Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/23/2024

Project Features

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The people that live near 10 Calaba Road in Yongoroo currently depend on water from a local stream for their water needs and projects that produce income.

A few years ago the hand-dug wells in the area would have been sufficient for the people in the community, but since then the population has significantly increased and the effects of global warming have made an impact, drying up the wells. As more and more people move into the community, the need for access to safe water also increases.

When wells have no water community members must rely on streams of water wherever they can find them and regardless of their cleanliness. But streams are also beginning to dry up causing great concern for people in the community.

As a result of drinking contaminated water, water-related illnesses such as typhoid, dysentery, and diarrhea affect most members of the community. In 2012, the most-feared disease, cholera wreaked havoc on the community with an expected large loss of lives.

Agnes N., age 15 said, "Both my parents came from the southern part of the country. I was born here and have lived here all my life with no memory of anywhere else. Most of my older siblings have long moved out and started families of their own. At first, I thought it was a good thing until I realized all the chores are left for me and the other girls that my parents are raising."

Agnes went on to describe her daily routine, "It is clockwork. We get up at the same time every day to go and fetch water to be used but it never seems to be enough. My mother works and there is a neighbor that prepares food for us and she uses all the water we fetch for her and her children.

"One day I looked my parents in the face and told them I am old enough to start cooking after school. I took up the responsibility and luckily I have been doing it now for several years. I have learned a lot about cooking but I have also reduced the number of trips I make to the stream daily."

Abu Bakar Kamara, an agriculturist and comedian, age 29, shared how important water is to his livelihood and the care of his parents. "My main source of income and livelihood is agriculture. I plant vegetables and fruits, which I sell to buy rice and other household condiments. My profession needs a steady supply of water all year round."

He continued, "We have fertile soil that can pretty much produce any crop. I have a large plot of land nearby the family house that I use to plant tomatoes, one of the high-income fruits. It brings in a lot of money for me and my family. It requires great care, fertilizer, and water to yield a great harvest.

"I am the sole provider for my parents and water should always be readily available. They are very old and can no longer make their way to the swamp but with water, they can exercise by engaging in minimal household gardening, more so for my mother. My father spends the day lounging under the large tree enjoying the cool sea breeze."

The proposed borehole will be drilled on the property of a community member who volunteered her land, ideally located away from any toilet facility that could disrupt the quality of water. It will drastically reduce the number of people going to other parts of the community in search of water and provide them with clean, safe water that will restore health and allow people to pursue projects to enrich their daily lives.

What we can do:

New Well

Where we will be drilling is centrally located and will relieve many people of the long journey to fetch water and the challenge of accessing clean water.

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, the surrounding 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

February, 2022: Yongoroo, 10 Calaba Road Well Complete!

We are excited to share that there is now a safe, reliable borehole well in Yongoroo. As a result, 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.

"The new water well is a solution to the water crisis in this community," said 53-year-old nurse Agnes N'danema. "It is now a good thing that I will not use the scoophole water from the swamp. It is now good that I have [a] safe and adequate water well, which I will get access to anytime."

Agnes is in the center in the black and white shirt.

"My children used to walk to another community to fetch water," Agnes explained. "They used to fetch water from scoopholes at the swamp that were purposely dug for plant irrigation. [The water] wasn’t good for drinking, but my children used to drink it. I tried my best [to] stop them, but it was difficult because [the] children could not bear the crisis."

"Drinking water was hard to fetch because the water well where I used to fetch drinking water is far from my house," said 11-year-old Alex N. "Therefore, there was always [a] shortage in drinking water at my house. Sometimes, I [would] drink the swamp water. I and my sister went to the swamp well to wash clothes. They were heavy to carry after washing. Bringing them back to the house was another difficult task. This new water well will now provide enough water for us to wash all the clothes at home."

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to the community members. The ceremony was attended by several local dignitaries from the Ministry of Water Resources, the Port Loko District Council, and the local government. Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the water project. Then, Agnes made a statement on her community's behalf.

The ceremony concluded with celebration, singing, and dancing. The community's people were extremely happy. They sang songs of praise in the local language (Temne), saying, “We are happy for the good water you have given us,” and beat empty jerry cans like drums.

New Well

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


The drill team arrived the day before beginning work. They set up camp and unpacked all 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 34 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. This well has a static water level of 14 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 one of the water user committee member's homes to hold the meeting, under a large cashew tree.

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.

"I am happy for the hygiene training that was conducted," said Agnes N'danema. "This is a possible way of reducing the rate of water-related sicknesses in this community, mostly caused by [the] drinking of contaminated water and poor hygiene practices."

Diarrhea doll demonstration.

The topic Yongoroo's people found most informative was the demonstration of the diarrhea doll. Agnes and the training facilitators explained the causes of diarrhea and cholera (ingesting contaminated food or water). Agnes said many of the people within the community wait too long to go to the hospital when their loved ones are seriously ill, thinking that native medicines will cure them. Several lives had been lost this way in recent memory. She encouraged the community people to always visit the local clinic whenever they are sick because health workers are there to save lives.

Another notable topic was dental hygiene, which raised many questions for community members. One participant asked what he could substitute for toothpaste in case he had no money to buy any. Nurse Agnes advised him to use salt and ashes to brush his teeth. Another person asked whether it was alright to share one toothbrush in a household, which we advised again. Agnes also reminded everyone to keep their toothbrushes safe away from disease-transmitting organisms like house flies and cockroaches.

When an issue arises concerning the well, community members are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our field officers to assist them. Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2022: Yongoroo, 10 Calaba Rd Borehole Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Yongoroo, 10 Calaba Rd 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: Time for Playing!

February, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Yongoroo Community 4.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Yongoroo Community 4 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!

The community members of Yongoroo used to have to rely on local streams for their daily water needs.

"The water was having a taste and not pure to drink. The water sometimes [was] dirtied by community members that are closer to this water source. Most times, I [was] sick of fetching water from [a] long distance away from my home," said 13-year-old Alex N.

But since the well was rehabilitated last year, things have been different for community members. They now have a nearby reliable water source for all of their needs.

"I no longer walk far distances to fetch water because the water point is close [to] my doorstep. I have enough [time] to play and read my notebooks," said Alex.

"The water is safe and pure to drink," concluded Alex.

Alex 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 Yongoroo Community 4 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 Yongoroo Community 4 – 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.