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The Water Project: Ponka Village -  A Year With Water
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  A Year With Water
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  A Year With Water
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Mah Kargbo
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Pa Sorie Kamara
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water Celebration
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Completed Project
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Completed Project
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Keifallah Sesay
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clean Water
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Installing Pump
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Installing Pump
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Installing Pump
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Installing Pump
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Installing Pump
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Building Well Pad
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Building Well Pad
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Building Well Pad
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Building Well Pad
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Building Well Pad
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Building Well Pad
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Drilling
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Drilling
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Drilling
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Drilling
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Drilling
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Drilling
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Drilling
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Drilling
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Drilling
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Drilling
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Breaking Ground
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Breaking Ground
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Flushing
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Flushing
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Flushing
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Flushing
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Flushing
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Flushing
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Flushing
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Flushing
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Flushing
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Training
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Training
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Training
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Training
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Training
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Training
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Training
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Training
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Training
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Training
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Training
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Hand Washing Stations
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Hand Washing Stations
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Hand Washing Stations
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Hand Washing Stations
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Hand Washing Stations
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  House For Evil Spirits
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Rubbish Pit
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Children Portable Toilet
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Wood For Cooking
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Preparing Palm Oil
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Alternate Water Source
The Water Project: Ponka Village -  Dry Well

Project Status



Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 164 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/21/2019

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Community Profile

Welcome to the Community

One of the oldest villages in the Kaffu Bullom Chiefdom, Ponka Village means “something small” in the language of the Bullomites. This is a predominately Muslim community with an average household of seven people. People get up early for prayers, with the men practicing the custom of washing their bodies at the stream beforehand. This practice forces some of these men to wake up by 4 AM to get washed, after which he will not talk to anyone until he is inside the mosque. After prayers, men walk around town and visit every house to see how each family fared through the night.

The children and women are up around the same time, but start with chores before going to the farm. The women in this village are the income earners. The men are only responsible for planting and clearing the field or swamp, leaving everything else to be done by the women.

Women in this village are known for two things: they are either pregnant or nursing young. There is a woman in this village who has twelve children! The rich history of the village and the endurance of their women has spread the rule of the paramount chief to other parts of the chiefdom. Women normally cannot claim any property left by their parents, but in this specific tribe, women have just as much right as the men.

Water Situation

There is a protected hand-dug well with a hand-pump, but it only provides water for part of the year. Since it is unreliable, community members have resorted to using two other sources.

Those living in Ponka Village rely on water from a swamp. There is also an open well at the end of the village, but that requires extra heavy lifting.

The swamp is a 60-minute walk from the center of the village. When fetching water from the swamp, people will wear shorts to wade in and dunk their containers under the surface. Many people in this village swear that the taste of the swamp’s water is much better than that from the open hand-dug well. But water drawn for drinking is the same water where clothes are laundered; just a few feet away from those fetching drinking water are bathers.

At the well, a large bucket is tied to the end of a rope. If you cannot lift twenty pounds up from the bottom of a 30-foot deep hole in the ground, then don’t bother.

Because drinking water in this community come from these two sources, waterborne diseases are common.

Sanitation Situation

Over 75% of homes have pit latrines, but they are in very poor condition. Many don’t have doors or roofs. Most people here go to the woods to relieve themselves.

There are no places to wash hands, and not many families have helpful tools like dish racks or clotheslines. Animals roam free, and are another reason disease spread so easily here.

Plans: Sanitation and Hygiene Training 

Training will last for three hours a day for three days. The facilitators have already assessed sanitation here and decided that hand-washing and using the latrine will be strongly emphasized. During our hand-washing sessions, community members will be taught how to make their own hand-washing station out of a plastic jerrycan, sticks, and rope. These are the best solution for rural areas, since all the materials are all easily replaceable. Each family will need to make one of these and show they can use them before we begin the construction phase. We also require that every family have their own latrine.

Training will also result in the formation of a water user committee that will take responsibility for their new well. The members will manage and maintain the pump to the best of their ability, and will call our office if they need a mechanic to make a repair.

Plans: Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul needs major work to supply adequate, clean water to the community year round. The pump will be removed, and a man will be lowered inside with a hand auger. This hand auger will allow the team to drill several meters deeper to hit a new water table, which will ensure the well supplies water throughout the drier seasons. As the team drills, casing will be installed, transforming this hand-dug well into a pseudo-borehole. PVC piping will connect this lower system directly to the pump, a construction that we know will also improve the quality of water.

Once this plan is implemented, everyone within the community will have access to safe drinking water in both quality and quantity, even through the dry months.

Project Updates


09/20/2018: A Year Later: Ponka Village

A year ago, generous donors helped restore water to a well in Ponka Community, Sierra Leone. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow 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…


The Water Project : 4-sierraleone5107-a-year-with-water


Project Photos


Project Type

Dug Well and Hand Pump

Hand-dug wells are best suited for clay, sand, gravel and mixed soil ground formations. A large diameter well is dug by hand, and then lined with either bricks or concrete to prevent contamination and collapse of the well. Once a water table is hit, the well is capped and a hand-pump is installed – creating a complete and enclosed water system.


A Year Later: Ponka Village

September, 2018

This is really one of the cleanest communities we have ever visited, and they have put into practice everything the hygiene team taught them.

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Ponka Village 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!

Give Monthly

A year ago, generous donors helped restore water to a well in Ponka Community, Sierra Leone. The contributions of incredible monthly donors and others giving directly to The Water Promise allow 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 – we’re excited to share this one from Madieu Turay with you.


Life in this community has changed when compared to past years. People are truly practicing hygiene in this community! They take good care of the water point, and after several interviews with different community members, we found people in this community don’t normally fall sick. And why? They answered that community members are following the hygiene and sanitation teachings taught about keeping self, household, and environment clean.

We talked to the pump caretaker, Mrs. Mah Kargbo, and student Kadiatu Sesay about other changes they’ve witnessed since water was restored last year.

“This organization has made some diseases that were affecting us over the past years run away from us; diseases like cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, and malaria,” shared Mrs. Kargbo.

Pump caretaker Mah Kargbo keeps in contact with us about how Ponka’s water well is working.

This is thanks to the presence of clean water in Ponka, as well as people’s willingness to practice good hygiene and sanitation to prevent the spread of germs.

Mrs. Kargbo continued, “Every household now has dish racks, tippy taps, kitchens, bath shelters, and latrines.”

“Now that we have a water supply in this community, we get to process our palm oil in the village instead of going to the swamp.”

Kadiatu Sesay and Mah Kargbo at their well.

Kadiatu Sesay says she feels much safer now that she doesn’t have to walk on the overgrown pathway to the swamp.

“This project has reduced the risk of snake bites,” Kadiatu said.

“This project has made me stop being late for school and has created enough time saved for studies.”

Household compounds look much cleaner than the start of the water, sanitation, and hygiene project a year ago.

This is really one of the cleanest communities we have ever visited, and they have put into practice everything the hygiene team taught them.

Installation 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 functional well in Ponka Community is changing many lives.

This is not possible without 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 Ponka Village 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 Ponka Village – 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!

Give Monthly


Contributors

Timberview Middle School
2 individual donor(s)