Project Status



Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 103 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


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Community Profile

Rokula community doesn't have a well. The only water source available for the 103 people in the village is a swamp, which dries out during a few months each year when the rains don't come.

And while the dry season brings drought, the rainy season is not much better, since runoff and debris flow into the pool with each rainstorm, leaving the water opaque with dirt and sediment. People do laundry and bathing in the same water they drink, which leads to multiple health consequences, especially for the community's oldest and youngest members.

Those we spoke to said that every single person in Rokula has been affected by water-related illnesses at one point or another. They experience stomach cramping, skin rashes, diarrhea, and dysentery.

This difficult situation has led some of the people in the community to opt for walking over a mile to the next village to access their well or collecting what rainwater they can from their roofs. But still, they never seem to have enough water, with some households reporting that they make ten trips to the swamp each day, risking poisonous snake bites each time they venture into the bush and leeches dangling from their ankles after they step in to fill their containers.

"One of the [most] difficult tasks that I am always worried to do is fetching water from the swamp," said 36-year-old farmer Futa Bangura (shown below on a trip back from the swamp).

"It is very hard to fetch water from the swamp because of the long distance and bush area."

People in this region usually send their children to fetch water, but Futa doesn't send hers because she fears sending them into the swamp.

"I must try my best to fetch water so that there will be enough water to use at home," Futa continued. "It is hard to work on the farm and return to the house to fetch water before starting to prepare food. It is more difficult to fetch clean drinking water during the dry season. The swamp water would reduce and could not be sufficient for everyone in this village. It is a very difficult task for me."

"For the past years, I face [a] lot of water challenges," said 14-year-old student Abu D (in the photo below standing in the water source).

"[The] water situation in my village affects me [greatly]. The swamp water in the village is not enough, and it is not pure to drink. Every morning, I go to the swamp to bathe, then fetch water [and] return home. I usually go to school late because I must fetch water before going to school. The road to the swamp is far, and it is not easy for me. Also, the school [I] am attending is far [away], so it is not easy to walk to and from. After school, I have to fetch water to launder my uniform, then later join my mother to do work. I would be very happy if this project digs a new water well in my community."

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, TKKK and the surrounding community will be provided with plenty of accessible, clean drinking water.

Training

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


12/13/2022: Rokula Community Well Complete!

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

"The water situation in this community was a great challenge to me particularly. The time that I spent to fetch water from the swamp to my house was too much. This weakened my energy to do more trips of water [fetching] and complete other daily activities," said 36-year-old Fatu Bangura.

Fatu pours water to celebrate.

"I [won't] worry much any longer in school about fetching water from a far distance to my house after school. I know that there is now [a] water well near my house where I can quickly fetch water at any time. My mother could be cooking while I am fetching water at the same time. The water from this new well is exceptionally clean and good to drink. It is not like the colored swamp water that I used to drink. I am happy for the new water well," said 15-year-old Abu D.

Abu (in purple) celebrates clean water!

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to the community members. Several local dignitaries attended the ceremony, including representatives from the Ministry of Water Resources and the Port Loko District Council. Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to this water project and reminding the community members to take good care of it. Then, Fatu and Abu 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.

Chlorination.

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.

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 12 meters. With these excellent results, we installed a stainless steel pump. Water quality test results showed that this was 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.

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.

Reviewing disease transmission posters.

"I am happy about this training because I have learned things that I will always put into practice," said 28-year-old farmer Maseray Dumbuya. "During this training, I have learned how diseases transmit from one person to another through our hands. To stop sharing diseases, we must always wash our hands with soap and clean water using handwashing techniques. I was extremely glad to now know how to construct the local tippy tap. I have already done it and placed it before my latrine to do the proper and regular handwashing after using the latrine."

Maseray.

The session on good versus bad hygiene was a favorite amongst participants. A participant shared her experience that while breastfeeding her child, she refrained from eating certain food like fish, eggs, and vegetables because of traditional beliefs which teach that eating such food and breastfeeding a child would make the child suffer with frequent stooling.

The Water User Committee with training certificates.

A nurse participating in the training encouraged community members to abstain from this tradition and encouraged lactating mothers to breastfeed their babies for the required time based on nutrition guidelines. The community members were happy and thanked the trainers for the information.

Conclusion

This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members themselves. 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 their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!




10/25/2022: Rokula Village Borehole Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Rokula 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

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.


Contributors

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