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Location: Sierra Leone

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed

Functionality Status:  Functional

"We can now get clean water and our children go to school on time."

Mr. Santigie Kamara

Community Profile & Stories

Ebola’s Impact

Ebola has been a tragic reality for the people of Sierra Leone over the last two years. Though considered stable at the moment, the country is still very cautious.

Our teams have remained safe and are on the front lines of Ebola prevention through this water, hygiene and sanitation program.  Your support acknowledges and celebrates their selfless work and bravery.

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!

Please enjoy the following report comes straight from the field, edited for clarity and readability:

Welcome to the Community

Main Motor Road runs through Pewullay, Sierra Leone. Pewullay is a coastal community full of fishermen. Being a fisherman is unpredictable. One minute asleep, the next minute rushing to the wharf to seize news about good catches. They know the day, months, and seasons when each kind of fish can be caught. These lessons and fishing techniques are passed down generation to generation. If it’s not fishing, it’s farming, but fishing is so important here that prayers and funerals are put on hold until the fish are brought to shore! While men focus on these tasks, women and children take on the brunt of domestic work. From an early age, children become accustomed to carrying buckets of water on their heads weighing 20 pounds or more!

Pewullay is home to approximately 1947 people. (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.)

Water Situation

Water is fetched from a scoop hole dug in the sand at the base of a cliff. Descending the cliff is a feat in itself; it is very steep and slippery, and shoes must be removed to make it down safely. At the bottom, dirt and rubbish is cleared away and a hole is dug in the sand. The water that pours into this hole might look clean with the naked eye, but once poured into a glass it looks completely different.

The process of fetching water puts people in danger. There have been two deaths reported from landslides near the water source. Apart from this, the water itself threatens the health of the community. People often suffer from typhoid, cholera, diarrhea, and skin rashes.

Water scarcity is a huge issue. Women and children only fetch enough water for drinking, sacrificing personal and environmental hygiene. Any other water is found in containers left out to collect the rain.

Sanitation Situation

Under half of households had a pit latrine at the time of our initial visit. The pits are sandy and shallow with timber stretching across for floors. Palm leaves are normally used for walls and roofing, and cloth is hung for a door. Since only part of the population has a latrine, open defecation is a big issue. Our team has already made door to door calls to inform people of the dangers open defecation brings. For this community in particular, we’ve asked that each household have some type of latrine before we start borehole construction.

Not even a quarter of households surveyed have a hand-washing station, dish rack, or clothesline. These tools are easy to construct, but make a huge difference in preventing the spread of germs. A majority of people just dispose of their garbage behind their kitchen, which attracts clouds of flies that further spread germs from one thing to another. We included pictures of the facilities we could find under the “See Photos & Video” tab.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Training will be offered to the community for three days. At least one representative of each household is required to attend. The facilitator will use the PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Training) method to teach participants how to make their own hand-washing stations, wash hands, construct proper latrines, and many other topics. By the end of training, each household that participated will have their own hand-washing station.

Plans: New Borehole

This well will be drilled at #40 Main Motor Road, making it the second of two boreholes in this huge community. At the start of our relationship with this community, we had proposed one new well but later realized that wouldn’t be enough.

After discussions with local leaders, we decided that #40 Main Motor Road would be a great location convenient to hundreds in this area.

Locals will form a water user committee that oversees and maintains the new well. When construction is finished, we will hand over the borehole to the committee and residents of Pewullay. If there are ever any issues with the pump, the committee will reach out to our team so we can make repairs.

Recent Project Updates

11/20/2017: A Year Later: #40 Main Motor Road

A year ago, generous donors helped build a new well for the community surrounding #40 Main Motor Road in Sierra Leone. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from partner Nanah Mansaray with you.

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12/07/2016: #40 Main Motor Road Project Complete

We are excited to share that there is a new well at #40 Main Motor Road in town, and it’s now providing clean water! Thousands of locals no longer have to walk long distances to the overcrowded primary school well, nor rely on alternative contaminated sources. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines. This water and new knowledge give the community a great foothold in eliminating water and sanitation-related illness. Please enjoy this update detailing all the work that was done around Main Motor Road and make sure to click on the “See Photos & Video” tab above to find new pictures of the finished project.

Thank You for unlocking potential in this community. You made clean water a reality, and now you have a chance to make sure it keeps flowing. Join our team of monthly donors and help us, our caretakers, and our mechanics maintain this well and hundreds of other projects!

Project Result: New Knowledge

Hygiene and sanitation training was held at the community center, an ideal meeting place for the entire village. Although the community center should be an area that is well kept, we found it completely run down.

The headman was integral for organizing the training schedule and for recruiting villagers. The town crier was sent out to the busiest areas to notify each household and encourage them to attend training. This training turned out to have the largest turnout we’ve seen so far this year! Hundreds of people showed up, bringing their children along.

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Each adult showed up with a plastic container, ready to learn how to make a hand-washing station for their home. We did this hand-washing workshop on the first day of training, when we also taught participants how to dig and build a proper pit latrine. Besides these facilities, participants learned how to build dish racks and clotheslines for drying their belongings.

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We highly recommended the wearing of shoes to prevent worms and other parasites. Locals found out that keeping animals with them in their homes can be dangerous to their health, among many other causes of food and water contamination. We covered various topics ranging from personal health to community health.

