The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of National Security in Sierra Leone constructed new water purification facilities to support those without access to clean water during the pandemic. The facilities were installed in five communities, including a resettlement area called Mile Six on the outskirts of the capital, Freetown.
The solar-powered water plants utilize the Japanese purification system called Poly Glu. The Poly Glu powder works as a coagulant which removes any dirt from the water by pulling the debris to the bottom of a container. Clean, purified water remains at the top. More than 1,000 residents at Mile Six now have access to the system for drinking as well as hygiene and hand washing, according to IOM.
Sierra Leone has confirmed 1,572 cases of Covid-19 and an estimated 2.9 million people live without clean water.
Jeneba Kargbo, the chair of displaced families in Mile Six, highlighted the need for the new taps. “We will continue our usual hygiene practices and encourage people to follow the Covid-19 preventative measures,” she said in a IOM press release. “Especially to practice proper hand washing.”