Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 301 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/25/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

It takes 25 minutes on motorbike to get to Sanya Community, and the road is rough at times:

Sanya is a rural community in a lush, green swampland. The buildings are made of mud and cement blocks, arranged in a straight line. There's a field in the center where both young and old people gather to play games. The swamps allow for fertile, beautiful gardens and the households are blessed with fruit trees.

Produce sales sustain most of the 42 families living here, while others raise cattle, make furniture, or trade wares. In fact, there's a man here that makes such beautiful furniture that we bought some for our office!

Since this village is predominantly Muslim, most people up extremely early to be at the mosque by 5:30am. The rest of the day is spent farming, doing chores, and socializing. This is an especially unified community. During this particular visit, tons of people were gathered at the furniture maker's shop chatting together.


Sanya Community members rely on water from the swamps. They've cleared a path to the nearest swamp and cut down brush around the water. During the dry season, the water levels go down to the point that people have to dig for water. Soniya Kargbo told us that it gets so bad that nobody's interested in water quality.

"All you want is water and nothing else. We walk in the same water we drink," she admitted.

Animals are free to come and go as they please, too.

A nurse from a nearby health clinic said that waterborne disease is the biggest culprit of premature death in Sanya - diarrhea, cholera, and so on.

"I experience frequent diarrhea, but I have no choice but to resort to this, particularly during the dry season. I will send my kids to the other village for water when ours is hard to get," Mr. Adikalie Conteh said.

"This brings a lot of torment to my life."


The few latrines in this village are not in good condition. Latrine cleanliness is neglected; people dig a hole in the ground, cross two sticks over the pit and fill the gaps in the wall with mud. There are no roofs.

There are so few latrines and conditions of the existing ones are so bad that open defecation is a huge problem - people are just going outside.

There are no containers set aside for hand-washing. When asked about it, people often point to the bucket that they take to bathe.

"We were born in this condition and we have no control over it. We never even knew that sleeping with our animals in the same house is not good," Mrs. Ya Kadia Kargbo.

Here's what we plan to do about it:


There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for three days in a row.

The hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach community members the importance of building a latrine, how to build a hand-washing station, and more. They will also teach about other tools like dish racks and the importance of properly penning in animals. Pictures will be used to teach the community how to discern between healthy and unhealthy hygiene and sanitation practices.

These trainings will also result in a water user committee that manages and maintains the new well. They will enforce proper behavior and report to us whenever they need our help solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.


The community will be meeting together to determine the best location for their new well, and then we'll confirm the viability of their choice.

Our team will drive over the LS200 mud rotary drill rig and set up camp for a couple of nights. Once the well is drilled to a sufficient water column, it will be cased, developed, and then tested. If these tests are positive, our mechanics will install a new India Mark II pump.

This community has been drinking dirty swamp water and suffering the consequences. By drilling this borehole, Sanya Community will be provided with plenty of safe, clean drinking water.

This project is a part of our shared program with Mariatu's Hope. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Sierra Leone.

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Sanya Community

A year ago, your generous donation helped Sanya Community in Sierra Leone access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Sanya Community. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

May, 2018: Clean Water in Sanya Community

We are excited to share that there is a new borehole in Sanya Community, which is already providing clean water to hundreds! People here no longer have to rely on dirty water from the swamp. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines.

New Knowledge

We were greeted by a multitude of people. This is because the community was informed about hygiene and sanitation training well in advance, and frequent follow-ups were made to remind them. Secondly, it helped that drilling had already begun, which was attracting a ton of attention from the community. We met together at Pa Ali Conteh's household compound, which is right in the center of the village near where drilling was taking place.

The first day was primarily about handwashing. We used empty jerrycans, string, and other materials to build these, and encouraged participants to return home and build another. Once we finished, we set up one of the handwashing stations to demonstrate how to properly wash your hands. Proper handwashing at all the proper times is the easiest way to prevent sickness.

A woman using one of the new handwashing stations we constructed together.

The second day we discussed daily habits and how they affect health in ways the community never imagined.

It’s important to always use a latrine, pen in animals to keep them out of the kitchen, always cover food and so many other things. The trainer showed how if you don’t go about your daily business the right way, there can be deadly consequences. We also trained on oral rehydration solution (ORS) because we know that even with the greatest effort to prevent diarrhea, it will still be an occasional issue. This ORS will help keep community members, especially children, healthy as they recover from diarrhea.

