Brief description of the project
WaterAid is a leading organization in Water Self Supply Initiatives in Sierra Leone. The initiative is about accelerating Households investment in improved water self-supply in Sierra Leone. The Self Supply project of WaterAid which started in 2012 is encouraging a 100% household and community funding for simple affordable low cost water supply systems without subsidy. The idea behind this project is to pilot the self supply project in order to inform a policy development on self supply by the Government of Sierra-Leone.

What problem is the project addressing and what solution does it propose?
The Self Supply Project of WaterAid is focusing on solving the problem of dependency by individuals, households and communities on donor funding for water and sanitation services supply. Project is concerned with studying the overall social, political and economic framework conditions for accelerating self-supply in Sierra Leone.

How was the solution implemented?
The project so far has been piloted in two districts (Kenema and Pujehun) and the overall objective is to inform a policy and strategy on Self-Supply in line with the Rural Water Supply Strategy currently (under preparation). The project was planned to be implemented in 100 communities but this was scaled down to 30 water sources with 10 demonstration site, 5 sites in Pujahun and 5 sites in Kenema. This project targeted people at the grass-root and communities with populations ranging from 400 to 500 since they mostly do not get government attention. A total of 45 artisans (welders, labourers and mechanics) have been trained in the production and installation of Rope Pumps and improving of traditional wells.

Who are the key stakeholders or partners involved in this intervention and what are their roles?
WaterAid is piloting this initiative with the district and community stakeholders with DFID funding. The major stakeholder of the Project is the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Water Resources, Goal, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Unicef and the District Councils of Pujahun and Kenema. At the district level these key stakeholders have technical teams consisting of members from District Councils, Ministry of Health and Sanitation/District Health Management Teams and WHO. These technical teams meet monthly to discuss issues on water quality management, operations and maintenance and sector coordination. Key implementing partners include WASH-Net, Rural Water Supply Network, HELP and MOPADA.

What is innovative and significant about the project?

  • The Self supply initiative promoted demand building, project supply side marketing and financing but care must be taken in order not to allow subsidy to defeat the purpose of self supply;
  • The project is the first pilot initiative in Water Self Supply in Sierra Leone;
  • It is innovative because a lot of awareness have been created generating communities interest in to invest in improving their house hold self supplies;
  • The initiative took a gradual approach of changing the mindset and behaviours of the people given that attitudinal change comes slowly;
  • Unlike other projects, this initiative was guided by the learnings from CLTS that innovative ideas starts with the people themselves and that there is the need to build on the know-how of the people.

What learning materials or products have been produced?
Fact sheets are yet to be developed but there have been radio discussions and learning and sharing at WASH Sector conferences and meetings.

Is there any further work necessary to solve the problem? What are the remaining gaps?

  • A study on self supply financing mechanisms needs to be conducted;
  • The Self Supply Strategy need to be developed and shared with Government of Sierra Leone and sector stakeholders;
  • There is a huge potential for self supply in Sierra Leone especially in Bo, Kenema and Pujahun and this need to be harnessed and the communities supported.

 

Project Contact
Name:   Christian Kekurah
Email:  ChristianKekurah@WaterAid.org
Phone:  +232 78 149 131