ENACTUS: Sierra Leone Project
The action of flushing the loo is easy, and one that in our day to day lives goes unnoticed. But have you ever thought about what happens to that water? 10% of the world’s waste water is treated; the rest is pumped into rivers, lakes and the ocean.
Enactus, a volunteering group here at Kent University, has decided to help the city of Freetown, the capital and largest city of Sierra Leone. This is a place over 1.2 million call home of which only 13% have access to sanitation.
Faecal waste lies stagnant in pits that, over time, flows back into Freetown’s drinking water causing widespread disease like malaria, hepatitis A and typhoid fever. Those working for the sanitation companies suffer terrible conditions as It is not uncommon for workers to be up to their necks in waste. This means they are highly susceptible to disease and are made outcasts in their city.
Enactus is currently working with a variety of organisations to help try and stem the problem. The team has researched new technologies that eliminate the need to be inside the faecal pits and have also looked into protective clothing that cover the worker’s entire body. Once implemented, these strategies will control the spread of infectious disease and also help lessen the degrading stigma attached to working with sewage. The pump used to do this will cost £1000 and the protective gear will cost a further £1000.
We hope that once we have completed this project we can look to provide more permanent solutions, such as recycling waste into bio-gas or fertiliser through innovative technology.
Enactus would love as many people at the university to support us; whether it’s handing over some spare change to our fundraisers around campus, or even joining our team and really getting involved in finding long term solutions that will change people’s lives over in Freetown.
Look out for Enactus and join here: