Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 109 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/07/2024

Project Features

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Wasaya is a newly formed community in Lungi, Sierra Leone. What used to be a forest has now been turned into an up-and-coming community with great development hopes. All large trees have been cut down to make room for the newly built homes by people looking to escape the more developed communities' hustle and bustle. It is a well-known place for people to come to harvest palm fruit. All the large and thick bushes have been cut to reveal a stunning landscape.

Since the community is newly formed, it lacks the necessary access to adequate and safe water. The 109 people currently living here rely on water from the swamp for drinking as well as domestic uses. The water is unsafe for consumption. According to interviewees, the reported health consequences of using water from this source range from cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid, and several stomach illnesses.

"The availability of safe and clean water is a determinant of the growth of any community. The quickest way for a community to develop is to have access to water facilities, schools within the community, and access to medical care," said 70-year-old Bunting Samuels.

There is an open well, but it is not accessible for most community members since it is on private property. Additionally, since it is open, the well is just as prone to contamination as the swamp. So, most people use the swamp anyway because it is open for anyone to fetch water, and not restricted like the private well.

Family members spend a large portion of each day fetching water at the swamp to accommodate their families' water needs. The swamp water is contaminated due to the repeated use of fertilizers on the fruits and vegetable gardens surrounding it. One of the convenient things about the swamp, however, is that the water is always available year-round, even if it is limited during the dry season. When the water reduces, people dig scoop holes into the swamp's mud to access the water. It takes between 10 to 15 minutes round-trip to access any of the scoop holes. It isn't easy to access clean water anywhere in the community.

The children and women make their way to the swamp each morning and afternoon to supply their families with the only available source of water. The best time to fetch water from the swamp is very early in the morning, community members say, before it is greatly disturbed by many people walking in it to fetch it. The quality of water fetched very early in the morning, according to them, is of better quality than the water fetched during the afternoon and evening hours. Morning water, therefore, is used strictly for drinking and cooking, while afternoon water is reserved for doing the laundry, bathing, and other domestic chores.

The proposed project will be the first of its kind in the Wasaya community, and it will help to serve an additional number of homes as development increases. Having access to safe water improves both a community's overall health and the rate at which they are able to develop.

"We suffer to get clean water to drink," said teenager Yeanoah K.

"Since it is my responsibility to make sure there is always clean water available, I am at a loss for words to describe the way that I felt when I heard the great news of getting a borehole in our community. The proposed location is less than a minute walk from my house."

What we can do:

New Well

We will be drilling is centrally located and will relieve many people of the long journey to fetch water. 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, Wayasa 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 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 restrooms clean, among many other topics.

This training 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 in solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

Project Updates

August, 2021: #1 Reverend Samuel Street Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable borehole well at #1 Reverend Samuel Street. As a result, 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 distance to the school from my house is very far. I used to wake up early in the morning to fetch water for my family before going to school. It was difficult to fetch water, especially in the dry season every morning before going to school. Now, my house is close to the new water point where I can easily reach and fetch water and prepare for school early. This water point has ended my delay to school. Thank God today we now have good water to always fetch," said Emma F., a 17-year-old student.

The dedication ceremony of the new borehole was a remarkable event for the entire community, with much singing and dancing. A representative from the Ministry of Water Resources, Mr. Osman Fofanah, and the Port Loko District Council, Mr. Abu Bakarr Bangura, shared the celebration with community members. Reverend Henry A. Samuel, a community stakeholder, acknowledged God for providing the community safe drinking water and dedicated the well. Representatives from the various sectors splashed water at the well to express their happiness for getting a new borehole. Everyone was happy for a safe and reliable water source for the community.

"With the help of this water well, my wife will no longer go far to fetch water to cook, launder clothes, and for us to bathe. She can now reach this water point to fetch water quickly to do all her domestic works in the house. It's now also easy to get water to drink. There will be no shortage of water in my house because there is now a safe water point very close to my house and always available to meet our needs," said Alimamy S. Bangura, local farmer, 45.

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 the team to store their belongings, along with meals for the duration of their stay. The following day, the work began.

Our team dug two pits next to the drill rig, one for the drill’s water supply and another for what the drill pulls out of the borehole. In some cases, we order a private supplier to deliver the water for drilling since water access is already a challenge.

