The Water Crisis
Water is a fundamental human need, but millions of people throughout the world do not have access to safe clean drinking water. The problem is more pronounced in less-developed regions of the world, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Sierra Leone, only about 2% of the country’s population has access to safe clean drinking water according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The lack of safe clean drinking water in rural communities of Sierra Leone is a direct link to the prevalence of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) like cholera, dysentery, typhoid fever and schistosomiasis. These diseases are contracted by drinking contaminated water or, as in the case of schistosomiasis, being in contact with contaminated water.
In rural Sierra Leone, women and children, especially girls, are exposed to the NTDs associated with unsafe drinking water as it is their responsibility to obtain water for their families. According to the United States International Development Aid (USAID) about 5.7 million people living in Sierra Leone are infected with one or more NTDs which is 70% of the population. There are no adequate healthcare facilities to treat individuals who contract NTDs, and current initiatives are focused on diagnosis and treatment, but not prevention.
ACEBE collaborated Owasso High School AP Environmental Science class, to construct solar powered borehole wells to provide safe clean drinking water for the people of rural Yonibana, Northern Sierra Leone hence the title of the project: Water for Sierra Leone.