Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 143 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/07/2024

Project Features

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The Mummy Ann Pre-school was started by the current proprietress, Mrs. Francess N’senesie in 2002. According to her, this community had no pre-school and some of the parents were taking their kids to the army barracks pre-school. Those kids whose parents could not afford it were just left at home. So, Mrs. N’senesie realized her idea of creating a pre-school here.

The school moved to its current location in 2004 with the support of a local church leader. Classrooms were constructed for the students, but there was no water source. Some 15 years later and there is still no water source at the school.

The current water sources for pupils in this school are packaged water and the swamp. But the swamp source is most frequently used because the administration cannot afford to pay for the packaged water throughout the year.

One can hardly be impressed with a source like the swamp because of its exposure to contamination from various pollutants.

"Life here for us and the kids is prone to the constant risk of waterborne diseases. I stay in constant fear for my staff and the kids," said Mrs. N’senesie.

Aside from its long distance, the road is also very hilly. The distance and the condition of the roads makes it practically impossible for pupils in this school to fetch water here in the first place. So, the administration relies on the school support staff and local youth to help them with water most of the time.

Accessibility to the swamp is further limited by overcrowding. During the dry season, many people flock to this water source because it is the only reliable source in this community. More people means a longer waiting time to get the water. It also means more sources of contamination, since people stand directly in the swamp and some even bathe in the water.

These challenges lead to water shortages at the school. As a result, other areas suffer. For example, it is difficult to maintain cleanliness in the bathrooms without water for cleaning. Handwashing is rare when there is no water available to use after going to the bathroom. These issues further contribute to making the health of the students worse.

"We have tried to maintain an average level hygiene and sanitation here, but our flaws can be attributed to our water shortage situation. When you enter our latrines you will see that the rooms are clean. But when the kids use the facility and there is no water to clean it up..." said teacher Neneh Conteh.

"There the problem starts."

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:

New Borehole

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. Wherever the drill site, we know clean water will be extremely close to everyone in such a small village!

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 water from the swamp and is suffering the consequences. By drilling this borehole, the area around Mummy Ann's Pre-Primary School will be provided with plenty of safe, clean drinking water of their own.


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 students and community members about the importance of building a latrine, how to build a handwashing 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.

Project Updates

June, 2019: Mummy Ann's Pre-Primary School Project Complete

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable borehole well at Mummy Ann's Pre-Primary School. The students and community members no longer have to rely on unsafe water to meet their daily needs. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted at the school, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines.

New Well

The drilling of this new borehole was a success, and clean water is flowing!

"I think this water point will solve the water crisis problem that we are facing in this school and the community as a whole. For a very long time we have been suffering," said Fatmata Kamara.

We knew from the start that this well would be accessed by community members because this school has a heart for its community. Armed with this knowledge, the organization deemed it fit to include the community as those part responsible for the facility, so they were included in the Water User Committee (the body that oversees the day-to-day operations of the facility). Our past work in these settings shows that a Water User Committee that incorporates both the school and community is a recipe for success.

Our team for the well dedication had very little to do in terms of getting to the well and setting the place up. Everything was was done even before the team arrived. The school has its own PA System and it was on high volume already. There was music playing and people dancing. There was so much joy in the air.

Every member of the team was taken by surprise. Mummy Ann was indeed a different experience for the team.

A series of dignitaries offered words of encouragement to the community and thanks for the project. A short drama was also acted to demonstrate how well people comprehended and appreciated the hygiene and sanitation training. It was based on open defecation and controls at the water point. It was followed by the singing of a traditional Susu song.

Pa Alimamy Samba Dumbuya, the Section Chief, was then granted the opportunity to dedicate the well on behalf of the school.

Pa Almamy Samba Dumbuya drinks from new well

The Process:

We went as a team to the headmistress and introduced ourselves by explaining to her the job we were about to do in the school. She directed us to where we should unpack and set up camp. We offloaded the working instruments from the bus. After offloading the bus, the drill rig was brought in and was positioned at the designated area to be drilled.

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. Since the community already struggled with finding enough water, we ordered a private supplier to deliver the water we needed for drilling.

Day one of drilling started with filling the two pits with water mixed with bentonite. A 4" carbide tipped 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, and so on. These are to be reviewed later to determine the aquifer locations.

The second day of drilling was meant to expand the hole and clear it of mud. The team reached a total depth of 27.76 meters.

The team forcefully pumped clean water into the well to clear out any mud and debris from drilling. After, the filter pack was added so that the screened pipe would be protected. The temporary drilling casing was hoisted out so that we could fortify the pipes with cement.

Conducting the yield test

The well was bailed by hand for three days before a yield test to verify the water quantity, which ended up being 35.28 liters per minute at a static water level of 19.4 meters.

With these great results, a stainless steel India MkII pump was installed. Water quality tests show that this is clean water fit for drinking!

New Knowledge

The training started with a work plan which the hygiene team made based on the outcome of the baseline survey conducted in the school and community. Topics were therefore designed in concert to what was captured in the survey.

More than 100 people showed up for three days of hygiene and sanitation training. The weather was very splendid, of course, as this location is by the ocean. The atmosphere was breezy and very friendly, and it was indeed favorable weather that made the training successful. The training was done in one of the halls of the school.

Since the students are so young here, our teams focused on training the adults, their parents, and school employees to ensure that the lessons are passed down to the children going forward. The children and adults were very engaged, reported our teams. The children were actively engaged in the training and demonstrated an understanding of what they had been taught. The teachers and community members demonstrated a knowledge that they understood what they had been taught. The teachers then taught the students with our facilitators present, and they did a good job.

Toothbrushing and dental care was one topic of interest. Kids and community participants were very engaged in the exercise. The giant model mouth and the giant brush led to lots of laughs. Even those children who were asleep woke up because of the laughter. They enjoyed being able to try the big brush on the big teeth.

Another topic that stood out was on the importance of caring for water after it is fetched. There were some in the group who confessed to not washing their water containers all the time, so this lesson raised awareness on the importance of making sure both the inside and the outside of the containers are clean and that they store their drinking water up off the floor with a cover on the container.

"I am very happy for this and it is timely because I use water every day, but did not know that it needs to be covered from the point of fetching to my home," shared Frances Mamiesia Senesie.

"But today I want to thank you for your support and helping me understand that I need to cover my water every time and it should not be kept on the ground."

Learning to make tippy tap handwashing stations

The training positively impacted this group of people. This was clearly visible when we took our daily routine checks around the School and community from our observation; nearly all of the houses and the school have handwashing stations that were not there before. Dish racks were also built. In their backyards, toilets pits are now kept clean and covered.

"I have the firm conviction that the training has widened their horizon, and has positively impacted them on improving their hygiene and sanitation habits," said our field officer Peter Conteh.

Thank You for making all of this possible.

April, 2019: Mummy Ann's Pre-Primary School Project Underway

We are excited that thanks to your generosity, we have the opportunity to drill a borehole at Mummy Ann's Pre-Primary School in Sierra Leone. We also plan to hold training on hygiene and sanitation to teach students, teachers, and their parents about how to live healthier lives.

Get to know this school and the surrounding 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 news of success!

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! Learn more here!


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