Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/14/2024

Project Features

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For the 200 community members in Barrick, collecting water is a challenging and risky task. The path to the waterpoint is rough, and it is not uncommon to see people, especially women and children, beating the dirt with sticks hoping it will scare off venomous snakes and wild animals along the 45-minute route.

The long distance to the waterpoint coupled with insufficient water supply, especially during the dry season when most of the water dries up, means many community members' daily tasks go unfinished. The water shortage forces people to wear clothes for a week at a time because they prioritize the little water they have for drinking or cooking. Children, in particular, find collecting water challenging since it consumes so much of their time that they miss school and instead end up working on their family farms.

Sadly, even when people can retrieve water from the swamp, they risk becoming sick by drinking it. Soap from community members bathing and doing laundry at the waterpoint along with rotten mushrooms and floating leaves contaminate the water.

Trader Mabinty Kamara (shown above), 45, depends on water to provide for her income. She farms and sells her produce to the community, but the lack of water has made that increasingly more difficult.

"To access water in this community is a great challenge on us," Mabinty said. "Most of us in this community are farmers. I usually make my backyard garden, planting vegetables to cook and sell, but at times it is difficult for me to have vegetables to cook because of the water shortage. And even my agriculture products delay reaching the market for sale because of water shortage."

She continued, "I sell local ginger beer drink, and it requires water to prepare it. But the water crisis limits my sales, and I cannot solve my immediate domestic issues."

Like Mabinty, many community members find their domestic tasks are put on hold or neglected altogether because of their limited access to water.

Fatmata, 14, at the swamp above, shoulders the responsibility of collecting water for both her mother and her grandfather each day. Although she does her best, having limited access to enough water means there is never enough. Her mother is a petty trader who earns a living by selling bread and ginger beer, but without consistent water her income reduces. In turn, the money she can give her daughter to buy lunch while at school has also lessened.

"My mother used to give three thousand leones (3000) for my lunch to buy food and eat," Fatmata said, "but it's reduced to one thousand five hundred leones (1500) because my mother cannot prepare enough local ginger to sell."

A new water point for the people in this community will allow them time to complete their daily tasks leading to increased income and better hygiene. A well will provide sufficient clean, safe drinking water without such difficulty collecting it.

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, Barrick 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

August, 2022: Barrick Community Borehole Complete!

We are excited to share that there is now a safe, reliable borehole well at Barrick Community. As a result, the 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.

45-year-old Mabinty Kamara, who we spoke with when we first entered Barrick, is so excited for her everyday chores to be easier.

"Accessing water was a difficult thing in the village," Mabinty said.

"The source of fetching water was at the swamp scoop hole. The swamp is far from the village, making it a great challenge for me to walk the far distance," said Mabinty.

She continued, "Honestly, working on the farm and returning to the house to fetch water to prepare food was a huge task. Similarly, the water I used to drink is unclean water and it was a risk to drink it, but I just had to drink it because I had no option."

Mabinty collects water at the new well.

"Therefore, I am very happy because of this new pump. This will greatly ease the work at home by reducing the burden I used to face. I can easily fetch water from the pump even before going to the farm. I will still have time to come from the farm and then fetch water for cooking because the well is located closer to my house. With this, I will be able to do other domestic tasks on time," said Mabinty.

"The water at the pump is clean and I believe that it is very good for drinking. This will help to protect me from getting stomachaches and other serious health issues I used to experience. It is good I have access to water from this new pump at any time because it is just at my doorstep," she said.

Mabinty celebrates with other community members.

We had also spoken with 14-year-old Fatmata during our first visit to Barrick. Before, she and her mother were worried about finances. Now, she's just excited for her everyday tasks to be easier.

"The new waterpoint will help me to do all my domestic work on time and then prepare for school," Fatmata said.

Fatmata drinks water from the new well.

"This will enable me to be punctual and effective in school. The burden of fetching water late in the evening gave me less time to study. By the time I finished fetching water, I would already be exhausted. At times, when I went to school, I hardly put maximum participation [in] because I [was] very tired. That is why this new waterpoint will lessen the burden I used to face. This is indeed a blessing to me and other students in this community that are suffering from similar situations," shared Fatmata.

Fatmata pours water from a jug at the new well.

"The new waterpoint will help me to do all my household chores on time. I will no longer have any issue with my parents. Initially, my parents [would] punish me for not fetching water on time. Most times, it was not my fault. It was the issue of water constraints that made me not perform the task on time. I believe all these constraints will now be in [the] past because of this new waterpoint," concluded Fatmata.

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 and the Ministry of Water Resources. 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. Then, Mabinty and Fatmata 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 25 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 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.

One of the most notable topics in Barrick was when the training facilitators explained common poor hygiene habits and why they're harmful. One woman named Kadiatu stood up and said she had let her children practice open defecation (when someone relieves themselves outside of a latrine) without knowing it would cause illness in her family and community. She did it because she had seen her mother and grandmother doing the same thing, thinking it was right. Now, she knows that in order to prevent the spread of disease, she must ensure her children use their family's latrine.

Community members work together to display disease transmission posters in order of occurrence.

During our session on disease transmission, where we discuss how illnesses transfer from one person to another, one man said to his neighbor, "what we see from the picture is what is killing us slowly."

21-year-old trader Mafereh Mansaray came away from the training with more knowledge on how to protect herself and others from disease.

"The training was valuable to me because now I can understand the importance of hand washing," Mafereh said.

"Before this time, I saw handwashing as a waste of time. There are several occasions in which I have failed to wash my hands before eating, and this has led me to become sick. But now, I must practice the knowledge I have received on handwashing every day. I will wash my hands before eating [and] after using the toilet, and practice the act of cutting my fingernails. This will prevent me from the terrible sicknesses I suffered [from] before. I know they will never reoccur again if I wash my hands with clean water and soap."


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!

May, 2022: Barrick Community Borehole Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Barrick 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 from Waterborne Illness!

August, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Barrick 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!

Fisherman Abu Bakarr Kamara, 28, recalled what life was like in Barrick Community before his community's well was rehabilitated last year.

"I am a fisherman. So many years ago in this village, we had a big water crisis. We lost so many lives due to the unavailability of water to carry on our domestic work; there were so many incidents of a snake bite either [of] children or adults," he shared.

But life is much safer for Abu Bakarr Kamara and the other community members in Barrick now.

"I want to personally say a big thanks to God and you for your good work [for] our village by providing safe and clean water, which has helped greatly to reduce waterborne diseases like cholera, diarrhea, etc.," he continued.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Abu, allowing him and the rest of the community to fear no longer contracting waterborne illnesses.

Abu shared that since the well was installed in his community, "[There are] no more waterborne sicknesses affecting the lives of people in the village."

Thank you for helping Abu Bakarr Kamara access clean water and be able to use time once consumed by illness to now build a brighter future.

Right now, there are others just like him 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.

Abu Bakarr Kamara.

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 Barrick 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 Barrick 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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