My first week as an intern in Sierra Leone

My name is Peter Kasozi and I’m the new intern in IUG.

I have a bachelor in structural engineering from Aalborg University Esbjerg, January 2016. After my bachelor, I got job at Ingeniørgruppen Varde a consulting firm, which has offices in both Varde and Vejen. I was part of their team and worked until February 2017, where I got to work on many different projects with focus on structural analysis of concrete, steel, timber and geotechnical structures.

I have always been interested in voluntary work, more precisely in what it does for the beneficiaries. The timing for the internship at IUG couldn’t be better. I am at a point of my life, where I have time and set to take on new challenges.

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The project

IUG has given me the opportunity to help in solving water and sanitation obstacles in communities around Kenema district in the Eastern part of Sierra Leone. My role is to assist the EWB-SL team in administrating and implementing ongoing projects in Kenema district.

The most important project I will be working on is our pilot project in a holistic design of a water supply system. The system includes a submersible water pump, solar panels, a water tank, water pipes and stand posts.

Roles of the different components of the system.

  • The submersible pump pumps water from the drilled well to the water tank.
  • Solar panels supply power (electricity) to the submersible pump.
  • The water tank is used to store water.
  • Water pipes transport water from the water tank to the stand posts.
  • Stand posts are equipped with water taps, where people fetch water.

The project is under the starting faze, and I have visited the two communities, which were contending for the pilot project. Through the sat up parameters, most importantly the need for clean water, the community in which the pilot project is to be implemented has been chosen, and the choice fell on Gandorhun Naiwa Chiefdom. The photograph below shows the village.

Gandorhun Niawa Chiefdom 

The table below shows the population of the village according to the latest population census and the main occupation of the inhabitants

Gandorhun Niawa Chiefdom
Population 2080
Main occupation Farming

Designing the system is the next point on the schedule, and at the moment we gathering design data from the community such as the location of the water tank and the stand posts, as it is vital for the entire project. In the photograph below, you can see the location of the components the village.

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Location of the water tank and the stand posts

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My first visit at the community, where I was introduced to the town chief beside me on the right, by our mobilizer Helen Furthest on the left.

This is the community’s main source of water during the dry season

At the water source, they wash clothes, bathe and even drink water from it. This is not proper hygiene! Which is why, it is very important for the community to get access to clean water.

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The only functioning hand well in the community is only in use during the wet season, when the water level rises in the well.

The next picture shows one of the many unprotected wells in Kenema district, where people fetch water and in the video you can see how water is drawn from the wells.

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One of the unprotected wells in Kenema

Watch the video of the well here

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