Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 222 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/24/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Children like him often are tasked with getting water, so their education is affected by this problem. Each morning, children will stand in line to fetch water and return home to do morning chores before going to school. There is usually one main source of water which is in the school grounds. It is fenced and it's a protected hand-dug well with pump. This well is congested most of the time. The rush to fetch water, especially in the morning, sometimes brings arguments that will result in a fight.

The crowds also affect the students who also have to wait to get water and are late if the line for water is too long. Foday, a 13-year-old student who lives in the community, told us that he is late to school every day because of the time spent fetching water.

"I am too old to stand a long time in the queue for water," explained Santigie Mansaray, a 73-year-old community member.

"So I must wake up my kids at 5:00 in the morning to go and fetch water. Sometimes they cannot get enough due to the long lines or arguments that break out. The last time my little kid was beaten up while trying to get water.

After school, children return home to fetch more water, wash their uniforms and help with afternoon chores before heading off to extra lessons for school. After the lessons, they go help their parents either farming or at the market. Children will return to fetch more water in the evening for cooking dinner and for their evening baths.

The pressure on the school well leads people to seek other sources of water. When it goes dry due to overuse, people go to a nearby hand-dug well without a pump. Here they deep a container with a rope to fetch water - which exposes it to contaminants.

(Note: We are currently monitoring the school well to determine whether it is a good candidate for a rehabilitation next year.)

Macauley Street is almost a mile from the wharf. One can hear the waves of the tides at the Atlantic Ocean from here. The people in this community make a living by farming, fishing or petty trading. There is a nearby swamp in which people plant vegetables like, cucumbers, onions, pepper potatoes, and tomatoes. These products are harvested and taken to the city for sale.

What we can do:

New Well

We will be drilling this well at #5 MacAuley Street. This project will relieve the people here of their water challenges.

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 open, contaminated well for their water. By drilling this borehole, Tholmossor Community 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

November, 2020: Lungi, Mahera, #5 MacAuley Street Project Complete!

Please note, some photos in this report were taken before physical distancing recommendations went into effect.

We are excited to share a safe, reliable borehole well at #5 MacAuley Street is already providing clean and safe drinking water. 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 welcome the opportunity to have this project practically at my doorstep - a gift that will be with us for a long time if it is properly looked after," said Bankole Davis Sesay.

"My children and wife used to travel to other areas [for water], but thanks to all the partners involved, there is no word or words that can absolutely describe what I am feeling. We have been offered the gift of life, and it is up to us to make sure that it is properly protected for the unforeseeable future."

The dedication was a big day that brought people from neighboring communities to help in the celebration. Still, because of physical distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we graciously restricted access to the well area so that it did not get too full. Since this took place earlier in the pandemic, people were still reluctant to distance and wear masks. Our teams reminded the community members of the importance of preventing the virus's spread using all preventive measures possible.

The remaining committee members were allowed into the well pad only after going through the proper handwashing method outside the well. People offered praise for this great accomplishment since this well is the first borehole in this community. It was a celebration that deserved to be acknowledged. The small crowd prayed and gave thanks to the donors and our team for making this one of a kind project in the community.

"I speak from first-hand experience because I am part of a group of boys that fetch water together: this has greatly reduced the time out fetching water and increased my study time," shared teenager Mohamed.

The Process

The drill team arrived a day in advance to prepare for drilling the new well. The community is responsible for providing housing and food for the team over the course of the well construction process.

The following morning, 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 struggles with finding enough water, we ordered a private supplier to deliver the water we needed for drilling.

Day 1 of drilling started with filling the two pits with a mixture of water and 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 then the drilling began. After every 5-foot length of drill stem put into the hole during drilling, the team would take material samples. The bags were labeled 1, 2, 3, and so on. These were 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 25 meters.

Next, 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.

The well was bailed by hand for 3 days before doing a yield test to verify the water quantity, which ended up being more than 20 liters per minute at a static water level of 14 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

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

Trainer discusses the importance of proper toilet use (before physical distancing)

We requested that one representative from each of the 23 households using the well attend training, and we were happy to see that everyone could comply. The training was held under the comfort of a mango tree to stay cool in the shade from the hot sun.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps; good and bad hygiene; disease transmission and prevention; worms and parasites; proper care of teeth; proper care of the pump; keeping the water clean; the cost recovery system; dish racks and clotheslines; the importance of toilets; keeping the latrine clean; balanced diets; the diarrhea doll; and HIV and AIDS.

Handwashing training session (before physical distancing)

The most memorable topic during the three days of hygiene training was malaria and fever since mosquito bites have taken more people to the hospital than any other illness in this region. Open water sources and poor hygiene contribute to the problem. The topic of malaria and fever cuts across households regardless of age and income. Our discussion reinforced messages about cleanliness, good personal hygiene, and awareness about family health. Only after these areas are taken care of, the group agreed, can families prevent multiple hospital visits related to malaria and fever.

A trainer teaches about diarrhea (before physical distancing)

"The training was so valuable that it became my anthem. I learned ways to reduce disease transmission and to improve my personal and environmental hygiene. This has created a positive impact for my entire family and me," said Adamasay, a young teenage student who attended the training.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

September, 2020: Lungi, Mahera, #5 MacAuley Street project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at #5 MacAuley Street in Mahera, Sierra Leone drains community members' time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this 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!

A Year Later: #5 MacAuley Street Homes Being Improved!

December, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mahera Community in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Bankole . Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Mahera Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mahera Community 2 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!

Bankole David Sesay, 67, a livestock farmer, shared, "My children no longer waste time at the water point because this project has made it easier for us. Now my children have enough time to study and go to school on time. This waterpoint has impacted my life in many ways because I am now saving enough money for me and my family.

"Before, I used to spend a lot of money on pure water and also buying water from the neighborhood water facilities. To me, this is a great impact on my life, and I believe the entire community's people have been blessed in one way or another.

"This water point has helped me achieve greatly in my community because at the time I was building my house. I used to have challenges with water, but now my building project is going on smoothly with no stress. This is a great achievement for my family and me."

17-year-old Juliet told us about her father, who is also building a home. "This water point has helped my father build our house very easily and simply with no water problem because we have full access to it at any given time without delay."

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 Mahera Community 2 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 Mahera Community 2 – 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.


Lost Mountain Baptist Church
United Way of the Capital Region
Kenmore Gild Guides - QLD Australia
Mitch Brownlie, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

And 3 other fundraising page(s)
78 individual donor(s)