Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 186 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/23/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

Each morning and evening, 15-year-old Ousman travels to get water from what is essentially a large puddle.

"I get up every day to fetch water for my mother. I have four brothers and sisters, but since I am the oldest, it is my responsibility," said Ousman.

"I do a lot more work than my siblings. It is not right, but my mother says it's because I am older and stronger."

This water source is unsafe for drinking. It is open to contamination and is the cause of people contracting waterborne illnesses such as dysentery and cholera. Students like Ousman miss school time due to being sick and getting water from this source every day.

"The debris and dirt in the water pulled are made up of leaves, frogs, tadpoles, fish, and leeches. It is disheartening to have people still drinking water from such contaminated sources," said our field officer after seeing the water source.

Because the source is so contaminated, some of the 186 people who rely on it travel as early as 4:00 AM to get water. Armed with a flashlight and a bucket, these early risers arrive in the hope that the water has settled overnight so that what they fetch has as little dirt as possible.

"As a father, I am expected and obligated to take care of my family. Anything less does not make me a good father to my family. I feel really sad and bad that the basic human right of having access to clean and safe water cannot be provided," shared Idrissa Yillah, a 42-year-old farmer who lives in the village.

"The most important thing in any community is the access to safe water. I watch my children day in and day out, waiting and waiting with looks of disappointment on their faces, and I feel helpless because there is nothing I can do.

The water fetched in the evening or at night is used for household chores because it is filthy, so it cannot cook or drink.

We will be drilling a well in the center of Santamodia Village to be easily accessible to the community members. This project will relieve the people here of their water challenges.

"If you are going to help us with a well, that will be great. I will probably be given other chores and responsibilities to fill the time when I will no longer have to go to the swamp," Ousman said.

"But, it is better than going to the swamp. I will only have to go to the farm, which is not going to be all the time but mostly on weekends when there is no school. That is going to be a big help."

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.

By drilling this borehole, Santamodia Community will be provided with plenty of accessible clean drinking water.

There will also be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for three days in a row. This training will 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 in solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

Community members who attend will learn how to make a hands-free 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.

Project Updates

April, 2021: Satamodia Village Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable borehole well at Satamodia Village. 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.

"This well is a blessing to us because, for the first time in my life, I will start drinking water that is pure, without taste, color, or odor," said teenager Nthuma K.

"The presence of the well in our community has relieved us from all the water constraints we were faced with. I strongly believe that the presence of this well will improve our way of living in this community."

New Well

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

The dedication of the new water well started with individual prayers and supplications. Community members, the councilor of ward 243, and a representative of the section chief were all present to grace the occasion. Food was served to everyone who witnessed the dedication ceremony provided by the community.

Dedication celebration.

There was a celebration with community members singing and dancing using their traditional musical instruments to express how happy they were for the well. The councilor of that particular ward gave a speech on the value of water and encouraged the community members to take good care of the well to enable it to last longer.

"I want to take this opportunity to thank you for giving our community safe and reliable drinking water. We have been suffering for safe drinking water for so long, which has caused us so many problems. I want to say that this well was constructed at the right time when all our streams have dried up because of the dry season. We have no choice but to drink swamp water, and we sometimes go to neighboring villages to fetch water which I know has all come to an end since we now have a well in our own community," shared Rugiatu Kamara.

Rugiatu Kamara speaks at the dedication.

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 following day, the work began.

Preparing area to drill

Our team dug two pits 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.

The well is bailed by hand for three days before conducting a yield test to verify the water quantity. The yield of this well was 20 liters per minute, at a static water level of 10 meters. With these excellent results, we installed a stainless steel India MkII pump. Water quality tests show that this is clean water fit for drinking!

New Knowledge

Before conducting any hygiene training, we make repeated phone calls and visits to the local water user committee to better understand the community’s challenges and lack of sanitation facilities. We share the findings from our discussions with the committee members to help them make the necessary adjustments before the training begins. For example, we identify households without handwashing stations or may need to repair their latrines. With this information, community members can work together to improve hygiene and satiation at home.

People at the training.

After that, we schedule a time when members from each household using the water point can attend multi-day hygiene and sanitation training. When that is set, we dispatch our teams to the agreed-upon location to hold the meeting.

The training was held in front of the chief's house, located at the center of the community. Some trees provided shade and protection from the scorching rays of the sun.

Handwashing demonstration

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.

Toothbrushing lesson

"This training will forever be an important part of my life because, through this training, I have acquired a lot of knowledge which I am going to use in protecting myself and my family. And I strongly believe that, if we put all the knowledge from this training to positive use, it will help prevent disease. And I promise to be not only a listener, but also a doer of all that I have learned from this training," shared Mohamed Jalloh.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

March, 2021: Lokomasama, Satamodia Village project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Lokomasama, Satamodia Village drains peoples’ 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: "I have relief now."

June, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Satamodia 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!

Before the well in Satamodia was rehabilitated, Adamasey had so much trouble fetching water to complete her everyday activities.

"It was not good for me as a woman in this community," Adamasey explained. "Women and water work together. If there is no water or not enough water, hygiene and sanitation will not be completed."

"The distance I had to cover to fetch water was heart-rending. The road was very rough and slippery, full of dangerous animals. I was living only by the grace of God, and sometimes if I sent my children to fetch water at that point, I [would] be worried until they returned safely because I know how difficult and dangerous it was to fetch water from that swamp."

But now, those worries have vanished.

"I have relief now because I don't have to worry [about] going down [to] the swamp to fetch water again," Adamasey concluded. "This water facility has helped me to do multiple tasks every day. I am also using this water to water my backyard garden in the dry season so that I will not be out of vegetables."

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 Satamodia 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 Satamodia 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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66 individual donor(s)