Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 141 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/19/2023

Project Features

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Robay Village is located in Kamasondo Chiefdom along the Port Loko Highway. Of the communities in Kamasando, Robay is the most vulnerable to the water crisis. Robay community members are dependent on swamp water as their main source of water.

People have to walk almost a mile to reach the swamp water each day. This distance is a great challenge to the community, especially for school-going children. The time kids spend fetching water causes them to be late for school. Women find it difficult to manage the little available water they have at their various houses. Children and women always worry about how and where to fetch good water for their families each morning and afternoon. Yet, they have no option but to drink the swamp water because it the only water source available to them.

"We suffer a lot to fetch water for domestic purposes and drinking. Early in the morning, I have to walk a long distance to the swamp and fetch water before preparing for school," said primary school student Kadiatu.

"The water crisis in Robay village is really hindering my education because, every morning, I have to spend much time to fetch water before always going to school late. Because of the water shortage in Robay village, sometimes I end the day without taking a bath. It is a difficult situation, but I have to endure it because I have no option."

The long walks to the swamp affect the adults' schedules too. Women are supposed to go to their farms early in the morning to work, but because of the water challenge, they arrive at their farms later in the day. Late in the afternoon, women hurry back to the village after their farm work to fetch more water and prepare food for their families. Students have little time to study when they get home because they are tired by the end of the day due to spending so much energy fetching water for their families.

"I hardly get time to read my school notes at home, because I used almost all my energies on domestic activities., especially fetching water. Because of this, I always struggle to pass my school examinations," said Kadiatu.

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 location is a center point of Robay Village where everyone in that community can easily access within the shortest time. Anyone can easily walk to access this water point without much energy required. There is no risk or danger along the way to access this proposed water point. 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, 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 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

September, 2021: Robay Village Well Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable borehole well in Robay Village. As a result, the students and community members no longer 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!

Village headman, Mustapha Kamara, celebrates water with community children.

"Before this new water source, we had to dig a hole in the swamp to access water to use by the entire village. I know the water we used to fetch at the swamp is not pure and caused us to [get] sick when [we] drank from it. Thank God, we now have a clean and safe water source that can be easily accessed to fetch water and do all our domestic activities," said a local trader and village headman, Mustapha Kamara (50).

Community members and several local district leaders joined the dedication ceremony near the new well, next to the mosque. Together they danced and rejoiced, praising God for a reliable and safe water source.

Almost as if on cue, those in search of clean water appeared: a commercial vehicle heading to Port Loko stopped along the road during the ceremony, and one of the passengers onboard requested water to drink from the new well. How fortuitous!

A local student, Mariatu K., age 16, shared the impact the new well will have in her life. "As a student, I found it was difficult to get clean and pure water to drink, bathe and launder our clothes. I am happy now we have a clean and safe water source in the village which is not hard to reach and always available."

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 29 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 20 liters per minute, with a static water level of 11 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.

"The training is really of importance to me because I have learned new skills and new methods on how to care for myself, food, and community. Especially in the proper and regular handwashing using soap and water," said Fatu Kamara, a 45-year-old female farmer.

The session on dental hygiene was popular during the three-day training. It triggered many questions from the participants in the community, such as whether it is permissible to share a toothbrush amongst an entire family. The facilitator explained how using the same toothbrush can lead to disease transmission. The participants agreed to brush their teeth twice a day with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste for healthy teeth and good breath by the end of the session. They further decided to keep their toothbrushes away from disease-causing agents like cockroaches, ants, and houseflies.

Alusine L. Kamara, a 35-year-old trader, shared, "After this training, I will encourage my community stakeholders to enforce the habit of wearing masks at public places, the practice of proper handwashing with clean water and soap, and the implementation of constructing the tippy tap in every household."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2021: Robay Village Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Robay Village 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 can't believe this is real."

January, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Robay 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 we installed a well in Robay village last year, people had to walk miles to a faraway swamp to fetch water that would inevitably make them sick.

For 17-year-old Mariatu, walking the long distance was an everyday occurrence, and it wasn't only the long walk that bothered her.

"There was a very big challenge for me between fetching water and going to school because the distance to [the] stream was more than two miles away, and from here to my school was another two and [a] half miles away," Mariatu said.

She continued: "I was very frustrated living in a community without clean, safe, and sustainable drinking water. The road was very bad, with dangerous animals like snakes on the way to the stream, especially at noon. That is the most fearful time to venture going down [to] that stream, and because of that, I had to go to the nearby village, which [is] another three miles away, but it is located on the highway, which is much safer when it comes to battling with snakes on the way to the stream at noon hours."

Ever since we installed a brand-new well in Robay, Mariatu doesn't have to worry about long walks for water or wildlife attacks anymore.

"I am so excited for having such an amazing opportunity in my community," Mariatu said. "I can't believe this is real. At least my life is now safe from harm. I have been looking for this opportunity since I was very young, and having it is a great achievement."

Mariatu pumps water 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 Robay 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 Robay 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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