Kagbanthama Village New Well Project

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Sierra Leone

Water for Sierra Leone

Latitude 8.64
Longitude -13.22

333 Served

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Stories and Community Profile

Ebola’s Impact

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 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 is the Village of Kagbanthama.  It is nearby to Modia.  This area really struggles for water. There are no safe water sources in Kagbanthama. There is presently one safe well in the community of Modia, and people line up very early in the morning.  The mosque just constructed a well which did not have the approved siting by the Minstry of Water Resources.  When they came to site wells for us, they took a water sample which came back with fecal coliform present. The well has since had a hand pump placed on it and was chlorinated. We have reported this to the Ministry of Water Resources and have asked them to return to retest the water.  The other well, which we previously rehabilitated by The Water Project, is heavily overused and recently the water table dropped causing the well to go close to drying.  Our team returned and constructed four new casing and installed them, making the well deeper so it would be up and running.  Even with that, this community still is forced to go to the stream and the swamp to fetch water.  When we ask community members why they don’t go to the well, they say they don’t have all day to stand around and wait for their turn at the pump.  By drilling a new borehole in this area, it will alleviate some of the burden that is presently placed on this hand dug well.  Also, until we are sure that the water at the mosque is providing safe drinking water, the community is at risk for cholera because fecal coliform was present in the first testing.

We have given the GPS coordinates for the general area where the new borehole will go, but we are awaiting the Ministry of Water Resources to come and give their approval for the site of the new well.  We also want to be strategic in where this is going to be so it has the most benefit to the community.  We have verbal permission via telephone from the Ministry of Water Resources to site the well ourselves with input from the Section Chief, Town Chief, Headman and elders.

PRE BOREHOLE:  Once a site is chosen, we will be meeting with the community to form a water user committee with a constitution for the use of the well being signed by the committee members.  Having a water user committee or WASH committee is important for the community.    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.

A baseline survey and community water, sanitation and hygiene survey were completed.   There are a total of 333 people in the community. Of that number, 197 are children and 136 are adults.  There are 21 houses, of which the majority are constructed of mud blocks.  The average number of people residing in a house is 16, with 10 of those being children. More than three hours per day is spent collecting water.  It is not uncommon to see the children with swollen bellies, which is a sign of worms.  With the Ebola, there has been a real distrust and there has been no deworming done in this area by the Ministry of Health.  Some people have clotheslines, but still the practice of drying clothes on the ground is prominant.  Some have dish racks.  Some have unimproved latrines.  There is open defecation in this community being practiced by more than half of the population, although 85% have a pit latrine.  People say they do understand about the importance of handwashing, though hardly any have a designated handwashing station.  The majority of the community have no designated dish drying rack. After washing, cleaned dishes and utensils are simply stored in a big bucket. Neary all say they have clean water containers and that they store them up off the ground.  This will be confirmed and discussed during the hygiene training.  They understand the key Ebola messages.  The primary religion of this community is Muslim.  This is a very loving community.  The women and the men work very hard at farming, though there are also some petty traders in the community.  There is no school in the community. The children go to nearby schools, such as Sandar Methodist School, SLMB Modia, Holy Cross Primary School, Kamasondo Primary School, UBA Secondary and St. Augustine Primary and Secondary Schools.  Much of the community is illiterate.

They have expressed a desire to have a water well drilled in this community to ease their suffering.  The head man and community members are eager to work with us to drill this well and agree to form a WASH committee.

HYGIENE TRAINING:  We use a Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training (PHAST) model.  We will have one of our hygiene trainers visit the community and hold several trainings consisting of handwashing and the importance of washing hands, the construction of tippy taps so that every household has a handwashing station, disease transmission and prevention, the construction of dish drying racks and good and bad hygiene.  We will ask the community members to bring their water containers to the hygiene training.  We will be sure that the members of the WaSH committee and any children who are members of any child health club attend these trainings.


PRE-BOREHOLE: During a community meeting, we discussed having the community develop a water and sanitation (WaSH) committee or Water User Committee. We explained the role of the committee and that it should be gender balanced. The committee was given a constitution which was filled out during the meeting. In the constitution, it outlines rules for around the well, such as fines for not covering your hair, fighting, spitting and laundering clothes. A water user fee is also outlined so that the community can become self sufficient in maintaining their water point.

After getting the okay from the Ministry of Water Resources, it was decided that the best location for the new well would be in front of the mosque. This is due to the fact that the road is really undeveloped and there are more houses on one side of the road than the other. If, at some point, the road gets developed and we had a water well in the way, the well could get condemned and destroyed. Since there were already power lines on the side of the road that the mosque is on and there were not any houses directly next to it to worry about latrines, it seemed that this would be the best location. It is also at the village center, so everyone was in agreement with this location.

