Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 222 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/29/2024

Project Features

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Drinking water from an unprotected water source at this day in time has great consequences to the lives of every individual of the community. With no choice of fetching water from a protected well, the 222 people living near Lungi, Suctarr, #3 Lovell Lane have to make do with any available source.

That source for the people here is an unprotected dug well. With cemented well pads and a round or square opening at the top, all the open wells in this area are infested with worms and used plastic bags making the water unsafe for drinking. Puddles of water settle around the well as a result of a lack of proper drainage. The puddles of water are a breeding ground for mosquitoes which contribute to problems like malaria.

"I moved into the community with my family all the way from the capital city of Freetown. I love everything about the community, except for the lack of available clean and safe water. There are several open hand-dug wells and not one protected well where safe and clean water could be fetched," explained Patrick Kamara.

The community is located within a walking distance to the Lungi Government Hospital and shares a boundary with the international airport. The once bare and dry land is now filled with grass, showing the beginning of the rainy season. The community is occupied by people from all over the country. Development and expansion of the community have caused a reduction in the number of trees in the community. All trees have been cut down all in the name of building more homes. Latrines here are made with mud blocks with cement plastering. All latrines are with roofs even though some latrines have lived beyond their effectiveness.

People here make a living generally as either farmers or workers at the airport. The main road in the town is named after Mr. Lovell. He was a police officer and the first person to inhabit the community. His selfless behavior has helped to encourage other people from different parts of the country to reside in Suctarr. The unique quality of this community is its ability to coexist with everyone.

With so many open wells in the community, the people have a lot of options of where to fetch water but no choice of getting safe and clean water any where in the community.

What we can do:

We evaluated the broken down well and determined it is not a good candidate for rehabilitation. It is located nearby a set of latrines, meaning that it is likely the water in the well is contaminated. Due to that concern, we decided to drill a new well for this community.

New Well

We will be drilling this well at Lovell Lane. This project will relieve the people here of the 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

February, 2021: Lungi, Suctarr, #3 Lovell Lane Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable borehole well at #3 Lovell Lane. 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!

"The biggest chore that takes up most of my time is fetching water. My household uses plenty of water throughout the day. I am so happy now that we have a safe source of water in my community," said Haja, a young girl in the community.

Haja at the new well

"The first goal that I am going to achieve is to make sure that I improve my grades at school. I am going to get more sleep in the morning and more time to warm up my leftover rice before going to school."

The community was very excited to have a borehole in their community, a first of its kind. The water user committee members called the office several times to check and double-check if the dedication was going to occur. When the day finally arrived, people came from all over the community to witness such an occasion.

One of the community people had a sound system that they brought out and could be heard miles away; one thing Sierra Leoneans are fond of, our team explained, is music. Work and food preparation were put on hold as women, children, and men from all corners of the community came to find out where the music was coming from.

The crowd of people had to be reduced to observe the COVID-19 guidelines. If it were left to the community, our team reported, the dedication would have turned into a block party!

The Councilor and Section Chief had been very supportive in the construction of the water well. Patrick Kamara is the Chair of the water user committee and the Chair of a community-based organization called Action For Community Concern Sierra Leone. The latter is an organization that has been invited to our office and has participated in our COVID-19 market sensitization, school sensitization, and community sensitization training. They have been with us every step of encouraging communities to comply with face mask use, physical distancing, and proper handwashing.

"All the wells in this community are unprotected, which exposes the community people to waterborne illnesses. This is the first time in the history of this community to have a borehole. I will reserve the water from the borehole strictly for drinking and preparing food," said Mohamad Jaward, a local school teacher who lives by the well.

"I now have plenty of time to give study lessons to my younger siblings and the other children in the community. In the past, the children would be so busy with the chores of fetching water that there would not be enough time for any studies."

The Process

The drill team arrived the day before beginning work. They set up camp and unpacked all of their tools and supplies to prepare for drilling the next day. The community provided space for them to store their belongings and meals for the duration of their stay. The next morning, the work began.

Two pits were dug next to the drill rig, one for the drill’s water supply and another for what is pulled out of the borehole. In some cases, we order a private supplier to deliver the water for drilling since water access is already a struggle.

Day one of drilling starts by filling the two pits with water mixed with bentonite. A four-inch carbide-tipped bit is fixed to the five-foot-long drill stem. The mud pump starts to supply water to the drill rig, and the drilling begins. The team takes a material sample after every five-foot length of drill stem is put into the hole. The bags were labeled and reviewed later to determine the aquifer locations.

On the second day of drilling, the team expands the hole and clears it of mud. The team reached a total depth of 29 meters.

The team forcefully pumps clean water into the well to clear out any mud and debris from drilling. After, the screened pipe is protected by adding a filter pack. The team hoists the temporary drilling casing to fortify the pipes with cement.

The well is bailed by hand for three days before conducting a yield test to verify the water quantity. This well's yield was 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

A few days before the training, two team members went to the committee members to inform them about the training and tell them the training date. Members of the committee recruited participants. There is an active and very committed water user committee representing all members of the community here. The committee members were informed through phone calls as well as visits. A letter of invitation was sent out to the local Councilor, and a letter was sent out to the Ministry of Water Resources and the Port Loko District Council's Chief Administrator.

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 required guidelines were met, only then did our team of hygiene trainers go to conduct the training.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps; good and bad hygiene; disease transmission and prevention; worms and parasites; proper care of teeth; adequate 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.

The most memorable topic was tippy tap construction and use. A tippy tap is a handwashing station that is a less expensive, more hygienic, and water-conserving method for households to wash their hands. Tippy taps can be easily set up at different locations in any community or household.

Tippy tap construction

"Whenever there is an opportunity to be a part of any training, please, by all means, grab hold of that opportunity. Whatever knowledge you acquire today will be beneficial tomorrow," said Abdul Jaward.

"As a student and a member of the community, it is my duty and responsibility to learn as much as possible about the way and manner our bodies and communities should be taken care of. In the future, I can always boast about receiving proper hygiene training by trained and qualified staff. I will pass on this knowledge to other members of any community that were not fortunate to be part of the training."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2021: Lungi, Suctarr, #3 Lovell Lane Underway!

Community members in Suctarr, Sierra Leone do not have a reliable source for water. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point in the community and much more.

Get to know this 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 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!

A Year Later: Collecting Water is Simpler!

March, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Suctarr 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!

Abdul, 10, shared how life was for him before the new water point was installed. "It was very painful for me because I used to fetch water from an open well. As a small child, I was not able to draw water from this well. I had to beg my elders to draw water from the well for me. Sometimes they will demand me to work for them before they could fill my own bucket for me."

Abdul went on to share how he often had to carry water for people to their houses before they would help him fill his. Then he said, "Because of this I used to escape from home because I would not want my mother to send me to fetch water."

But now that Abdul has access to safe water anytime he needs it, his life is more peaceful. He said, "I don't have to hide from my mother during the day anymore, [which] is an achievement. It [is] very simple for me because the water point is right in front of my place and I find it very simple to access this facility."

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 Suctarr 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 Suctarr 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.


Project Sponsor - Miller Family Charitable Fund