Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 397 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/04/2024

Project Features

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Packaged water is only accessible by a minute fraction of the community population. That means that there is really only one consistent water source for the majority of this community: the swamp.

The swamp receives its supply of water from an underground source and from drainages when it rains. This means that the quantity is higher during the rainy season than in the dry season. When it is not raining, the underground source becomes its greatest supplier. This source does not normally supply enough water to serve the entire community. The situation becomes dire during the dry season. People scoop water from every available hole regardless of quality.

The swamp water is highly contaminated.

"My brother, the thought of drinking from this swamp makes some of us sick. Because some of us do not have the courage to drink from it, we try hard to buy the packaged water from the meager profit we earn," said Fatmata Akai.

First of all, the swamp is under nobody’s control. Everyone behaves the way he or she feels at this source. People flock to this source for different purposes. Some people, for example, use this source for bathing while others use it for laundering. Still, some others use it for farming irrigation.

In all of these cases, care is not given to the source’s sanitation. Nobody pays attention to what the chemicals and dirt from laundering and bathing do to the source. Certainly, poison from detergents ends up in the source. In the same way, this source is contaminated by the gardeners. And it also is open to runoff from the community living uphill from it.

This swamp is not protected and is therefore shared with other wild animals. Some of these are infected with deadly diseases that kill humans. This exposes the people of this community to these deadly diseases.

"I would not drink this water," said our field staff.

What we can do:

New Well

We will be drilling this well at The Redeemed Christian Church of God. 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 pushed to the swamp for their water. By drilling this borehole, community members will be provided with plenty of accessible clean drinking water.


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

Community members will learn how to make a handsfree handwashing station called the "tippy-tap." We will use these tippy taps for handwashing demonstrations, and will also teach about other tools like dish racks and the importance of properly penning in animals. We will highlight the need to keep latrines clean, among many other topics.

These trainings will also strengthen a water user committee that will manage and maintain this 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

September, 2019: 45 Main Motor Road, The Redeemed Christian Church of God project complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable borehole well at The Redeemed Christian Church of God. The students and community members no longer have to rely on unsafe water to meet their daily needs. We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training, which focused on healthy practices such as handwashing and using latrines.

New Well

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

"I thank God for His favor of directing you people to this community to provide us with clean drinking water," said John Mcfoy.

The Process

Before the team moved to the site they consulted with the pastor of the church, the WaSH Committee, and some community people. Formal introductions were made and arrangements for their lodging determined. The church itself was their temporal lodging place and Miss Mariatu Koroma was selected to handle their cooking.

2 pits were dug next to the drill rig, 1 for the drill’s water supply and another for what was pulled back up out of the borehole. Since the community already struggles with finding enough water, we ordered a private supplier to deliver the water we needed for drilling.

The pastor, together with some members of the water committee rallied the community people to fetch water for the drilling.

Community members fetch water for drilling

Day 1 of drilling started with filling the 2 pits with water mixed with bentonite. A 4-inch carbide-tipped bit was fixed to the 5-foot-long drill stem. The mud pump was started to supply water to the drill rig and the drilling starts. During drilling, after every 5-foot length of drill stem put into the hole the team 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 96 feet.

The team forcefully pumped clean water into the well to clear out any mud and debris from drilling. After, 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.

The well was bailed by hand for 3 days before doing a yield test to verify the water quantity at a static water level of 48.8 feet.

Yield Test

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

The team arrived at the dedication site at 9:50 am. Already, the pastor, together with some members of the water committee, some members of the church, and some community members were here. However, the pastor was not ok with the number and asked that he be allowed some time to go around the community to call more people to the ceremony.

The church pastor dedicating the well

In no time, people came from different angles of the community in a celebratory mood, singing traditional songs. The venue was now in full celebration mode.

In fact, the boom box could not compete with the loud voices of the people and it had to be turned off. The voice of one Miss Fatmata was so melodious that some men who were there as observers initially, could not resist but join in the celebration. The people circled around the well while singing praises for the well.

The singing and dancing were quieted, however, reluctantly, to allow speeches from various people. Then the celebration continued. The activities under the tap included pumping water from the well, children drinking from the well, and other community members having fun around the tap area.

New Knowledge

Before any hygiene training occurred, repeated phone calls and visits were made to the committee to help them understand the challenges and lack of sanitation facilities in the community. The findings from our baseline survey were brought to the attention of the water committee to help them make the necessary adjustments before the training or drilling could commence. When all the necessary and required guidelines were met, then and only then did our team of hygiene trainers go to conduct the training.

While the team prepared themselves in terms of getting training materials ready, the pastor and the chair of the WaSH committee opted to get the people’s total involvement. On the day of training, this group ensured the venue was prepared even before the team arrived. These 2 people were also key in walking around the community to call the people to the venue for the training.

The training was held in the church where all community members, regardless of faith, were welcomed. More than 100 people attended for 3 days of training. What made the training environment even more conducive was the location of the church. This part of Benkeh is very attractive to the cool Atlantic Ocean breeze.

Training topics covered included: Handwashing and tippy tap; good and bad hygiene; disease transmission; worms and parasites; proper care of teeth; proper care of the pump; keeping the water clean; the cost recovery system; dishracks and clotheslines; the importance of toilets; keeping the latrine clean; balanced diets; diarrhea; and HIV and AIDS.

The level of participation and involvement of the attendees was very high. The training itself was naturally interactive as the attendees were involved in demonstrating hygiene and sanitation topics. Notable among them was the display of good and bad hygiene drawings. This group of people was in high spirits by asking critical questions on every topic that was discussed because they wanted to know everything and the team was very much impressed with that.

The participants discussed among themselves and later came to the conclusion that it can be easy to change their behaviors.

"Honestly, most of us in this community lack the basic hygiene education and that has always been our reason for our exposure to plenty of illnesses," said Mr. Mcfoy.

"It is very certain that this training will have a profound effect on our lives in this community."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

August, 2019: 45 Main Motor Road, The Redeemed Christian Church of God Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at 45 Main Motor Road, The Redeemed Christian Church of God drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know the 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 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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