Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 600 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/22/2024

Project Features

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Munamakarr Secondary School was established by Ousman Koroma, who saw the need to address the overcrowded classrooms at some of the schools in the area. He noticed that much emphasis was not being placed on examination integrity and vowed that his school would become one of the best. The school is named after a Temne word meaning "You have been waited for."

The secondary school began with an enrollment of 140 students, and in a few years, the population has more than tripled to the 600 students who attend today. The school's construction was completed in 2011 with only junior secondary school students attending. In a short few years, the school was making headlines by producing the best external exam results.

Over the years since its founding, the school has increased both the number of students enrolled and the number of classrooms on campus. If the trend continues, there is a plan for further improvements to continue to put the school on the path of excellence. However, a lack of water points on the school grounds is holding it back.

"Some parents have refused to send their students to this school because there is no water source. I cannot blame them; I would also want the best of everything for my children. As a parent and Principal, I have to make sure I provide all facilities to qualify the school. A school without water is just a building and not fit to carry the name of a school," said Principal Amidu Conteh.

The water challenges send the students across the street to another secondary school that is fortunate enough to have a hand-dug well with a hand pump. But the Munamakarr Secondary School students have to make sure they fetch their water before the other school's administration decides to lock the gate. The Munamakarr Secondary School has tried before to have get a borehole well put into their school using local resources, but the plan never amounted to anything tangible.

"It is shameful for us students to go to another school to fetch water for use at the school compound, be it for drinking or other use, but it should not be like that. I have been praying silently for a solution to this problem because if it is not resolved, I will never return to this school," said student Isatu K.

"I have spent some of my primary school education fetching water, and now that I am in secondary school, I still have to endure such treatments. No, it will not happen again."

The school administration saw the need for a sustainable source of water that will serve the students and, if needed, the school across the road if and when their water well is nonfunctional.

"I have seen all the excuses in the world when students are trying to leave for the day. I am in no position to dispute what they claim. My goal and dream are to make sure water is going to be available for the students and staff all year round," said Principal Conteh.

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 reduce 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, Munamakarr Secondary School 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

March, 2022: Munamakarr Secondary School Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that there is now a safe, reliable borehole well at Munamukarr Secondary School. 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.

"The availability of this borehole in our school compound is a blessing for the teachers as well as the students," said teacher Mohamed Jabbie. "Imagine students crossing the busy street to access the water source inside the other school compound. They faced ridicule from other students and also the possibility of being hit by a speeding motorbike or motorcar."

Some of the school's teachers at the well.

But now, Mohamed is excited about the new possibilities for his students.

"The next year is going to see [a] great improvement and an increase in the number of enrolled students," he said. "As a teacher, I am very happy and hope to see my students achieve more."

"This water well in our compound is going to greatly help me and fellow students because they will always be in class for lessons," said 16-year-old Doris.

Doris pumps water at the new well.

"I am always in class and ready for lectures," she continued. "[The well] will reduce the number of times students leave the class with an excuse of going across the street to fetch water. It will also reduce unwanted pregnancies and fights or arguments between students from [the] different school.

"Some of my classmates [would] sleep from the beginning of the class to the end. Having water in the school compound will also reduce the amount of class sleepers. A student will now be able to rinse his or her face off whenever sleep is creeping [up] on them."

Doris pours water while students celebrate.

"One of the most important things for girls also is when we are experiencing our menstruations, which requires the use of sufficient water. In the past, we suffered a lot but now things are better," Doris concluded.

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, the Ward Council, and the Senior Inspector of Schools. Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the water project. Then, Mohamed and Doris made statements on their community's behalf. The ceremony concluded with celebration, singing, and dancing.

New Well

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

The Process

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 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. 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 teachers and students could attend a multi-day hygiene and sanitation training. We then dispatched our teams to the agreed-upon location to hold the meeting.

First, we trained the teachers, who then trained their classes. This method led to a staggering 785 teachers and students receiving hygiene training through this project!

"This training has helped refresh our memories on things that we used to do like washing of hands before entering the school compound and the wearing of face masks in school," Doris said.

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.

For Munamakarr's teachers and students, the most popular topic was disease transmission, during which we hold an interactive session where everyone gets the chance to arrange and present stages of disease transmission to tell a story of how diseases spread within a community. Every group presented their stories with explanation to support their story. At the end of the session everyone gave their own views on how to break the chain of the disease transmission in schools and communities.

Discussing the disease transmission posters.

Another topic that students found engaging was malaria. Many students proposed the causes of malaria that their parents have told them: eating oranges, mangoes, or vegetable oil. Others stated that mosquitoes and bedbugs transmit malaria. They were surprised to learn that it is only an infected female mosquito bite that can lead to malaria.

The school's principal, Amidu Conteh, said: "Being a teacher does not mean that I know everything, because this training has been the opportunity for me to learn things that I never knew before, especially the dangers attached to malaria. The conversion of one-gallon rubbers (containers) into a simple and durable handwashing station was also new knowledge. These, and all [the] other knowledge gained through this training, are all so important. I will never forget, and will make sure to put them correctly as I have learned."

When an issue arises concerning the well, staff 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!

February, 2022: Munamakarr Secondary School Borehole Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Munamakarr Secondary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school 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: "The water is safe and pure for drinking."

March, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Munamakarr Secondary School in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Kadija. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Munamakarr Secondary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Munamakarr Secondary School 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!

Last year before we installed a well at Munamakarr Secondary School, students had to try to find water wherever they could since their water source was not functioning.

"Before this time, the school compound had no water facility. Most times, we were out of class to fetch water to drink and use the sanitation facility in the school. Even to do handwashing after eating was difficult for us. We mostly used paper to wipe our hands," said 16-year-old Kadija K.

But since installing the well, students have had access to a steady water source and can stay at school.

"We are so grateful to have this water point. The water is safe and pure for drinking. It has eased the suffering for water," Kadija.

But having enough drinking water is not the only benefit of having the well. Students see other benefits as well.

"All Home Economics activities are done on time because there is enough water to use," concluded Kadija.

With sufficient water for drinking, proper hygiene practices, and learning, only time will tell how bright Kadija's future will be.

Kadija 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 Munamakarr Secondary School 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 Munamakarr Secondary School – 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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