We took time to discuss the donor of this water well with the community. We explained to them that this well was being drilled and provided by a group of very loving and caring individuals and that the well was “In Honor and Memory of Joseph and Donna Sasso who, by their lives, taught us the value of hard work, the importance of caring for family, the obligation of sharing with others, and the blessings of faithfulness in marriage. They hoped that these ideals would be as important in this community as the clean, fresh water that you will draw from this well.” People were so moved by this gesture of deep love for this couple. There was cheering and dancing.

BOREHOLE TECHNICAL: The team brought in their tent and set up camp in the community while some locals began digging the pits that will hold the water while drilling. Others began filling the barrels with the water needed for the mud rotary drilling with the LS200. The women began cooking for the drill team. The community was abuzz with activity.

There were no challenges met during drilling. The drill rig only met with sands, dirts, and clays. It met water from 17-30 meters, so stopped drilling at 30.

For each length of pipe that goes in the ground, a sample of the soil is taken and documented. After drilling with the first bit, the bags are laid out and the team discusses what they found and completes the drill log. They lay out the casing, which is 4 1/4 inch PVC. They then mark on the casing where they feel the screen should go and then cut screen into the pipe so the water can flow through the casing and be pumped up with the hand pump. In this case, the screen was set from 26 to 30 meters meters. They placed the sanitary seal 4.2 meters from the top of the earth.

Next, the baling team comes in. This consists of one person from a prior community who has been trained on developing wells. They work with members from this community and manually bale water from the well to get it developed. This can be done with a compressor, which we don’t have, but see this as a great way for the community to get involved. It takes about a week to manually develop the well. After this, the masons come in and build the security wall to five coursers around the well and construct the well pad and the drain. After the cement has had a chance to cure and dry, the well technicians come back in to do the yield testing. Yield testing revealed pumping 13 gallons per minute using an electric submersible pump. The depth of water during and right after pumping was 12.6 meters below ground, so this is going to be a very good well for this community!

After the yield testing, the well technicians shock chlorinated the well with HTH chlorine 200 ppm and installed the new India Mark II hand pump with stainless steel rising main. The community began to cheer when they saw water coming up out of the pump, excited that drinking water is at their fingertips. We told them that they would need to lock down the pump for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to disinfect the well. After 24 hours, the community members took turns pumping the pump to clear the chlorine from the well. The water was then tested by the Ministry of Water Resources. Upon initial testing, we received an oral report that the water was safe for consumption.

HYGIENE TRAINING: During the hygiene training, the trainer taught the following lessons: Firstly, Hand-washing and the Importance of Using a Tippy Tap. The other lessons were Good and Bad Hygiene, Healthy and Unhealthy Community, Disease Transmission Stories, the Importance of using a Latrine, Keeping the Water Clean and Proper Care of the Pump. These lessons were chosen after reviewing the results of the baseline survey. In addition, the community constructed their own tippy taps so they would have an understanding of how to do this and could replicate what they had just done. They also were encouraged to cut bamboo to make dish drying racks rather than drying the dishes the way they were presently drying them. They were also encouraged to cut either bamboo or sticks to hang their clothes on rather than laying their clothes on the ground to dry where the chickens and goats can walk all over them!

The community was very happy with how the hygiene exercise was carried out. There was one woman who made a big sacrifice and went door to door encouraging people to come along with their jerry can because the jerry can is the most important tool during the training session. Everyone was looking at their jerry can and there was a lot of talk about whether or not the container was clean or not and whether this was good or bad hygiene and whether or not clean water would stay clean if it was put into their container. There was a bit of shaming involved in this technique. The community decided that as soon as the well is drilled and they have access to safe drinking water that everyone should wash their containers inside and out so that they will be nice and clean to keep the water clean. They also learned that they should store their jerry cans off the floor.

The topic of open defecation was brought up and people were encouraged to stop this practice. With the dry season coming up, they should beat mud blocks and dig simple pits to construct their own latrines. We talked about why this might be a good idea and some community members said that it would reduce sickness in the community, saying that it was unhygienic to defecate on the ground. We talked about how the fly has six legs and that when it lands on waste, it can transfer that to their food. This is where the disease transmission stories came in. It was quite interesting that while they broke into three groups to discuss what they saw in the pictures and what order the pictures should go in that more questions were brought up like, “Does this happen in our own community?” The community agreed that they needed to make some changes in their environment.

