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Access to clean and potable drinking water is not only a challenge to the central government, but also a concern by everyone in Sierra Leone, especially those in rural and peri-urban communities.

To address this life-saving need, Heifer Sierra Leone is consciously promoting water facilities to deprived communities. On May 15, 2012, a borehole and a hand pump well recently rehabilitated by Heifer Sierra Leone were handed over to members of stakeholder group "War Widows for Christ" and the entire community of Grafton in the Western Rural district of Sierra Leone.

The ceremony was attended by the village chief, who chaired the event, as well as Heifer Sierra Leone's finance and administration manager and project officer, the contractor, other local authorities, members of the beneficiary group, and community members.

The village chief shared with the group that when Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO) tested the water in the borehole, it was more pure than the spring water processed by a bottling factory in Grafton. The War Widows group chairwoman, Margaret Tucker, expressed her sincere gratitude to Heifer Sierra Leone, its partners, the contractor, and above all, the almighty God for this wonderful gift of water.

Before this time, we used to wash with stream water, which is mixed with salty water from the sea and unhygienic; this was the reason why most adults and children in this community used to have skin rashes. Margaret Tucker, Sierra Leone

We used to buy water for drinking and other domestic chores; therefore, Heifer Sierra Leone's intervention in providing us with safe drinking water is not only timely, but it has saved our lives and income. I believe that the water will never get dry." She highlighted the importance of clean water to life and complimented Heifer staff on their effective monitoring of the project.

On behalf of Heifer Sierra Leone, Mrs. Martha Thorpe, finance and administration manager, cautioned present and future users to handle the water facilities with care, while observing standard sanitary measures.

Over the past three years, Heifer Sierra Leone has implemented a number of water projects in communities within their operational areas in Sierra Leone through funding partnerships with the Westerville Community United Church of Christ in Ohio, USA.

The highlight of the ceremony came when Mrs. Thorpe cut the tape, which was followed by singing and dancing by community members after they joyfully drank water from the newly constructed wells. Their lives are now refreshed and their income well-enhanced.

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