Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 162 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/13/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Mariatu’s Hope of Sierra Leone. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Welcome to the Community

The meaning of Tardie in the Bullom language is "small village."

According to village history, Pa Kabba originally migrated from Guinea. When he entered Sierra Leone, he first settled in Mayaya and later moved to Tardie. As time went on, he was joined by others and their families. They were the five households to settle and name their village "Tardie." Along the way, the Bullom language, as well as the Susu language, gradually died out. Because of intermarriages, the inhabitants of the village today are mostly Temne and Susu people.

From the early days of Pa Kabba, Islam has been the only religion here.

Main activities for women in the village have always been gardening and farming swampland. From their gardening they produce onions, okra, peppers, cucumbers and other vegetables. Most of the men here are fishermen who travel one mile to Pewullay to fish.

Tardie is nicely planned. There is a road which runs down the center of the village leading straight to Katelleh. Before entering Tardie, there is a field that the children use as a playground. It's normal to see these children without shoes.

Vehicles, motorbikes, and travelers by foot frequently used the road passing through Tardie.  It is interesting to note that there are only 21 houses in this village, which is a surprisingly small population for such a convenient area.

Their normal activities besides those already mentioned are marriages, naming ceremonies, secret societies like Bondo and Wujeh, football matches between villages. They also celebrate Ramadan. At the end of the day, community members will break their fast together, and at the end of Ramadan, there is an even bigger celebration.

Water Situation

A lot of activity takes place at the swamp. There are gardens, kids at play, and wild animals in and out to quench their thirst. Locals have dug a deep hole whereat they fetch water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. The water that pools in that hole is a milky white color, and obvious sign that the water is highly contaminated.

Most people use open buckets that they either dunk under the water or bail water into to fill. Once full, the bucket is often lifted onto the head for the walk back home. Water for drinking is normally stored up on a table, while water for cooking and cleaning is stored in the kitchen.

After drinking this water, people suffer from diarrhea, cholera, worms, and typhoid.

Sanitation Situation

One of the conditions to the drilling of a new borehole is that every household must have a latrine. At this point, each household has met that condition. Some are constructed with mud blocks and palm branches, while others are constructed out of all thatched palm branches, the native way. But children still defecate out in the open, which is a normal site in Sierra Leone.

We always try our best to have a close relationship with local leadership, because they are the ones who can really drive the community to participate, change behavior, and take care of their new water source. We met with Headman Osman Kamara, who also makes a living working on his farm. "Basically, the health situation in this community as we were told and observed is not encouraging. All seasons round the year, children, as well as elderly ones, seldom wear footwear. They are therefore exposed to a lot of health hazards. Children are often affected with malaria, dysentery and diarrhea. The water source is not clean. The containers used are not cared for and as a result, they can often contract typhoid fever and other waterborne diseases. Their health condition is not too poor and at the same time not up to expected African standard."

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for three days in a row.

The hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach community members how to build a tippy tap (a hand-washing station built with a jerrycan, string, and sticks). They will use these tippy taps for hand-washing demonstrations, and will also teach about other tools like dish racks and the importance of properly penning in animals. Pictures will be used to teach the community how to discern between healthy and unhealthy hygiene and sanitation practices.

These trainings will also strengthen the water user committee that manages and maintains this well. They enforce proper behavior and report to us whenever they need our help solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

Plans: New Well

As of right now, a drill location has not been decided upon. As we get closer to the start date, we will hold several meetings with the community so that they can point out locations where they’d like the well. We will discuss this with them and find the best and most suitable place with equal access to the entire community making sure that everyone is in agreement.

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.

This community has been drinking dirty swamp water and suffering the consequences. By drilling this borehole, Tardie Community will be provided with plenty of safe drinking water.

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Tardie Community

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to drill a well for Tardie Community in Sierra Leone. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories. Read more...

February, 2018: Tardie Community Project Complete

We are excited to share that there is a new well in Tardie Community, and it’s now providing clean water! Hundreds of people here no longer have to rely on dirty water from the swamp. 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 Tardie Communiyu 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

The village headman was informed ahead of time that we were planning a hygiene and sanitation training for Tardie. Our first meeting in the community was to establish a committee to be in charge of the water point and spread the word about good hygiene and sanitation. It was the members of this committee who went door to door and made announcements inviting people to attend. Participants were eager to learn about the different, better ways they can take care of their community. Over the three days, there was anywhere from 99 to 138 people.

Some of the topics covered during training were as follows:

– How to wash hands, and how to build a hand-washing station from a jerrycan, string, sticks, and netting

– Good and bad hygiene practices

– Dish racks and how to build them

– Keeping animals under control

– Management and maintenance of the hand pump

There was also a demonstration where the trainer went around shaking hands with all in attendance. Each individual noticed a glittery shine on their hands after the handshakes. This introduced a practical lesson: What are you seeing on your hands? They answer by saying “we are seeing shine-shine on our hands,” and that’s when the facilitators bring home the idea that these signify germs. We are always vulnerable to them, and need to keep clean by practicing good personal hygiene. This set us up for a strong transition into how to make hand-washing stations.

Hand-washing stations are so easy to make with a jerrycan, string, and sticks.

Diagrams portraying unhealthy practices such as walking barefoot, open defecation, outdoor urination, and eating with unwashed hands were all shown and discussed in groups. What behaviors make a community healthy, and what others are counterproductive? These questions also helped participants discover the routes of contamination in their community.

The final day, we continued these types of discussions. While on the first day we had led people through hand-washing station construction, this third day was similar in that we elaborated on the need for and the viability of building other sanitation facilities like latrines, dish racks, and animal pens. We taught participants what materials to use, proving that even the poorest family can afford to build at least a traditional pit latrine. We also taught about chlorinating water, and everyone had brought salt and sugar with them to learn how to make an oral rehydration solution.

