Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 69 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/22/2022

Project Features

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The 69 community members in Tardi can only rely on the local swamp for water because there is no other water source in their village.

The water in the swamp water is yellow. There are frogs in the water and green leaves float on top. Children swim and villagers do laundry in the same water they collect to drink. Drinking contaminated water means community members and those they love suffer from water-related diseases as a result. Sadly, a recent severe cholera outbreak led to the loss of several relatives and immediate family in the community. Every day, individuals struggle to stay healthy, which impacts how much energy they can commit to building successful lives.

People in Tardi also must deal with the disturbing problem of being stalked by a pack of wild dogs as they move about the community and travel through the forest to reach the swamp to collect water. It is not just a nuisance, it is also dangerous, causing many injuries and broken water buckets as people run away to escape.

Mayelie Bangura, 35, a local petty trader, said, "There are stray dogs all over the forest chasing people and causing damage on properties. This has made it hard for me to fetch water to prepare my business on time."

Mayelie also shared how being the only person in her household to collect water weighs on her as she attempts to provide an income for her family. "It is always hard in this village to fetch water from the swamp to prepare my business. My children living with me are not strong enough, for now, to help me fetch water. I must do it alone every morning to prepare my business."

Because of the threat of wild animals, students are unable to fetch water after school in the afternoon since they need to wait for their parents to arrive home from the family farm. "I fetch water from the swamp every day before and after school from Menika village (2 miles away). It is not easy to walk [a] far distance to attend school and return home after school to fetch water. This has been so hard on me every day because I make more than four trips for water every day and do other domestic works as well," said Mahawa T., age 15.

She continued, "I exhaust more of my time and energy on domestic activities including fetching water than reading my [school] reading at home."

There is great fertile land for farming and lots of potential in Tardi. More people would move to this community, but people are reluctant because there is no safe water source.

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, Tardi and 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

05/16/2022: Tardi Community 2 Borehole Well Complete!

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

Community kids splash water with Osman Fofanah from the Ministry of Water Resources.

"I used to fetch water from the swamp, and it is a far distance," said 14-year-old student, Mahawa T. "The swamp water is not clean. It was not easy for me to fetch enough water from the swamp to do all the activities at the house. The swamp area is dangerous because there are wild animals, including snakes, along the way to the swamp. I sometimes had to go to the swamp together with other people to fetch water."

Mahawa cups her hands beneath the pump.

"I am happy because of the new pump in this community," Mahawa continued. "I can now fetch water at any time without waiting to go along with other people. I will not waste time as I used to do at the swamp. The pump water is clean, and it is good for drinking. It is good now to fetch water from the pump."

Mayelie Bangura, a 36-year-old petty trader, explained the community's water crisis before the new well was installed.

"I had to wake up early in the morning to fetch drinking water because the water at the swamp would get hot after the morning hours," Mayelie said. "There is no cover and the direct sun [on] the water at the swamp makes it hot to drink. The water is not clean, and it is not good for drinking, but there was no other water well in this community."

Mayelie, left, splashes water with Abubakarr Bangura from the Port Loko District Council.

"The new water well is the best," Mayelie continued. "I believe that it will help to protect us from sicknesses because it is clean. I spent more time on fetch water from the swamp but it now quite easy to fetch water from the pump to complete other domestic activities early. I am happy today because of the new pump we now have in this community."

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to the community members. The ceremony opened with a prayer led by the Chief Imam. Several local dignitaries attended the ceremony, including representatives from the Ministry of Water Resources, the Port Loko District Council, and the Ward Council. The community people sang songs in their local language welcoming the guests.

Community singing.

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, Mahawa and Mayelie made statements on their 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 27 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.

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 8.5 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 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.

After this preparatory period, we scheduled a time when members from each household using the water point could attend a three-day hygiene and sanitation training. We then dispatched our teams to the agreed-upon location to hold the meeting.

Attendance was better than expected. Each household sent more than one representative to all three days of training, which demonstrated their commitment to bettering their community's hygiene and sanitation standards.

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.

The most memorable topic for Tardi's people was dental hygiene. Some members of the community who had tooth decay initially blamed their teeth's condition on chewing kola nut, but further questioning from the training facilitators found that they had not been practicing good oral hygiene. By the end of the topic overview, everyone in attendance had agreed to take better care of their teeth moving forward.

"This training is valuable to me because water is life," said water user committee chairperson Momoh Bangura. "Initially, I had no knowledge about hygiene and sanitation and how to take care of my community and my house. Washing my hands with soap and water after using the toilet, brushing my teeth two times a day, the importance of cleaning the latrine, the value of dishracks, and, in fact, everything about this training is important to me. I will put them into practice."

The water user committee displays their certifications at the new well.

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!

03/28/2022: Tardi Community 2 Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Tardi 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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