Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 100 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/13/2023

Project Features

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The series of Bross villages were once isolated communities that recently became more welcoming and open. The founding father of this village was a hunter. The village is surrounded by thick patches of bushes, the type where wild animals like to roam. Development has not touched any part of this community. The homes are primarily on one side of the road that leads to the stream. Here, settlements are always made based on accessibility to a water source, and the only way to keep away from the hot sun is to take refuge under it.

The road leading to the village is gravel with sharp granite stones that cause damage to bikes and cars. Mango trees are planted in front of the homes as well as along the footpath to the stream. Families scramble to pick the fresh fruit to sell at the Luma day open market as a way to make a small income.

The 100 people living in Bross 3 are surrounded by fertile lands that span the Bross villages. There is a stream that runs into the villages used for fishing while also serving as the community's primary source of water. The stream is increasingly unreliable and unsafe for drinking.

During the dry season, the stream reduces significantly. The long and treacherous walk to the stream is discouraging enough on its own, let alone reaching the water to find so little available. Children are strongly discouraged from traveling to the stream alone due to the risks that could befall them along the way.

"I remember when I was a kid in the village, going to the stream at that age was a big adventure - an adventure that would have me holding a stick and singing loudly along the way. I was surprised to find, some 40 years later in another part of the country, children holding sticks and singing going to the stream or farms," shared one of our field officers.

"My thought back then was for all fun and games, not knowing it was a technique parents and elders used to have the children singing or talking loudly to drive off any dangerous and poisonous animals that might be lurking on the footpath."

All of this effort is to get water that makes people sick. The stream is prone to contaminants and runoff. Grass grows on top, on the side, and all around the water source, with people indiscriminately bathing anywhere they choose. Those fetching water have to walk knee-deep into the stream to get what may look like the best quality of water available. People contract diarrheal and waterborne diseases from drinking the water.

"I have lived in the village all my life and plan on being here for the rest of my life. The reason some communities thrive and some go under is quite simple: sufficient and sustainable access to a good water source," said Ousman Sesay, a local farmer.

"Our water crisis is starting to be very dangerous because, each year, there is less and less water in the stream. The only water stored in good supply is for drinking and cooking. All our other activities, such as laundering and bathing, are done at the stream."

What we can do:

New Well

We will be drilling a well in a central point in the community to relieve many people of the long journey to fetch water. This project will ease 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 tested. If these tests are positive, our mechanics will install a new India Mark II pump.

"I spend the better part of the day fetching water to reach the amount that is required of me every day. I will be happier than anyone to have the opportunity of having access to a borehole in the village junction," said Fatmata Bangura.

By drilling this borehole, the well will provide Bross 3 Village with plenty of accessible, clean drinking water.


Our team will offer hygiene and sanitation training sessions 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 help solve a severe problem, like a pump breakdown.

Project Updates

September, 2021: Kamasondo, Bross 3 Well Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable borehole well at Bross 3. 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.

"I found it extremely difficult to fetch water after school," said Mariatu B., a 16-year-old student.

"It was hard to fetch water to serve my entire household and failing to do so, my parents would punish me," Mariatu continued. "I had to take all possible chances to provide enough water for my family and do other domestic works before and after school. I had no more time to read my school notes at home, and I [would] fall asleep in class during teaching. I am happy now we have a clean water well in this village. I can fetch water at any time with less worries."

New Well

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

"Today, I am presently happy because of this new water facility in my community," said Fatmata Sesay (35), a local trader. "It was extremely not easy to fetch water from the previous water point. The road is far and slippery after rainfall, this has caused many of us falling and bucket got damage. It was common that our children fell and broke their arms and legs because of the bad road to the swamp well. This new water source is a great help for us in this community. I can now have enough water to do all my domestic activities at the most easy and possible time."

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand the well over to the community members of Bross 3, which was attended by local dignitaries as well as the beneficiaries of the new well. The entire community celebrated, including children, who were singing and dancing. Since this community's inception, they had never had a source of safe, reliable water until now.

