Salone News

Sierra Leone: Seven years of EWB projects in Bonthe district

13 February 2020 at 06:34 | 1974 views


The week of January 17 through February 23rd. was scheduled to do a follow-up sustainability inspection tour of the nine-year EWB Project at Centennial School in Mattru Jong, Bonthe District.

The EWB team toured the area to inspect technical challenges. Tom Power and Chiara Dooley also went to Centennial and gave them soccer uniforms. The EWB Mission is to partner with developing communities, implement sustainable engineering solutions to improve Quality of Life, and Promote Globally Aware Engineers and Students.

The EWB Lehigh Valley Professionals’ 5-year Mission at Centennial Secondary School, for sustainable infrastructure for education. The 5-year project was extended to 7 years due to Ebola disruption. Some of the project installations included the following:
Clean Water
Appropriate sanitary facilities
Power for all school needs
Safe building.
January 2010: Assessment Trip
February 2011: Sanitation: Installed Boy’s and Girl’s Urinals
November 2011 Electrical: Installed solar powered lighting in three classrooms
April 2012 – Water: Drilled deep well, Instituted student infrastructure fee
February 2013 – Sanitation: Installed toilets (bucket flush) and rain gutter system for boy’s and girl’s washrooms
April 2013 – Water: Installed solar powered water distribution system throughout campus.
March 2014: New Roof on Chemistry/Physics Building
March 2016: More electrical and education
January 2017: Library electrication.

Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah, EWB Project Lead, Ms. Diana Dunn and Rev. Joseph Abu on one of the project implementation visits at Centennial Secondary School in Mattru Jong.

Engineer Tom Power had done 6 EWB team annual trips over the years mounted the Solar Panels

2008-2009, EWB Project Writer, Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah embarked on Needs Assessment. Upon approval, Rev. Joseph Abu (Joe Abu) and Dr. Sillah volunteered to travel with each group of engineers over the years to serve as local translators of culture, American English and other logistical support systems.

Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah got involved in the Needs Assessment, Implementation and has not gotten involved in the Sustainability by embarking on a Sustainability tour to assess both the positive impact and challenges of all stakeholders including students, teachers, staff and a cross-section of community leaders to record their Feedbacks

Dr. Will welcomes first team of EWB engineers in Mattru in January 2020, with onlooker, Ms. Agnes Wai (seated) representing CeOSA-UK

Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah (left) during Needs Assessment in 2009, recorded pics of palm-thatched urinaries and students bailing water from polluted River Jong for drinking and other uses. (below) Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah tests one of the completed bore-hole solar-powered water system distribution on campus with EWB Chemical Engineer, Joan Schorz giving one of many instructions over the years.

Before and after pictures of the dilapidated pit latrine to six-bucket flush toilets at girls’ bathroom including five stalls of urinaries, six for boys, two for female teachers and two for male teachers’ bathrooms.

Refurbishment of the Biology lab among other buildings including the chapel on campus over the years

The two Principals. Mr. Sulaiman Sengeh of the Senior Secondary School and Mr. Fortune of the Junior Secondary School welcome Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah who comprehensively interviewed all representative stakeholders in the Mattru Jong Community to assess the impact of the 9-year EWB Project which was successfully implemented from 2010 – 2017.

JSS and SSS Students addressed last week on benefits and challenges of the EWB installations

During the Sustainability tour, Jan- Feb, 2020 - Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah addressed over 1,000 students in an overcrowded chapel that was built for 400 students in 1955. A new assembly hall has been proposed to be funded and built by CeOSA_UK branch.

A cross-section of members of the CIIB (Centennial Infrastructure Improvement Board) comprising of Community leaders, Principals, Teachers, Student Leaders and School Board representatives posed for group picture of Dr. Will Sillah, Project Coordinator and Agnes Wai of CeOSA-UK Executive Team.

Dr. Will Sillah met and interviewed and both teachers and students collectively and individually.

Over 35 engineers and other experts including project managers and fundraisers supported the project. One of the funders include the Freetown Rotary Club and the Bo Rotary Club of Sierra Leone. The current project is partially funded by the Bo Rotary Club including purchase of equipment for work at the Mattru Hospital.

