Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Program: Water for Sierra Leone

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Sep 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/06/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile


As you know, Ebola has been a tragic reality for the people of Sierra Leone over the last year. In the middle of this, we've remained more committed than ever to the people of Sierra Leone through a service and support program that focuses on keeping water flowing at approximately 100 previously installed projects. And, as you know, we’re also providing new water access for communities- made possible because of your support. Our teams have been brave and selfless - and we are so proud of them.

Very recently, Ebola has made a resurgence in our area of operation. Our team was providing service to a previously installed water point at a large regional hospital, and returned the next morning to find the entire area under quarantine. Unfortunately, this meant that many of our tools were also under quarantine. This, along with restoring some water points post-quarantine has led to reasonable delays in our program. We are very happy, after some delays, to bring this successful report to you.

We are in weekly contact with our team in Sierra Leone, and everyone is safe. The entire team continues to express their gratitude for your support of communities in Sierra Leone, and we can’t wait to celebrate safe water together!


This village of Madina is located in the Lungi Town section of Lungi.

Information gathered from our baseline survey shows that Madina has a population of approximately 738 people; 383 children and 355 adults. (Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people.  This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.) The major employment for people of this community is farming. The village has two chiefs. The majority of the houses are constructed out of mud blocks. The majority of the community are of the Muslim faith, though some are Christians. They all live in harmony with each other. There was no school in the community before the Susu Gospel Ministry constructed one. There was no well of any kind in the village. The community was forced to fetch water from the swamp and a nearby stream. They have a tremendous garden area that spans for several acres. It's truly a beautiful sight. The swamp area is just below where the school has been constructed. The average amount of time spent collecting water is two hours. More than half of the community still practices open defecation, though some have a latrine of sorts. Most have a clothesline. Most do not have a dish drying rack. Most do not have a hand washing station. Most households have a rubbish pit and a kitchen.


A Constitution for Water and Sanitation Committee was formed using members of the school and community. This committee covers both the community borehole that was drilled and the school borehole. This will ensure that the well and the hand pump are maintained. The constitution outlines the responsibilities of the community and the school in order to maintain order and good hygiene. Prior to beginning the drilling, the Ministry of Water Resources gave their approval for the siting of the well and the drilling of the well. A baseline survey and community water, sanitation and hygiene survey were completed.


Once the site was decided on, there was a gathering of the community and a small ceremony to pray and dedicate the land to the glory of God. The members of the community were very excited about this development in their community and were eager to help. The drill team got their tents set up. The community fed the team and the helpers. In the mornings before starting drilling, the team would get together for a time of devotion and prayers. Some of the community members joined them. The drilling of the borehole began on 23 May and the drilling part of the project was completed on the 30th of May, 2015.


The borehole was drilled using a hand auger. This took a lot of manpower. Members of the drill team consisted of the technical team as well as community people. The first 12 feet of the hole was top soil. From 12 to 29 feet was clay. The team met water at 19 feet. At 30 feet, there was gravel and the next two feet were mixed gravel. From 34 to 45 feet was sand. From 46 to 53 feet was clay. From 55 to 57 feet there was fine sand. From 58 feet to 70 feet there was mixed sand. From 70 to 85 feet there was mixed, fine sand. The total depth of the well is 85 feet with a static level of 51 feet. PVC casing was installed. The filter pack was installed to within 50 feet of the surface. We backfilled with clay to 12 feet and put a sanitary seal made of cement to the surface.

The well was developed manually using a bailer and rope and manpower. The community helped with this part of the project as it takes a lot of manpower. The well was yeild tested manually by pulling five gallons at a time for a period of one hour, as fast as possible. We found that the well yeilded 10.3 gallons per minute and maintained a static level of 51 feet. Upon completion of this, the drill team left and the masoners came in to construct the apron and the security wall and drainage.

The masoners worked for a week constructing the apron using ball stone, iron rod, iron stone, cement and sand. The drainage ran 4 meters away from the well and a drainage pit was dug at the end. A security wall was constructed to the height of five courses and plastered. After this work was completed, the well technicians arrived to install the hand pump.

An India Mark II handpump using stainless steel rising main, stainless steel sucker rods and a stainless steel pump cylinder was installed, setting the pump at 71 feet, with a static level of 51 feet. The well was shock chlorinated at 100ppm. It was allowed to sit for 24 hours and then the community pumped the water out until they could no longer smell the chlorine. The Minstry of Water Resources came and tested the water, which came back safe to drink.


We use a Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training (PHAST) model.  We coordinated our hygiene training using volunteers from Partners In Health because they had been trained on giving the key Ebola message.  We conducted a Training of Trainers training on handwashing and how to construct a tippy tap.  There was one woman and one young boy who attended the training from this community.  The young boy stated that he came because he wants to be able to show his friends at the ataya base (a gathering place for young people) how to make one.  He said that he knows the key message for Ebola and that he knows some of the hygiene messages because he attends a school where The Water Project did a WaSH for schools project.  He is not a memeber of the Child Health Club there, but he says he wants to be a leader in his community.  Members from one other community joined us for that training, so it was great for the group to meet and talk about their community and to learn to make a tippy tap together.

