Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/24/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

The 200 people in the village of Neneh Koroh do not have a reliable, clean water source. Looks can be deceiving, because there is a hand-pump well in the community, but it is unprotected, does not provide sufficient water, and is open to contamination. There is no fence to keep animals out of the area, and because the water level is low, soil is stirred up within the well whenever several people use it.

On average, people make nine trips to the well every day to have enough water. But regardless of the number of trips made to the well, it runs dry, and no water can be found.

Especially during the dry season, community members must rely on the surface water they can collect from a nearby stream in a swampy area. Individuals must cross a treacherous road before traversing down a narrow and steep footpath to reach the stream. The path leads through a forest area where wild animals live. It is risky and exhausting, especially for children.

"Sometimes, I feel pain in my body because of the water I fetch every day, especially from the long distance. I had fallen on my way from the stream with a bucket on my head full of water and got injured on my knee and elbow," said 13-year-old Saidu.

Because it takes so long to get to the stream to collect water, daily activities like doing laundry, cooking, cleaning, and attending school are delayed.

Mabinty Kamara, a 39-year-old petty trader, shared her experiences. "This (the dry season) is the most disturbing season in the year I would never like to go through. I have to walk down to the stream water source to wash clothes and carry them to the community. I could only do that once a week because I had my business to sell at the market. It is challenging to carry wet clothes [and] climb the hill along the road from the stream water source. The main well I believe, will be a source of solution for the water crisis in this community."

While visiting, I heard a recent account of a 13-year-old girl from the community who ran away from home because she was beaten for not fetching water for her family. She had avoided collecting water because the trek to the stream was arduous for her. After two weeks in a nearby village with other family members, she returned home, but being away from school for two weeks was a significant setback in her academics.

Converting the hand-dug well to a borehole well will help provide a safe, sustainable, reliable water source for this community. Having access to water near their homes will allow people to get on with activities that improve 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

May, 2022: Neneh Koroh Community Well Complete!

We are excited to share that there is now a safe, reliable borehole well at Neneh Koroh Community. 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.

Trader Musa Kamara, 28, said, "The construction of this new water point has helped me. Before this time, I must walk [a] far distance to fetch water from the stream, which is not even pure. But now, I can fetch pure water from the well, which is closer to my house."

Musa (far right) celebrating clean water with others.

Student Isatu B., 17, said, "This new well will enable me as a student to be punctual in school and have enough time to study. Initially, I used to wake up very early in the morning to go in search of water at the stream or the neighboring communities. This made me go to school late and hindered my time as a student to study at home."

Isatu holding clean water.

"But now, I believe all these problems have been solved because I now have a well in this community that is reliable, safe, and pure," concluded Isatu.

Community members celebrate by dancing.

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to the community that began with community members saying both Christian and Muslim prayers. Several local dignitaries attended the ceremony, including representatives from the Water User Committee, the Port Loko District Council Office, and the Ministry of Water Resources. Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the water project and reminding the staff and students to take good care of it. Then, section Chief, Pa Kombrabai Sesay made a statement on the community's behalf. The ceremony concluded with celebration, singing, and dancing.

New Well

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 and meals for the duration of their stay. The following day, 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 challenging.

Day one of drilling began as the team mixed water with bentonite, an absorbent clay, in the two dug pits. 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!

After putting each five-foot length of drill stem into the hole, the team took material samples. We labeled the bags to review them later and 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 remove any dirt 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.

Yield Test.

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 16 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!

Installing the pump.

New Knowledge

Before conducting any hygiene training, we called and visited the local water user committee to understand 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.

Learning proper handwashing techniques.

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.

Learning about good hygiene behaviors.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps, good and bad hygiene habits, disease transmission and prevention, COVID-19, worms and parasites, proper dental hygiene, proper care of the well's pump, keeping the water clean, the cost recovery system, the importance of using dish racks and clotheslines, the importance of toilets, keeping latrines clean, balanced diets, the diarrhea doll, and HIV and AIDS.

Disease transmission discussion.

Training participants had quite a discussion about the topic of disease transmission. One man argued that their tradition of collecting water from the stream was not harmful and actually made them stronger but someone else reminded the group that animals and humans bathe and defecate in that same water making it unsafe for human consumption. The group concurred that they now know it is not safe to use the water from the stream and should collect water from the waterpoint going forward.

The water committee chairman, Musa Kamara, 28, shared, "With this new knowledge that I have learned, I have a better understanding of good hygiene practices. Because when it comes to handwashing and its techniques, washing my hands after using the toilet, before [the training] I was not doing it. But now, with this new knowledge, I will change from the bad hygiene practices."

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!

March, 2022: Neneh Koroh Community New Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in the Neneh Koroh 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

Borehole and Hand Pump

Girls and women walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - we are able to pull water to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.


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