Celebrating One Year of Clean Water in Sierra Leone

06/05/14

It was the dry season in Sierra Leone, which meant that everything involving water— bathing, washing clothes, cooking, and even drinking—was difficult for Mamie. 

 
As a young woman, it was Mamie's responsibility to find water for the family. Every morning she would trek down to the almost-dry swamp and dig into the earth to reach more water. The water was brown and full of parasites, but it was the only water around. "When I used it, it would make my skin itch and give me diarrhea," Mamie says.
 
Mamie used to collect her water at this dirty stream every day
                                        Mamie used to collect her water at this dirty stream every day.
 
The Children of the Nations (COTN) clinic had a steady stream of children like Mamie. "We saw children with diarrhea, typhoid, and vomiting all the time," says Agnes Jombla (or Mommy Jombla as she is affectionately known), the head nurse at COTN's clinic. 
 
Mamie spent a lot of her time walking to the stream to collect water
As the oldest girl in her family, Mamie spent a lot of her time walking to the stream to collect water and then carrying it back to her home. 
 
But it was during that difficult dry season last year that everything changed for Mamie. People like you helped fund a well in Ngolala Junction—the community that sprang up right by COTN's school and ministry center and has grown exponentially in the last few years. The well sits right inside COTN's gate, and just a few steps from most of the homes in Ngolala Junction. 
 
The morning is still misty when Mamie brings her buckets to COTN's well. Mommy Jombla opens the well at six o'clock, and everyone comes with a bucket to hold their place in line. While they wait for water, Mommy Jombla lectures them on the importance of well maintenance, and gives them a bit of a hard time for not cleaning the area in a while. 
 
A small argument breaks out over whether they should clean the well on Saturday or Sunday, but as soon as voices are raised, Mommy Jombla reminds everyone of the rules of the well—if there is any fighting, she will close it. Everyone quiets down, and goes back to pumping their water.
 
Now Mamie pumps clean water just outside her home in Ngolala Junction
                                   Now Mamie pumps clean water just outside her home in Ngolala Junction. 
 
"In the last year, diarrhea, vomiting, and typhoid have greatly reduced," Mommy Jombla reports, "thank God and COTN." Mamie is also appreciative—not only because she can drink clean water, but because the well is much closer than the stream, and makes it much easier to get water. "I appreciate the provision of the well at Ngolala Junction," she says.
 
Mamie says that one day she would like to teach her people about how to stay healthy. "I want to become a nurse because I want to help my people," she says. The new well is helping Mamie stay healthy and in school so that she can achieve this goal. 
 
Clean water at the Ngolala Junction well
 
You can help children like Mamie reach their potential. Sponsor a child today!