We arrived at the village of Madina the morning of the 17th of August.  This is a farming community so we had to wait a bit for community members to return from their gardening.  This community is very large and we were able to gather 59 adults and 34 children for the training.  As described in this report, this community is large and long.  This group of people represent the houses that are around this well.  Really, this community could use a second well at the other side of the village.  There were men, women and children represented.

The training began with both Christian and Muslim prayer.  Sierra Leone is the most religiously tolerant country in the world.  Everyone gets on well with each other.  Our trainer, Zainab, then went on to discuss the effects of hygiene on our lives.  We are still dealing with ebola, though for the past week have reported zero positive cases.  She encouraged people to stay on their guard and talked about no touching and reporting sickness to #117 (the national hotline for reporting people with Ebola symptoms).  The group was asked about some good hygiene practices and then some bad hygiene practices were discussed and questions were asked on how that bad hygiene could be turned around to be good.  Also discussed were the effects of bad hygiene on the body and the community as a whole.  This was a pretty spirited conversation.  About a third of the women who attended the training were with belly (or pregnant).  There are so many children in this community, most of whom attend the nearby Madina Susu Gospel Primary School where a well was recently drilled.  We will do another hygiene training with those children and will form a child health club so those children can be active in their community, reinforcing the hygiene messages they've learned about.

Latrines and the use of latrines versus open defecation was discussed.  There are still houses here who have no latrine,  and they were encouraged to build a simple native toilet to get them through the remainder of the rainy season and then in the dry season to construct something a little stronger using mud blocks.  People talked about drying their clothes up off of the ground and what happens when clothes are dried on the ground.  We noticed that we didn't see too many skin rashes on the bellies of the children we could see.  We did notice, however, that there were many swollen bellies, indicative of worms.  After the handwashing discussion, we demonstrated the tippy tap, which was a big hit.  People loved the idea.  We encouraged people to place tippy taps strategically at their homes.  They gave suggestions as to where they could be placed and said the kitchen area would be the best place to have one and that people could wash their hands there when they come from toileting.  They stated that they had learned of the importance of handwashing from the Partners in Health volunteers in the community.

The group asked that if we could return from time to time to do more trainings like this as they enjoyed themselves.

INTERVIEWS: Three interviews were conducted in the community.

1. Mohamed L. Bangura, Age: 30yrs, Occupation: Youth leader and caretaker of pump

"For the past ten years ago, I have been drinking swamp water but Mariatu's Hope and The Water Project have made me to stop drinking it. I used to wake up at 3:00 a.m. to search for clean water at the swamp. I will always pray for Mariatu's Hope and The Water Project for God to provide whatever they wish and that they will continue to pray for MH and TWP until their last breath."

2. Hassan Turay, Age: 40yrs, Occupation: Head man & Lungi Govt. Hospital

"I don't know how to say thank you to Mariatu's Hope and The Water Project. The community as a whole will not be able to pay either partner if they were requesting payment but I am quite assured that God will pay you more than what you have done for us. He also apologized for requesting for another well somewhere around in the community since the community is so large."

3. Kalaytu Turay, Age: 48yrs, Occupation: Farmer/Gardner

"We appreciate what you've done for us. From the time I joined the community, I have never had a taste of well water, only the swamp water. I have given birth to two children which I have brought up with swamp water from when they were babies unto their youth age. Only Mariatu's Hope and The Water Project have made us to change the swamp water taste in our mouth."


This well was constructed during a time when the rains were beginning.  In this part of the country, this is actually a good time to construct a well because of the coastal region.  We had really good community involvement and people were very excited about receiving such a beautiful gift.  We didn't experience too many challenges in this community for the drilling.  Our drill team set up camp in the community, so it worked out well since this District was under a very strict curfew that people had to be at their homes by 6:00pm.  They were able to work right up to that time.  We used a manual borehole technique, so there was a lot of manpower needed, and the community really rallied with the team.  There were heavy rains which made it difficult to do the hygiene training, as there was not a community center.  Also, with this being a gardening community, people were very busy planting and we needed to respect that, especially since the country as a whole was really suffering from the effects of the Ebola and price hikes, etc., so getting their gardens tended to and rice planted really needed to take precedence.


This community asked us to please than The Water Project and their donors for this timely intervention.  They have gone for so many years without a safe drinking water source in their growing community.   Now that the village has a new school, they are expecting more people to move in and build houses.  They have such a lush swamp area for gardening, it's really a great area.  They were very appreciative of the hygiene training and how we trained people from their community rather than sending in strangers.  They were thankful that we said we would do monitoring on the well and that we would also continue to work with them for more hygiene training.  The headman expressed his appreciation through dancing at the well dedication, as did the ladies.  In Sierra Leone, music and dance are ways of people expressing themselves.  The joy just bubbles up and out of them.  There was plenty of singing and dancing at this well dedication.  You've done well!  Thank you!!

We're just getting started, check back soon!

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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.


Project Underwriter - St. Thomas Lutheran Church
Montessori School of No. Va., Inc.
Covenant Child Development Center
Commonwealth Club of the Riviera
Cherokee High School Environmental Club
Project Underwriter - St. Thomas Lutheran Church
Allibhai family
Roger Bull's Fundraising Page
34 individual donor(s)