Smiles from Sierra Leone
Although we have yet to hear who his new friend is, we’re happy to see Usifu smiling with new friends.
One interesting aspect of the photograph our development-oriented minds noticed is the individual in the background carrying the bucket. In many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, including Sierra Leone, access to improved water sources is scant. According to estimates by the Sierra Leonean government and the United Nations, less than half of Sierra Leoneans have access to improved water supply, a number that drops to 26% for rural areas.
Consequently, rural Sierra Leoneans often must walk long distances to collect water in buckets like that in the picture from streams or rivers. It is a task that often falls on women and girls, impacting their ability to seek education or engage in other productive endeavors. The untreated water carries with it substantial health risks, too. Diarrhea, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever – all waterborne diseases – pose an enormous health risk throughout the country.
As a part of his trip, Usifu has brought with him water filters which have been shown to reduce the risk of such waterborne diseases in rural areas without access to improved water sources.
Stay tuned for more updates!