Day one of drilling began with the team filling the two pits with water mixed with bentonite, an absorbing swelling clay. Next, the team fixed a four-inch carbide-tipped bit to the five-foot-long drill stem. They started the mud pump to supply water to the drill rig so that drilling could begin! The team took material samples after putting each five-foot length of drill stem into the hole. We labeled the bags so we could review them later to determine the aquifer locations.

On the second day of drilling, the team expanded the hole and cleared it of mud. After reaching a total depth of 28 meters, the team forcefully pumped clean water into the well to clear any mud and debris from the drilling process. We then protected the screened pipe by adding a filter pack. The team hoisted the temporary drilling casing to fortify the pipes with cement.

Next, we bailed the well by hand for three days before conducting a yield test to verify the water quantity. The yield of this well was twenty liters per minute, with a static water level of 12 meters. With these excellent results, we installed a stainless steel India MkII pump. Water quality test results showed 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 shared the findings from our discussions with the committee members to help them make the necessary adjustments before the training began. For example, we identified households without handwashing stations or ones that may need to repair their latrines. With this information, community members worked together to improve hygiene and sanitation at home.

After this preparatory period, we scheduled a time when members from each household using the water point could attend a multi-day hygiene and sanitation training. We then dispatched our teams to the agreed-upon location to hold the meeting.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps, good and bad hygiene habits, disease transmission and prevention, worms and parasites, dental hygiene, proper care of the well's pump, keeping the water clean, the cost recovery system, dish racks and clotheslines, the importance of toilets, keeping latrines clean, balanced diets, the diarrhea doll, and HIV and AIDS.

Malaria was the most memorable topic during the training. Community members found it very interesting and asked many questions about malaria's dangers, types, and medication. They were all attentive and shocked to learn that a person can only be infected with malaria when an infected female Anopheles mosquito bites them. They also agreed that this was their first time to know the dangers caused by malaria, a prevalent illness.

Pa Morie Turay, a community elder, explained how happy he was for such training to raise awareness. He confirmed that it is out of ignorance that they have been depriving their children of eating fruits like oranges and mangoes, thinking they are the cause of malaria, not knowing mosquitoes cause it. They promised to prevent mosquitoes from breeding by getting rid of stagnant water and keeping their community clean, to sleep inside bed nets, and rush to the nearest health facility whenever they notice the signs and symptoms of malaria.

Malaria Training Session

"The training is valuable to me because I have gathered a lot of ideas that I will be using as a tool to guide myself, my family, and community members. Through this training, everything is now clear to me about the reality of the virus [COVID-19], and I will try my best to follow all the COVID-19 guidelines, which are proper handwashing with soap and water, the proper way of wearing a face mask, contactless greetings, and physical distancing. I will follow these to prevent myself from getting the virus," said Ballah Samura, a 64-year-old retired police officer.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2021: Waysaya Community Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Waysaya Community 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 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 am very proud of myself now."

January, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Waysaya 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!

Previously, students in Waysaya Community had to get up far too early in the morning to collect water before heading to school, leaving them exhausted and unable to concentrate in class.

18-year-old Emma F, whom we interviewed when the project's construction was completed last year, recalled how things were before.

"It was very difficult for me because I had to wake up as early as four a.m. in the morning to go down [to] the swamp or into the neighborhood to fetch water before going to school," Emma said. "It was a painful moment for me, and the water was not good for drinking, and because I was waking up very early in the morning to fetch water, it was affecting my learning very seriously. I had to sleep in class due to waking up early in the morning, [and] because of this, my performance was very poor. Neither I or my parents were happy about my result at the end of [the] academic year."

But since a new well was installed in the community last year, things have dramatically improved.

"I am so happy for having safe and clean drinking water in my community. I am not suffering again like before in terms of fetching water," said Emma.

She continued: "It has impacted my life in regaining good performance at school, and I am very proud of myself now. I wish I had this water point before now. My academic performance would have been more outstanding than this, but I thank God, and I believe that [the] water crisis is over for good. I will make sure that I take good care of this water point."

Emmah standing outside 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 Waysaya 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 Waysaya 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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