Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 169 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/24/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Life in Kamen, Sierra Leone starts here around 5:00 in the morning. After prayers, the men pick up their nets they mended the night before and head off for fishing, depending on the tide. Children and women go to the stream located up to a mile away from some homes because it is the only reliably available water source in the community. There is one private well that is only open to the public at the whims of the owner.

The road to the stream is uneven, so people must walk carefully in the early morning light to prevent getting hurt on the journey.

"I am seriously afraid​ of going down this hill every day, almost four times, to fetch water. I really don't have an option," said Alimamy, a 15-year-old we met while visiting the community.

Most parents will not send their young children alone due to concerns about them getting injured. The tension or struggle for water rises early in the morning and late in the evening - when the stream is most crowded.

"I had to go with my child to the hospital who accidentally fell and sustained injuries fetching water," said Mohammed Kargbo, a local fisherman.

The water itself is not safe for drinking. Cases of dysentery, typhoid, and diarrhea are the reported health implications for drinking this water.

"Water has always been our problem in this area. We really want clean and pure water to save lives," Mr. Kargbo continued.

After the children fetch water for the morning chores, they go to school. Women continue on with the daily chores and tend to gardening and petty trading. When the children return home from school, they fetch more water and continue with the afternoon chores and extra school lessons.

What we can do:

New Well

We will be drilling this well at #22 Mission Road. This project will relieve the people here of the their water challenges.

Mission Road is a street that stretches almost a mile with houses at the right and left when coming from Kamem. The houses on the right are very close to the gully by the Atlantic ocean. From the road, one can see and hear the waves of the sea. Fishing and gardening are the most predominant occupations​ in this community, due to the proximity to the sea.

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, Kamen, #22 Mission Road Project Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable borehole well at #22 Mission Road in Kamen, Sierra Leone. The 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 dedication of the well took place on a Friday morning to ensure full community turnout so everyone who wanted to attend could see the new well. The women sang songs of praise and appreciation.

The section chief Ya Alimamy Kamara gave a vote of thanks. She is one of the very few female section chiefs in the Chiefdom. Strict handwashing and social distancing will now be part of our everyday lives, she said.

"I cannot get any happier than today. Today marks my first invitation to a handing over ceremony since my coronation as a chief less than a month ago. This new borehole is going to eliminate the constraints we usually face in fetching water," said Ya Alimamy Kamara, the section chief.

Section Chief Ya Alimamy Kamara

"My goal as a child is to have more time to play with my friends. I spend so much time fetching water and helping to prepare food that there was never any time for anything else," said Isata A, a young girl in the community.

"I used to spend most of my days taking the treacherous trek down a very steep hill to fetch water for use around the house. The dangers of drinking contaminated water have now become a thing of the past. The only thing that is going to take me down the hill is to tend to my mother's garden but no more heavy containers on my head."

The Process

The drill team arrived at the site the day before drilling began. They set up their tents and stored their materials as they got ready to work the next day. The community arranged to feed the team while they worked and offered any other support they needed for the following three days.

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 27 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.

Yield test of the well

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 12 feet.

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 community hygiene and sanitation training was held under a large mango tree. One of the many advantages of having trees in the community is the delicious fruit they provide and the shade from the hot sun. Our participatory training encouraged the participants to be on their toes.

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.

Tippy tap demonstration

Handwashing is a very important part of the fight against disease transmission. Sierra Leonoe has gone through cholera, typhoid, Ebola, and now COVID-19. The most effective way of battling all of these illnesses is constant and proper handwashing with soap. A continued effort of sensitization and reminder of set rules of engagement are discussed at every opportunity each of our staff gets with the community.

The best way to also help in breaking away from bad habits is repetition. Tippy taps were constructed by the community members with them bringing their own one-gallon containers. There was also a tippy tap constructed to put up next to the entrance of the water well. The community was instructed on how the coronavirus is spread easily it is very important for each person to be sure that they wash their hands for at least 20 seconds before entering the well area and using the hand pump to collect water.

Handwashing at the new well

"This training was very valuable to me. The new knowledge has started making a positive impact on my life and my family. In the past, we resorted to washing our hands without soap and sometimes wiped our hands on our trousers or shirt. Washing hands and wiping them on a piece of clothing will definitely recontaminate the hands," shared Ibrahim Sesay, a local fisherman.

"I now have a very good understanding that my health and the health of my family rests solely on proper hygiene and sanitation practices. The bottom line is my health is in my hands."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

November, 2020: Lungi, Kamen, #22 Mission Road project underway

Dirty water is making people in Lungi, Kamen, #22 Mission Road sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point 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: Children Have Water Access!

January, 2022

A year ago, your generous donation helped #22 Mission Road Community in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Katty. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kamen 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!

Katty K., 14, said, "I used to go to the nearby clinic to fetch water, but sometimes they locked the well on me, and I had to go [into the] neighborhood to look for water, which was very stressful for me."

Since the well installation on Mission Road, life has been different for Katty. "I am very happy as a child to have access to clean and safe drinking water in my community. At least nobody can stop me from fetching here again because it belongs to all the community people, especially the school-going children. I am very happy, and may God bless your organization."

Katty concluded by saying, "Having access to clean and safe drinking water in any home is a great achievement."

Community members at the well.

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 Kamen 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 Kamen 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.


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