EWB engineers included some of the following:
Electrical Engineer
Mechanical Engineer
Civil Engineer
Chemical Engineer
Construction Engineer
Nuclear Engineer
Maintenance Engineer
Chemist, Teacher and Rotary Club President

Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah fully on-hand to assist the engineers and tests every project.

EWB teams usually end up with dinner at the Residence of Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah before flying back

Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah hosted another dinner at her office on Saturday, February 1, 2020, with some invited guests including Mr. Peter Amara from the Board of Director and Ing. Framcos Lahai, Deputy Managing Director of Guma Valley Water Company, Rev. Joseph Abu who traveled with the engineers, Ms. Agnes Wai and Mr. Betty Faley Conteh from CeOSA-UK strong supporters of the school, and Popular Journalist Hosts of popular TV Program “We Yus”, Madam Lucy Ann Ganda, who is also the Director of Administration and Human Resources of Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC). Engineers on this trip include: Tom Power, Sean Dooley, his daughter, Chiara Dooley and Jose Silverio.

Mattru Community Town Chief Madam Tucker decorated EWB Team, and their Chaperons, Rev. Joseph Abu and Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah.

EWB’s positive impact on Centennial Secondary School and Mattru Hospital
Because of the solar light study sessions both Centennial students and other school students have been impacted with a public exam passing rate from 10% to 95%, Reduction of water-borne diseases impacted both students and communities using the treated water system. Mattru hospital and OIC students are also currently benefiting tremendously from the ongoing EWB Projects.

Engineer Diana Dunn and Teacher Laurie Cirrucci instructing students on the pipe water system.

Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah interviewed the School Bus Driver and assigned to Bonthe District and the diverse students riding the bus. Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah ended her tour by interviewing non-EWB-related positive impact on school transportation. She interviewed the government school bus driver at Centennial Secondary School as well as all the diverse students who were enjoying the bus ride from other schools. Everyone was happy except some students from neighboring Luawa who gave Dr. Will Sillah a message to relay to the government that they were very far away in distance from their schools and humbly requested the government to consider their own community to extend the school bus system to their village communities.

(Seated) Ms. Agnes Wai and Mrs. Elizabeth Conteh (Betty Faley) members of CeOSA-UK Executive and (Standing) Rev. Joseph C. Abu (Joe Abu) and Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah former members of CeOSA-North America Executive for over 15 years.

Women empowerment and training programs
In addition to her academic work, school infrastructural development programs, Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah, International Coordinator of WIMI, is also involved in training and empowering women through the WIMI (Women In Ministry International) Sierra Leone program. WIMI was founded by Apostle Kemi Searcy, co-pastor of Fresh Anointed House of Worship in Montgomery, Alabama. Women in Ministry International (WIMI) is a non-profit ministry with the vision of empowering women all over the world by providing support and training for them to reach their God-given destinies

Apostle Kemi Searcy, Founder and President of WIMI (Women In Ministry International)


PROGRESS: SUSTAINABLE WOMEN EMPOWERMENT through Literacy Trainings WIMI (Women In Ministry International) Trainings in Business Entrepreneurship, Money Mgt, Savings, Banking, Business Management Skills done in local Creole by Experts from Banks and other NGOs.

WOMEN EMPOWERMENT TRAINING CENTERSNGO/Gov. Partnership Empowerment Training, Numeracy Literacy, Financial Literacy, Social/Cultural Sensitization, Child/forced marriage Gender-Based Violence

United Nations Advocate on sustainable development goals
Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah is involved in advocating and attempting to implement the first 5 Goals of the UN SDGs. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected, and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve them all by 2030.

Most of her projects in Sierra Leone are related to the addressing of Goals 1 – 5:

GOAL 1 -No Poverty
GOAL 2 -Zero Hunger
GOAL 3 -Good Health and Well-being
GOAL4 -Quality Education and Life-long learning opportunities
GOAL5 -Gender Equality

Dr. Will Sillah has been attending the UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals as well as the UN General Assembly for the past 3 years, 2017, 2018 and 2019.

2017, 2018, 2019 - United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah continues to participate and advocate at the UN on SDG 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

Editor’s Note: Click on the link below to watch an interview with Dr. Lauretta Will Sillah: