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Case study: Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone: Providing sustainable Health, Water and Sanitation projects in the Pujehun District

Christian Aid is implementing a three year project to improve quality of life for the poor and marginalised rural communities through sustainable improvements in water, sanitation and health in the Pujehun District in the south of Sierrra Leone.  The project will focus on actions which are community led and which promote gender equality.

The Problem:

Seven years after emerging from a decade of civil war, Sierra Leone is still struggling to recover.  It is the third poorest country in the world , and almost one in three children do not reach the age of five. 

  • Sierra Leone also has a very high prevalence of waterborne diseases; 20,000 children under the age of five dying every year from dirty water and hygiene-related illness. Less than half of the rural population have access to safe drinking water. 

  • In the southern district of Pujehun where this project is based, less than half the population have any toilet facilities.  People have to rely on using rivers for all their water and sanitation needs.  The same water sources are used for toileting, washing, cooking and drinking.  Using these unsafe sources of water causes health problems such as diarrhoea, worms and scabies.

  • Women and girls have to walk long distances to rivers and swamps to fetch water and face the risk of sexual assault whilst walking alone in the bush.

  • Literacy rates remain low and despite primary education being compulsory, less than half of children go to school

How Christian Aid is helping

This project aims to reduce the mortality rate by 20% from illnesses related to water and sanitation and HIV for 26,826 people. 60% of households will have increased access to clean, safe water supplies and 4500 households will have household latrines:

  • Providing safe, clean water supplies for communities without access to wells or pumps by installing rainwater facilities in 1727 households
  • Ensure that communities have the right materials and training to repair existing wells and pumps
  • Providing Education in hygiene and health
  • Training Village Development committees in project planning and management
  • Improving hygiene through development of natural wastewater treatment systems. 


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