.
In cooperation with EWB-SL, the project establishes two water points (boreholes with solar energy powered pumps). Additionally, the emergency intervention establishes WASH committees to be responsible for future operation and maintenance of the wells, and provides training and capacity building in basic sanitation and use of latrines.
The project addresses the most urgent needs of 2,500 people in the immediate aftermath of the natural disaster, and simultaneously builds a bridge from disaster relief to community development.
The project contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals regarding clean water and sanitation (#6), affordable and clean energy (#7) and partnerships for the goals (#17).