Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 228 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/16/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Konkmodu is a growing community and in need of some basic infrastructure. There is currently no school, but area chiefs have realized the need and initiated a building project that will help reduce the distance children have to walk for an education. But a reliable, clean water source is another must for a brighter future.

Currently, the 228 community members collect water from a local swamp, sapping their energy, time, and health. After every rainfall, the swamp floods during the rainy season, and community members can use it for several days.

Being a growing community where people are building houses almost every day, it is very difficult for housebuilders to access water to complete their building projects because the swamp scoophole is far away. The frequent flow of builders to the water source muddies it to the point that community members cannot use it for drinking, cooking, and bathing until they wait for sediment to settle.

Farmer Binneh Bangura (collecting water below), 27, said, "I wake up early in the morning to fetch water from the swamp. It is not easy to collect water from the swamp because of the distance and activities at the water well. This is always putting the water in a filthy state which would not be good for drinking. I can only get clean drinking water from the swamp early in the morning when few or no one would have collected water before my arrival at the water well."

He continued, "Life is now becoming extremely hard for me because the water in the swamp well is coming to get low, and the demand for water is going to a high demand. Currently, there is more difficulty to get drinking water. Sometimes, I go beyond this community searching for drinking water. It is not all the time I could be able or have enough time to go far for drinking water because I have other activities to do."

As Binneh said, chores needing water are left undone because of the current water crisis. The collection lines at the swamp are long and cause delays. Petty traders who move their goods outside the community to sell lose valuable income and customers because they waste too much time fetching water each day.

Even when people can collect water, it is contaminated and not healthy to consume.

"Because people also use the swamp water well to irrigate their crops, the water becomes low in the well, which makes the water filthy. I would have to wait until the water is clean before collecting it. That delays my time at the water well and makes me late for school, which then causes problems for me with my teachers," said Sallaimatu S., 17, shown collecting water below.

She continued, "When the water is low in the swamp well, I would bend down to the ground and dip the bucket into the well to collect water. That method is difficult for me. I can also carry the water on my head to the house. Because of that, it is hard for me alone to make more than three trips of water to my house."

A well in Konkmodu will enable community members, including the children, to accomplish their daily tasks more easily and make room for future progress.

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, Konkmodu 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

June, 2022: Konkmodu Railway New Borehole Well Complete!

We are excited to share that there is now a safe, reliable borehole well in Konkmodu Railway Line 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.

"I want to take this opportunity to say thanks," said Sallaimatu S., 15, who we spoke to when we first visited Konkmodu Railway community.

Before, Sallaimatu dips a container into the stream. After, she pours water at the new well while community members celebrate.

"I am very much happy for having access to [a] safe and pure, reliable water source," Sallaimatu continued. "Before I used to go to the swamp to fetch water, which is contaminated, and I easily contracted diseases. But through this safe and pure water, I will never access contaminated water anymore and I will not go to the swamp to collect water."

"[I] now have ample time to rest and to read my school notes," Sallaimatu concluded. "I will no longer [be] late for school and [I will] launder my uniform and clothes. I will advocate that the community take proper care of the pump, keep the surroundings clean, and tell the community to adhere [to] the rules and regulations of the well."

"I have been suffering for so many years to fetch water in this village," said 25-year-old farmer Binneh Bangura, who we also met when we first visited Konkmodu Railway.

Binneh stands tall behind the celebrating crowd, holding a glass of water.

"During the dry season especially, March to April, I [would] only go to the swamp to collect water," Binneh continued.

"Today, I am happy for this project in my community. Now I have access to safe and pure water, and it has contributed to [my] sound health. This safe water impacts my life [to] not suffer from diarrhea. I will no longer go to the swamp to fetch water which is not even safe to drink. I say thanks to [your] entire staff."

Binneh speaks during the dedication ceremony while Sallaimatu smiles next to him.

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 Port Loko District Council, the Ministry of Water Resources, and the Ward Council.

The village headman, Momoh Kanu, and Ward Councilor Fatmata Akai pour water from the new well during the dedication ceremony.

Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to this water project and reminding the staff and students to take good care of it. The village headman also gave a speech thanking everyone involved in the project, including the donors who made it possible. Then, Sallaimatu and Binneh made statements on their community's behalf. The ceremony concluded with celebration, singing, and dancing.

Children celebrated at the ceremony too!

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!

Drilling underway.

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 26 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 14 meters. With these excellent results, we installed a stainless steel pump. Water quality test results showed that this is clean water fit for drinking!

Finished project.

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.

We asked for one participant from each household, and Konkmodu's people showed up in spades, with more than double that amount for each day of training. Ward Councilor Fatmata Akai even showed up to the training to ensure her constituents had attended, which showed a great deal of commitment to a better, healthier future for this community.

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 training facilitator shows an illustration of breastfeeding.

One notable topic was the importance of breastfeeding, which spurred a good deal of discussion. The village headman said that some of the women in the community start feeding their children soft foods like rice husks and fufu (a starchy side served with many meals) as early as three weeks old. We urged the community women to breastfeed as long as they can, since breastmilk provides all the nutrients an infant needs.

Isha Kargbo after the training.

"I have learned many things that I will always put into practice," said 33-year-old farmer Isha Kargbo. "During this training, I have learned how diseases can be transmitted from one person to another through our hands, and so, to stop spreading diseases, I must always wash my hands with soap and clean water using the handwashing techniques. I am glad that now I know how to construct the tippy-tap, which I have already constructed [in] front of [my] latrine to do proper and regular hand washing."

Handwashing lesson.

A new school is being constructed not too far from the new well to serve Konkmodu Railway Line Community's children. The community appreciated our training so much that they invited us back to train the school staff once construction is completed.

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!

May, 2022: Konkmodu Railway Line Community Well Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Konkmodu Railway Line 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

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: "Safe Drinking Water has Changed My life..."

October, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Konkmodu Railway Line 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!

Mayealie K., 15, recalled what life was like in the Konkmodu Railway Line Community before her community's well was installed last year.

"We, the children, were suffering alot to fetch clean water. Before this time, we were going to the swamp to fetch water," said Mayealie.

But life is now much more hopeful for Mayealie and other community members living in the Konkmodu Railway Line Community.

"Now, I'm very happy having this safe drinking water. Now, there is no more sickness in our community. I go to school on time," continued Mayealie.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference, allowing Mayealie freedom and joy in her everyday life

"Safe drinking water has changed my life. I'm very strong now. I want [to] say thanks to your support in my life," concluded Mayealie.

She shared how her life is different below.

Right now, there are others in neighboring communities that desperately need safe water access. Your support will immediately go to work to provide a clean water project - and we can’t wait to introduce you to the next person you’ll help.

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 Konkmodu Railway Line 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 Konkmodu Railway Line 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.


The Gallon Challenge
United Way of the Capital Region
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