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The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Mbalu Turay And Mohamed Kamara
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Mohamed Kamara
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Field Officer With Mbalu Turay And Mohamed Kamara
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Well Dedication
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Excited About Clean Water
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Thank You
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Painting The New Well
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Bricking The Well
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Constructing The Well
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Ground Breaking
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Hands On Training
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Hygiene Training Facilitator
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Training Demonstration
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Rice Mill
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Community
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Community
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Community
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Community
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Community
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Community
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Community
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Household
The Water Project: Kigbal Community -  Iron Bridge To Village

Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 95 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/21/2022

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

It was a sunny day as our team first took our motorbikes to Kigbal Village. It’s good going until you hit what’s called an “Indian bridge,” which is an old iron bridge that badly needs repair. We pushed the motorbikes carefully across the bridge only to discover even worse roads cut with huge ruts and areas washed out by the rain.

The houses in the village circle the mosque, and there’s always a lot of activity; adults are out on their farms by the swamp, while children are playing around the village. The number of houses belies the population of the village. Many generations and families live under one roof.

Traders set out early each morning to walk for miles to the nearest markets to sell the rice, cassava, palm oil, and various vegetables grown in the community.

It’s a rural area with no electricity or other similar comforts. People are hardworking. There is no nearby school, so if a child wishes to attend, they will need to walk a great distance.

Water Situation

Though there aren’t any official records kept for Kigbal, community members say that the most common reason for death is waterborne disease. They have fresh food to eat, but no clean water to drink.

People walk to a stream that is a considerable distance away. Kigbal isn’t the only village that relies on this stream either; they share it with neighboring Kipolo Village. The area around the stream is bushy and is home to snakes. In fact, the entire road to the stream is overgrown and busy, posing considerable risk to young children who must help their parents fetch water.

Sanitation Situation

Alimamany Sesay lives in Kigbal and supports his family by riding a motorbike taxi.

“We are presently at risk. Every day, we are attacked by malaria and diarrhea because there is no proper hygiene and sanitation in our community,” he said.

“We lack any idea on how to take good care of our environment so as to prevent these sicknesses.”

No more than 60% of his neighbors have a pit latrine, even the most traditional type made out of mud bricks, sticks, and cloth. Those who don’t have their own pit latrine often seek the privacy of bushes to relieve themselves.

There is no water set apart for washing up. The village chief said that whenever he wants to wash his hands, he walks over to the kitchen and uses water from the kettle.

While most people have clotheslines, only a quarter of households have a dish rack to keep their utensils off the ground, and the same low number keep their animals penned. The majority of animals in Kigbal are free to roam.

Here’s what we plan to do about it:

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

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

No hand-washing stations were observed here. After our visit, the hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach community members how to build a tippy tap (a hand-washing station built with a jerrycan, string, and sticks). They will use these tippy taps for hand-washing demonstrations, and will also teach about other tools like dish racks and the importance of properly penning in animals.

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

New Well

As of right now, a drill location has not been decided upon. As we get closer to the start date, we will hold several meetings with the community so that they can point out locations where they’d like the well. We will discuss this with them and find the best and most suitable place with equal access to the entire community making sure that everyone is in agreement.

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 not only had to stomach a long dangerous walk to the stream, but its dirty water too. By drilling this borehole, Kigbal Community will be provided with plenty of safe drinking water.

Project Updates

05/28/2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Kigbal Community

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Kigbal, Sierra Leone

We trained people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19.

With distancing and/or small groups: Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

We began training communities before the first reported case of COVID-19 in the country and before the government enacted public health guidance related to it. We worked with trusted community leaders and Water User Committees to gather community members for the training. Although community members did not observe social distancing during the training, we sensitized them on its importance and effectiveness in combating the spread of the virus.

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

- Proper handwashing technique

- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

- What social distancing is and how to practice it

- How to cough into an elbow

- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

- How to make and properly wear a facemask.

During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point.

Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.

The Water Project : covid19-sierraleone18252-reading-materials-about-covid

09/20/2019: Giving Update: Kigbal Village

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kigbal Village in Sierra Leone access clean water.

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

The Water Project : sierraleone18252-mohamed-kamara

06/26/2019: Giving Update: Kigbal Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to drill a well for Kigbal Community in Sierra Leone. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more…

The Water Project : sierraleone18252-mohamed-kamara

05/29/2018: Kigbal Village New Well Complete

We are excited to share that there is a new borehole in Kigbal Community, which is already providing clean water to families! 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

The weather is always bright and sunny in the dry season in this part of Africa. And the weather can be harshly bright but not for vegetated villages like this. The headman selected a very shady area behind his house. This was a very conducive environment for learning as everyone was comfortable. People bring benches from their homes to sit on.

