Water, sanitation, and hygiene. Each is essential to a healthy life, yet in Sierra Leone and Liberia, these things can’t be taken for granted. More than half of people living in rural areas have no access to safe water, and as many as 80 percent have no access to a decent toilet. As a result, thousands of people die each year from water-related illness.

Nazarene churches in these West African countries have decided to do something about the problem. They’re working with communities to create change through WASH projects that combine water, sanitation, and hygiene.

The projects start with wells that provide clean, safe water for entire communities. Each well improves the health of children and families, and easier access to water also improves children’s education by ensuring they can attend school instead of walking for water. Next, the project includes building toilets (pit latrines) as a way to prevent the spread of disease. Children and families also receive hygiene education to learn practices to stay healthy.

The church is beginning with communities that were most affected by Ebola and are still experiencing its devastating aftereffects. The combination of clean water, sanitation, and hygiene could have helped prevent the quick spread of that deadly virus.

WITH YOUR HELP, vital wells can be drilled, latrines can be built, and communities can learn healthy hygiene habits.

WITH YOUR HELP, lives can be saved.

WILL YOU PARTNER with local congregations in Sierra Leone and Liberia to offer a cup of cold water — and more — in Jesus’ name?


The difference that something so simple — access to safe water and sanitation — can make is huge. Safe water changes lives in big ways. These are stories from people in communities where the church is working in Sierra Leone:

Davida is a mother of two boys, ages 4 and 2, from a community called Mon­key Bush, located about 30 kilometers from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. She is soft-spoken and thoughtful. “It’s not easy for me to carry buckets down to the swampy area where the hand-dug well is,” she says. “Sometimes we got sick because of germs. The children got very sick with diarrhea.” In communities without easy access to health care, diarrheal disease kills children — far too many of them. Davida says she walked four to five times a day to gather that dirty water. The walk took about 20 minutes each way, so she spent an average of three hours each day walking to collect water. That changed when the Nazarene church in her community introduced a well that goes deep enough to access safe water. “I feel happy,” Davida says. “We have more water now.”

Theresa lives in Fire Mambo, Sierra Leone, with her 5-year-old daughter. She says that children in the area used to get sick from the water they collected at the stream. “The water was not pure. Children got sick from cholera because people used the stream as a toilet and for laundry,” she says. Now, she is able to get clean, safe water any time she needs it from the well installed by the Nazarene church in her community. “Before, I had to spend the whole day at the stream to do laundry. Now, I can do laundry at home.” With the extra time she has, Theresa is able to earn more income as a petty trader at the market — and interrupt the cycle of poverty.