This project is a continuation of the efforts Engineers Without Borders – Denmark (EWB-DK) has carried out during several years in the Kenema District, Sierra Leone, to provide rural villages with safe and clean drinking water. EWB-DK works together with Engineers Without Borders – Sierra Leone (EWB-SL) on these water projects.
Following the UN Sustainable Development Goals, access to clean water is a high priority in the world’s focus on a sustainable future and development for all. The latest figures available from WHO, indicate that more than 37% of the population in Sierra Leone do not have access to clean drinking water. The situation is worse in rural areas. The use of unsafe sources of water for consumption provides a serious health risk and puts high pressure on a very fragile and weak health care system.
The project addresses access to clean water as a basic human right and uses it as a strategic tool (service delivery) in order to promote local empowerment and engagement of civil society in a wider development agenda and to institutionalize civil society’s participation in local governance.
The objective of the intervention is improved livelihood in 26 rural communities in the Kenema district of Sierra Leone, based on participatory decision-making and local involvement of civil society at district level in policy-making within the water and sanitation sector. 21 communities are selected based upon previous implemented projects, and 5 additional communities have been selected in cooperation with district authorities, based upon pre-set criteria regarding for instance organization structures and potential for community empowerment. Basic empowerment, building and strengthening autonomy and self-determination, will be the focus in 21 communities, while all 26 communities will be strengthened regarding civil society’s awareness of rights, and form a critical mass for advocacy from a community level towards district level.
The project contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals regarding clean water and sanitation (#6) and partnerships for the goals (#17).