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.

Yield test.

The yield of this well was 20 liters per minute, with a static water level of 13 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 community headman’s house to hold the meeting.

In Bross 3, representatives attended training from all 14 households of the community: an unheard-of 100% participation rate!

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 Bross 3, the most memorable topic was disease transmission, which spurred a lively discussion. Eventually, Pa Brima Kanu, the village headman, cleared his throat and said the illustrations of disease transmission portrayed exactly the bad practices of community members. He concluded by saying that he will punish anyone who contaminates the new water source. In the end, everyone promised to follow the advice from the training.

Another topic that caused quite a stir was childhood nutrition. Prior to the training, many community members held some traditional beliefs about certain foods infesting children with worms, malaria, or even causing them to become involved in witchcraft. After long deliberation, they all agreed to eat and give their children balanced diets including fruit, since they now know their importance. They also vowed to no longer deprive their children of any foods because of traditional beliefs.

"To me, this training is the most valuable thing that I have ever learned in all my life," said Osman Sesay, a 39-year-old farmer. "Through this training, I have come to know the importance of things that I thought were of less importance. I now have the knowledge on how to take care of myself and my community. I believe if every member of this community starts implementing all the positive knowledge gathered from this training, that will help improve our health standards."

Emma K., a 16-year-old student, said that no one in the community believed COVID-19 was real prior to the training. "Before this time, [no] member of this community has taken any steps to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in any way. I am ready to follow all that our trainers have taught us by doing the regular and proper handwashing, proper facemask wearing, physical distancing, coughing and sneezing using the elbow, and all other relevant ideas from the training so that we all can be safe."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

August, 2021: Bross 3 Project Underway!

Dirty water is making people in Bross 3 sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community/school through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation, and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with news of success!

Project Videos

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 whole community is happy."

January, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Bross 3 Community in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Osman. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Bross 3 Community.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bross 3 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!

Last year, people in Bross 3 had to walk a long way outside the community to a local stream to collect their water, braving danger from wild animals and the slippery path.

"Before this project was completed in my community, it was very difficult for me when it comes to having access to clean and safe drinking water for myself and the family," explained 42-year-old Osman. "My wife and the children had to go down the stream to fetch water every day, which was another task added to what she already had. The most unfortunate part of it was that the road was very scary with snakes and other dangerous animals like spiders [and] scorpions, and the road itself was very slippery, especially in the raining season.

"Sometimes, my children [would] sustain injuries on the road, and because of that, I had to spend a lot of money replacing broken buckets due to the difficulties my children used to have on the way to [the] water source. Another challenge was that my children walked more than six miles to and from school, and when they come back from school, I had to ask them again to go down the stream, about 2 miles [away, to fetch water, which was painful for them, but there was no way they could avoid it when options and opportunities of having access to clean and safe drinking water [did] not exist. This was badly telling on their academics, especially [for] my first daughter."

But now, the community has its own well right in town, which has made things easier for people of all ages in Bross 3.

" There is no problem for now," Osman said. "I am very happy to have this water facility in my community, and the whole community is happy because we have water at any time we want it, even at night hours, because it is available and affordable at all times.

"This water facility has impacted my life in many ways, but I will name [a] few. It has helped me get rid of worries I had before whenever my children [were] going down [to] the stream to fetch water. It has also helped my wife to focus on doing other things without any worries of having to go down the stream to fetch water or worrying [about] children coming back with broken buckets instead of water. My resources are now saved on replacing broken buckets."

Now, Osman feels confident that his family members are happy and healthy.

"As a father and breadwinner of any home, I believe seeing your children being happy at all times is a great joy and fulfillment, and seeing my children in that mood in the past year calls for celebration," Osman concluded. "And I believe [this is] a result of this water facility in my community. My daughter's school grades have improved over the year, and I am so excited."

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 Bross 3 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 Bross 3 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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