We equipped a handful of participants to form a water user committee that will manage and maintain the new well for their community. The local leadership has also taken on some of the responsibility for the changes they want to see in their area; they want to see every household have their own latrine and dish rack.

Mrs. Ya Marie Kamara sold fish down the the ocean. She often washed her fish in the same water she drink; all water from a hole in the ground at the bottom of a steep hill. She was excited to attend training and hear about the changes in her community. “I now have a new water well a few feet from my doorstep. There is no blessing greater! The trainers taught us about water, how to maintain latrines, and how to prevent certain illnesses by modifying our lifestyle. I know it will take a while, but the sooner we all comply, the better our lives will become,” she said.

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Project Result: New Well

Construction for this borehole began on October 6th. The site is #40 Main Motor Road.

The ground here is made up of sandy soil, which made the digging very difficult. Local youth helped the drill team dig two identical holes at the edge of the drill rig for the rig’s supply and waste. The team drilled to depths reaching 115.5 feet, where they found quality water suitable for drinking.

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The drilling was done in increments of five feet, where we would stop and take a soil sample. Once the 115.5 feet was reached, pipes with screens were inserted at the appropriate locations. A rich mixture of cement was put at the sanitary seal’s depth to hold the pipes in position. Once dry, the well pad was constructed. The apron work is done by pounding large rocks into the ground with a sledgehammer. Once positioned, the cement is mixed with just a small amount of sand.

The yield test measured the recharge rate of the well which was found to be 70 liters per minute. The wall was then built and then the new India Mark II pump was installed.

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The community was hospitable and cooked for our team. The local men also provided security for our machinery as we spent the night. Other adults prepared by transporting construction materials like sand and stones to the well site.

Many people visited us as we constructed the well. This area is full of so many disadvantaged people who need help, suffering from different types of illnesses. Our work was delayed by a few hours a day as we met with people who wanted treatment. People here believe that if a white person is to take their child or loved one to the hospital, they will get better treatment. Locals are often taken advantage of by the medical system, told that they must pay a large amount of money for their treatment when it is actually supposed to be free.

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The new well was handed over to the community on a Saturday morning. We invited children from the Church of God Prophecy Primary School’s health club. They performed a skit on hand-washing for everyone that gathered to celebrate (you can see that in the picture above). The community also invited performers of their own, three local folk musicians who played for the hundreds of people there. Men, women and children showed up with sticks and buckets to make their own music, too!

Mr. Santigie Kamara is a fisherman who took a break to celebrate the well. He said, “I am lost for words. I literally have clean, affordable, accessible and abundant water at my doorstep. For years we have been drinking water that is not fit for animal consumption, let alone human consumption. We can now get clean water and our children go to school on time.”

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10/18/2016: #40 Main Motor Road New Well Project Underway

We are excited to announce that, thanks to your willingness to help, the neighborhood around #40 Main Motor Road 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. Imagine the difference these resources will make for this community!

We just posted an initial report from our partner in the field including an introduction to the community, GPS coordinates, and pictures. We’ll keep you updated as the work progresses.

Check out the tabs above to learn more, and Thank You for caring for the thirsty!

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Explore More of The Project

Project Photos

Monitoring Data

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump
Location:  Port Loko, Kaffu Bullom, Lungi, Pewullay, Mayaya
ProjectID: 5090
Install Date:  12/07/2016

Monitoring Data
Water Point:
Last Visit: 11/23/2017

Visit History:
04/04/2017 — Functional
05/22/2017 — Functional
08/24/2017 — Functional
11/23/2017 — Functional

A Year Later: #40 Main Motor Road

September, 2017

“We have been wasting a lot of time from fetching water from the stream and we have had serious health problems like diarrhea and vomiting. But, since the time this pump was completed my life has never been the same like before I have access to clean pure and safe water.”

A year ago, generous donors helped build a new well for the community surrounding #40 Main Motor Road in Sierra Leone. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from partner Nanah Mansaray with you.


Life after this project has improved because people have access to safe and pure water to drink and for all their domestic work. The community also improved their hygiene practices due to the WaSH training conducted in their community but still need to work on it.

“People are now using latrine instead of them going down the beach or around the back of their houses to defecate,” says community member Sallieu Bangura. “They also hang their clothes on a rope instead of them laying their clothes on the ground.” But the community still faces some challenges when it comes to hygiene and sanitation. “Some community members do not want to accept the rules and regulations but the water user committee member has implemented a fine to anyone who tries to break the rules and regulation of the pump.”


Sallieu Bangura’s son, 9-year-old Sallieu Bangura, Jr., says his life has changed since the completion of the pump in the community. “We have been wasting a lot of time from fetching water from the stream and we have had serious health problems like diarrhea and vomiting. But, since the time this pump was completed my life has never been the same like before I have access to clean pure and safe water.”


We will continue to work with the water user committee as they try to enforce the rules they have set up around hygiene and sanitation. This is big work in this community. They still need to improve on their sanitation but we will continue to monitor the operations maintenance and chlorination of the pump and work with them on more training.

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to 4 times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.


Project Sponsor - Estate of Rachel Zik

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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.