In rural settings like this, whenever they are better informed about any activity, especially one that concerns their wellbeing, they will surely cooperate. A good number of people in this village had their one-gallon containers ready for the training. Some said they have to pay their friends to buy it for them in the faraway one-day markets. We were very pleased with that information because it shows how passionate they were about the exercise.

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.

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

There are some topics best presented using pictures. The team holds up different scenes that participants would see on a daily basis. The people were especially interested in this particular topic for one reason: for each scene displayed, there was at least one household guilty of the hygiene mistake portrayed. You could see participants glancing over at the leaders of guilty households. This ended up being quite funny in the end, because everyone was guilty of doing at least something wrong.

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 ORS (oral rehydration solution) 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.

“Let me be very honest with you, I use to eat without washing my hands. I can drink any kind of water without even minding the source. But this training has delivered me from such ignorance and I think it will be very good for my life. I will now do what I have learned from this training to better my life for the future,” Mrs. Hawa Kamara said to 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.

Day one drilling started with filling the two pits with water mixed with bentonite. A 4" carbide tipped drag bit was fixed to the five-foot-long drill stem. The mud pump was started to supply water to the drill rig and the drilling starts. During drilling, the team, after every five-foot length of drill stem put into the hole, would take material samples. The bags were labeled, 1, 2, 3 etc, and these are to be reviewed later to determine the aquifer locations.

On day two, analysis of the material samples was done to determine the appropriate location of the aquifers. Casing pipes were laid out and screens were also positioned properly.

After inspecting, the 8" reamer bit was connected and the drilling commenced once again. Everything was going well, all the team needed to do is add bentonite to the water and swap out different drill bits. This would happen almost spontaneously upon the driller’s request.

You could see the organization of the team. Every member of the team knew what to do and at what time. Even the bystanders were in thorough admiration and would ask any questions that came to their mind out of curiosity.

But unfortunately, the team, when fully focused on the drilling and wanting to hit their time target, would spare no time for responses to their questions. After the drilling, they would communicate with the bystanders what happened. Before the drilling, the process was explained, but as the process goes along people have questions too.


Dedication is simply commissioning the well to the community people. For this ceremony in Kigbal, we left the office at exactly 10:05am and arrived in the village at exactly 11:15am. We had a very smooth ride at least for the first fifteen minutes of the journey because the road is tarred up to Gbaneh where we had to make a bend to begin the long, dusty and rugged road to Kigbal village. The village is far in the bush. These are people who have gone generations without access to safe drinking water, so there is great anticipation that this is going to be an exciting day.

When we first arrived in the village there were few adults around. So we had to send the kids to get their parents for the exercise. In the next ten minutes, the community people were all over the place and in all smiles. Some started singing their traditional songs even before the exercise started. People shared testimonies of how already their lives had been changed. They offered thanks to the team and the donors for remembering this very rural village.

"This water well has brought a lot of relief to this community. The threat of cholera alone is enough to kill old men like us," Mr. Pa Fasineh Kamara said.

"I am very happy with what this organization has done for my community."

The Water Project : sierraleone18252-excited-about-clean-water

03/19/2018: Kigbal Community Project Underway

Dirty water from a stream is making people in Kigbal 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 narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

The Water Project : 10-sierraleone18252-fetching-water

Project Photos

Project Type

Borehole and Hand Pump

Girls and women walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - we are able to pull water to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.

Giving Update: Kigbal Community

June, 2019

A year ago, you funded a well at Kigbal Community in Sierra Leone– creating a life-changing moment for M’balu Turay. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kigbal 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!

People in Kigbal have been truly blessed since the well project was completed last year.

For M’balu Turay, this well means that he can spend more time at school and concentrating on school. And when he is not in school, he can play with his friends rather than spend large portions of his day collecting water.

“My life changed from the time this project was completed. I used to go to the stream to fetch water. It took a lot of time due to the distance from the village to the stream,” he said.

“As a result, I arrived at school late. Now, it is very easy to fetch clean, pure, and safe water for drinking and even go to school on time.”

M’balu Turay and Mohamed Kamara

The lives of these people have improved through the hygiene and environmental sanitation training conducted by our teams, too. Their lives have further improved because they are now using handwashing stations at critical moments such as after using the bathroom and before eating a meal.  This new knowledge coupled with clean water has driven away many diseases and sicknesses like diarrhea and dysentery that were previously contracted.

“We are extremely happy about this great help that you have brought in our community by providing a protected borehole with clean and safe water,” said Mohamed Kamara, the community caretaker of the well.

Our Field Officer with M’balu Turay and Mohamed Kamara

“This is the biggest change that has ever happened in our lives.  We have been in this village for many years without safe drinking water, but this borehole water brings us good health.”

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 Kigbal 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 Kigbal 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!