Aminata Kargbo was one of the dozens of mothers in attendance, and she's seen benefits already. She said, "The training has proved to be very profitable to me. It has helped me to be at peace with everyone. Before the training, I hardly trusted anyone to leave my son in the care of. I always went around with him wherever I went until recently, when I forgot to take him along because I was in a rush. While away, my son went to the latrine barefooted but kindly enough, one of my neighbors rescued him. Upon my returned, she advised me to buy a stool for him as that would prevent any danger. I believe it is the benefit of the training which moved the woman to act so kindly towards me despite my attitude towards them in the neighborhood. The different training topics has greatly helped us in the community. We have learnt so many new things that will help us in our lifetime. So on behalf of the community, we are very much grateful for the knowledge you have passed on to us. We promised to apply them in our lives because it is for our own benefit."

Project Result: New Well

The community offered the drill team a large room in the house across the street from the drill site. These same gracious hosts provided meals for them, and our team left raving about the good food. The team felt comfortable being so near their drill rig, and could rest easy overnight.

The water and sanitation committee determined the location for the borehole, while the rest of the community members were happy and even eager to help. Many of them carried water to the construction site to help with drilling. This water was dumped into a pit that the mud drill pulls from.

A community members breaks the first ground before the drill rig is set up.

The borehole was drilled in sections of five feet, with the team taking a ground sample at those points. Drilling went smoothly up to 60 feet, realizing we had struck a huge aquifer a while back; it was taking a massive amount of water and bentonite to keep the hole open.

We came back the next day and just couldn't get further - the borehole was beginning to collapse. It was obvious there was plenty of water in there, but the team felt like they didn't get deep enough into the aquifer to ensure water through the driest months. They thus decided to change to hand-drilling.

We set up the tripod and drilled by hand over the next four days. to make it to 75 feet. As we got deeper, temporary PVC casing was shoved down to keep the hole open.

The ground cuttings were also used for determining the best aquifer location so that the screen could be properly cut. Filter pack was poured down between the casing and the hole. Bentonite and clay helped seal the filter pack, after which a cement well pad could be built.

Testing the yield

The team bailed the borehole until water ran clean. The the well underwent a yield test. After 30 minutes of pumping with a submersible, the static water level was measured. An hour later, it was measured again. There was no change in the static water level, which measured in at 33 feet. The submersible pumped 715 gallons in one hour, or 44 liters per minute.

With these amazing results, a new stainless steel India MkII pump was installed.

A crowd formed in the center of Tardie, some men having brought their traditional drums for singing and dancing. They made their way over to the well to witness the new pump and the clean water flowing from it. A few cups were passed around for people to taste how pure the water coming from this borehole is. It was a great celebration!

Mohamed Bangura said, "Having access to safe and clean water nearby had never even crossed our minds. We used to walk long distances in order to buy water in gallons. If we wanted to drink water from a safe, clean source, that was the only way. At times when we were too tired or too poor, we would just go down to the swamp and fetch water from there. To make matters worse, it was one day when we noticed that a dog had died in the swamp where we fetch water. We didn't notice it until the odor had become too offensive. What a protection, what a great relief you have brought to us. We will forever be thankful and appreciative to you for bringing safe and pure water to our doorstep."

August, 2017: Tardie Community Project Underway

Tardie Community will soon have a new source of safe, clean water thanks to your donation. A new well is being drilled and locals will receive training in sanitation and hygiene. Imagine the difference these resources will make for the community!

We just posted an initial report from our partner in the field including information about the village, maps, and pictures. We’ll keep you posted as the work progresses.

Thank you for caring for the thirsty!

Project Videos

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: Tardie Community

October, 2018

Having clean, reliable water nearby has unlocked valuable time for farmers, traders, entrepreneurs, and students.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Tardie 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!

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to drill a well for Tardie Community in Sierra Leone. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow our local teams to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the water project over time. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – and we’re excited to share this one from local team member Madieu Turay with you.

This community improved the most when compared to the others we worked in last year. It has been a year since training, but we can still see tippy taps (handwashing stations), dish racks, clotheslines, kitchens, and latrines. Their water point is always clean.

We spoke with Mr. Mohamed Kamara and Fuad Kamara about some of the other changes they've witnessed over the past year.

Mr. Mohamed says there is "cleaning of the community and our surroundings every day." Mr. Mohamed says that he and the rest of the water committee are taking great care of the water point. Whenever there's an issue they can't fix, they've called our maintenance team to make repairs. The high reliability of this water point has attracted people from other communities, too.

The community has been cleaning up litter and using helpful sanitation tools to keep a healthy environment.

Construction of the well is only one step along the journey toward sustainable access to clean water. The Water Project is committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by donors like you, allows us to maintain our relationships with communities by visiting up to 4 times each year to ensure that the water points are safe and reliable.

This is just one of the many ways that we monitor projects and communicate with you. Additionally, you can always check the functionality status and our project map to see how all of our water points are performing, based on our consistent monitoring data.

One project is just a drop in the bucket towards ending the global water crisis, but the ripple effects of this project are truly astounding. This well in Tardie is changing many lives.

From left to right: Mr. Kamara, Faud, and Madieu Turay

"I have stopped going to the swamp to fetch water since this water well came to this community," said 19-year-old Fuad Kamara. "I have stopped going to school late." Having clean, reliable water nearby has unlocked valuable time for farmers, traders, entrepreneurs, and students.

This is only possible because of the web of support and trust built between The Water Project, our local teams, the community, and you. We are excited to stay in touch with this community and support their journey with safe water.

Read more about The Water Promise and how you can 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 Tardie 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 Tardie 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.


Project Sponsor - The Matthew Martin Family
1 individual donor(s)