The community appreciated the training and gave thanks to the donor organization and to Mariatu’s Hope that made this great opportunity for them. They are looking forward to the new borehole as their source of fetching water, for they have never had a well in their community. They said we were the first organization who decided to help them with this wonderful hygiene and sanitation training, and they began singing and dancing which is a normal way of expressing their thanks to the donor.


Name: Pa Santigie Bangura  Gender: Male  Age: 42 years  Occupation: Farmer and Headman

I am very glad about this well that Mariatu’s Hope and The Water Project have drilled for us. Before, we was suffering for drinking water, but you have released us from our suffering. You have made us to have clean and pure water. So thank you, the donors. May God continue to inspire Mr. Robert and Mummy Ruth for the love they have for this country. Let them do not stop their good work.

Name: Isata Kamara  Gender: Female  Age: 15 years  Occupation: Student

I would like to extend my gratitude to Mariatu’s Hope and The Water Project and their donors for the good work they have done in my village. We was going to the swamp at four every morning to fetch clean water. The first person to go to the swamp, he/she is the one who will have clean water, and, by the time I went home and from fetching water from the swamp it is 7:15. So, I am always later for school. But, with the help from you, I will be able to get the time back and will stop being late for school. I’m also thankful for how you taught me about hygiene and sanitation. I also learned the song which I will never forget, “From the toilet.” Mariatu’s Hope is our Moses in our village. Thank you to Mariatu’s Hope and the donor.

DEDICATION: The community continued to express their gratitude to the donor for this wonderful project. The members of the community arrived at the dedication and began dancing and singing because they were so happy. We reminded them about Mr. and Mrs. Sasso and the kind of wonderful people they are. We again read what the family sent for the community:

“In Honor and Memory of Joseph and Donna Sasso who, by their lives, taught us the value of hard work, the importance of caring for family, the obligation of sharing with others, and the blessings of faithfulness in marriage. May these ideals be as important in your community as the clean, fresh water that you draw from this well.”

The community loved hearing these words and began singing and clapping. They said to tell the donor that they were part of this community and they were considered family. They said to say thank you very much for this wonderful gift. They said that the installation of this water well and the development that has been brought to this community will save lives and has also brought unity to their community.

After both Christian and Muslim prayers, the well was handed over to the community. Zainab, the hygiene trainer, discussed how to properly use the pump and how to care for it. She also reminded them to continue using their tippy taps!

MONITORING AND EVALUATION: This well will be monitored the first quarter of 2016.

Thank You for unlocking potential in Kagbanthama Village!

Project Videos

Project Photos

Recent Project Updates

12/10/2015: Kagbanthama Village New Well Complete

We are excited to share that the project in Kagbanthama is complete. A new well has been dug and is now in use by the community, giving them an abundant supply of safe water. Our partner also shared the importance of good sanitation and hygiene practices during training, and now each household has their own hand-washing facilities. A Water User Committee was also formed with members who will ensure that the well is protected and maintained.

We have added a lot to the project report, such as well construction and technical details, training information, and interviews. There are pictures to accompany each of these topics, and we hope you enjoy seeing all of the smiles that you inspired!

The Water Project and Kagbanthama Community Thank You for gifting them with the training and clean water that unlocks potential.

The Water Project : sierraleone5073-56-dedication

10/30/2015: Kagbanthama New Well Project Underway

We are excited to announce that Kagbanthama village in Sierra Leone will soon have a new source of safe, clean water. A new well is being constructed and the community will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Together these resources will go a long way toward stopping the spread of disease in the area. We just posted a report including information about the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your help!

The Water Project : if-72

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Lungi Town, Modia, Somewhere on Water Works Road, Sierra Leone
ProjectID: 5073
Install Date:  12/10/2015

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 03/01/2018

Visit History:
01/22/2016 — Functional
02/12/2016 — Functional
05/05/2016 — Functional
09/09/2016 — Functional
11/28/2016 — Functional
03/07/2017 — Functional
05/19/2017 — Functional
08/21/2017 — Functional
11/23/2017 — Functional
03/01/2018 — Functional


Project Sponsor - In honor and memory of Joseph and Donna Sasso

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Country Details

Sierra Leone

Population: 9.7 Million
Lacking clean water: 47%
Below poverty line: 70%

Partner Profile

Mariatu’s Hope works with vulnerable communities and individuals to inspire hope through Maternal Care, Infant Nutrition, Safe Water Access, Proper Sanitation and Health and Hygiene promotion.