The final day was all about caring for the water point so that it serves generations to come. After, we took time to review the important takeaways from the three days of training. Farmer Momah Kamara is one of the many who sacrificed time to attend training, anticipating the longterm benefits this new knowledge will provide for his family and the greater community.

"This training will enable us to be mindful of hygiene, especially the kids during the mango season," he said. "That is when we use our unwashed hands to eat most of the time. And I have observed that that is the time we contract diarrhea and cholera often. So this type of education is actually helpful to people like us!"

New Well

We worked with the community to select a spot central to everyone. Two pits were dug next to the drill rig, one for the drill's water supply and another for what was pulled back up out of the borehole. Community members helped the drill team by ensuring there was always water in supply.

During drilling, the team brought up ground samples after every five feet. These are always reviewed to determine the best screen locations.

The team had a very frustrating first day in Sanya. The drilling started smoothly until 35 feet when they hit a rock. As usual, they tried to drill through it, using different bits to see if they could negotiate. This went on for about an hour and a half without success. After conferring, the team packed up the equipment and moved to another sport nearby.

The drilling started at the new site, again very smoothly, and this time all went according to plan. Casing pipes were laid out and screens were positioned properly. The 8" reamer bit was connected and the drilling commenced once again. When everything is going well, all the team needs to do is add bentonite and know when to swap out the bits.

The casing pipes were installed with great care to ensure that the glued connections were tight so that a connection doesn't fall down the hole on its own. Filter pack was added to cover the screen area. We determined the water quantity by lowering an electric submersible pump to a target depth. The yield here is about 37 liters per minute.

With these good results, the artisans could come install the well pad. Once the cement dried, the mechanics could bolt down the new India MkII stainless steel pump. The yield test and level measurements informed the mechanics of where they should place the pump cylinder.

We called the community to the well to celebrate the first pumps of clean water. Getting people to gather is always simple, for people are excited to sing and dance together. We let some children onto the well pad to play with the water coming from the pump, while others wanted to try their first sips.

"This well is good for this community for several reasons," Mr. Amara Kamara said.

"Our children are saved from the trouble of going to the swamp to fetch water, especially the young girls because that is where the bad boys interfere. But the most important thing about this well is that it will help drive out some common sicknesses!"

March, 2018: Sanya Community Project Underway

Dirty swamp water is making people in Sanya Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your community through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

Project Videos

Project Photos

Project Type

Abundant water is often right under our feet! Beneath the Earth’s surface, rivers called aquifers flow through layers of sediment and rock, providing a constant supply of safe water. For borehole wells, we drill deep into the earth, allowing us to access this water which is naturally filtered and protected from sources of contamination at the surface level. First, we decide where to drill by surveying the area and determining where aquifers are likely to sit. To reach the underground water, our drill rigs plunge through meters (sometimes even hundreds of meters!) of soil, silt, rock, and more. Once the drill finds water, we build a well platform and attach a hand pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around five gallons of water per minute!

Giving Update: Sanya Community

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Sanya Community in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for N’mah Conteh. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Sanya Community.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Sanya Community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

The lives of the people living in Sanya Community have been improved as compared to previous years. There were so many people who had been infected with dysentery and cholera which they got from drinking swamp water. This came to an end after the drilling of a borehole because people are now drinking safe, clean and pure water.

"We are not suffering anymore for safe drinking water," said 14-year-old N’mah Conteh.

"The well is located right at the center of the town so we will be able to even fetch water at night. My life has changed for the better because of the safe drinking water."

Adikalie Kamara, the caretaker of the well, echoed N'mah's sentiments. The community is doing much better thanks to the fact that water is easily accessible from the well and it is centrally located.

"When the well was not constructed our children used to go to school late due to the distance from the village to the stream where they would fetch water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and laundry," said Mr. Kamara.

Our teams observed general improvement in hygiene and sanitation - evidence that people are still applying the lessons they learned at the training that accompanied the completion of the project.

Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Sanya Community maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Sanya Community – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise.


Project Sponsor - The Sunbridge Foundation
Leavittsburg Church of God
9 individual donor(s)