Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 80 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/10/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

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

This part of Kitonki Community is different from the rest; it is home to Suzanne Village, a camp for the war-wounded.

We first met Siantigie Kamara, one of the men who lives in community with others who struggle with being maimed:

May God bless Suzanne from Norway for building this community for us. Here you will find amputees from all over the country that were afflicted during the war. We will never have normal days again in our sorry lives after what the rebels did to us. I am thirty-five years old now, but I was seventeen years when I had my arm chopped off by a boy no older than twelve years. He must have spent what seems like eternity in chopping my hand off. I don't know whether he enjoyed it, or because he was also forced to do it. If I was in his position what would I have done? Would I chop off the hand of a defenseless man, woman or child? Left with no choice I guess I might have. I can hardly sleep at night thinking about that little boy. I felt sorry for him more than I feel for myself. Our days are filled with thing far away from normal... our days are filled with anger, regret, and more anger. I find myself crying all the time; why did it happen to me? Is it something I did? I later learned from another amputee that bad things do happen to good people. We stay close to each other for comfort and counseling. We are a family now. We depend on our wives and children to put food on the table. I help my wife to tend to the garden of cassava, onions, tomatoes and all other fruits and vegetables. It is better than holding a pan at the street corner to beg.

Water Situation

"The water well that was being used in the community is a protected water well, but because the well was drying too much almost half the year, we were left with no choice but to open the hatch and use a rubber bucket with a rope to fetch the water inside. We now stand on top of the well with our legs spread apart to shoulder width to lower the bucket. Only people with two hands can do this, so our children and wives are our lifesavers," Mr. Kamara said.

At least one person in every household is an amputee. The shortage of a safe water source has caused the residents to settle for whatever water they can get. A person who has lost hope is a person willing to do anything to survive.

We monitor the well described above and noticed the decline during our quarterly visits. In between these visits, we received constant calls from Mr. Kamara.

Sanitation Situation

The sanitation at this camp is much better than most other places in Sierra Leone, bringing comfort to the wounded. The pit latrines and bathing rooms are built from good cement. Some households have helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines for safely drying belongings, but nobody has a hand-washing station.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

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

No hand-washing stations were observed here. After our visit, 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.

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: Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul is dry for half of every year and 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 sufficient water column that 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. This will solve the water shortage for the wounded living in Suzanne Village. The community is relatively small but full of amputees, their movement and work limited because of their conditions. With this well up and flowing with clean water, the children and women will be relieved and have more time to do other chores.

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Kitonki Community, War Wounded Camp

A year ago, your generous donation enabled us to restore water to Kitonki Community. 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...

August, 2017: Kitonki Community Project Complete

Kitonki Community, Sierra Leone now has a well that provides clean water throughout the year, thanks to your donation! Hundreds of people are no longer stranded without clean water during the dry months. 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 of the work that was done in Kitonki Community, and be sure to check out the tons of new pictures!

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 organized working united with community leader Mr. Santigie Kamara, who went door to door inviting families to attend. He then went to the local mosque to have the imam make announcements too.

We were told it would be difficult to gather everyone, since a large portion of the community depends on begging downtown. However, we were happy to have 20 to 35 people join us each day of training.

The agenda was created after our staff took a baseline survey of hygiene standards here. 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.

1 sierraleone5121 training

Community members following instructions on how to make their own hand-washing stations, called "tippy taps."

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?

2 sierraleone5121 training

Everyone brought their hand-washing stations home and set them up outside their latrines. Most also constructed dish racks by their kitchens. It is drawing near mosquito season, and thus the issuing of free mosquito nets. We drilled the fact that these mosquito nets must be used as a tent during sleep to prevent malaria.

4 sierraleone5121 training

The team demonstrates how to properly set up a mosquito net.

Mr. Santigie Kamara said, "I was so impressed by the work that this team is doing. I am a one hand man. My wife also has handicap, so both of us were straining for our work. The training that you gave us... gave me courage to continue on with my life. I don't have time to wash my hand because is the only one that did all my work. Now that you've come and given me this knowledge about washing the hand, I will do it. My one hand is always clean.

I told my wife she should do this before cooking and to please always wash hands and monitor the children to always wash their hands with the tippy tap." It was fun to teach people who were hungry for life-giving knowledge and eager to share it with others!

5 sierraleone5121 Interview Santigie Kamara 5121

Mr. Santigie Kamara

Project Result: A Reliable Water Well

We spearheaded a new method of converting the bottom of a hand-dug well into a borehole. When we started this process, the well was at 56 feet deep with two feet of water.

The community allowed the drill team to set up base camp under their baffa. This is a structure constructed using bush sticks and palm leaves. The community uses this to escape the hot sun and to rest during the day. It rains almost every night now, so the team covered the baffa with tarpaulins.

The team sets up the tripod and pulley over the well. Depending on the diameter of the well, the team either drills from inside the well or from ground level. The team will work from ground level here in Kitonki; they’ve resorted to this method the last couple of projects, and now prefer to work out in the open instead of being confined inside the well. This also allows for the hand-pump to remain installed and usable. Since drilling is done within a new temporary casing, it doesn’t affect the existing well or its water quality at all. However, with so little water in the well, the pump could only draw water for a few hours a day. If a few more weeks passed, the well would become completely dry.

First, they install 6″ PVC casing through the hatch cover down to the bottom of the well. This ensures that the drilling begins straight and also keeps the hole from collapsing. They connect the bucket auger drill bit to the drilling rod and lower it into the well, continuing to add more drill rods until they hit the bottom. Each drill rod is 18 feet in length and every time the team empties the bucket auger, they must reverse the process by disconnecting the rods until the drill bit can be emptied. This method is more labor intensive, but working from the top was much safer in this circumstance. There are different drill bits for different conditions, a special bit just for clay, one for sand, one for rocks and one combination bit for all three conditions.

6 sierraleone5121 drilling

This drill bit pulled up a lot of red clay.


The team began drilling through sand, which is a good sign because water flows freely through sand. They continued to drill to a depth of 78 feet where the sand turned to clay. There was plenty of water, so the team decided it was best to stop.

18 feet of 4¼" casing was slotted for screen and lowered inside the temporary casing from 60 to 78 feet. Five buckets of filter pack were poured between the two casings. The team could then hoist out the temporary casing.

9 sierraleone5121 screening

Preparing screen for the water to flow through.

Iron rods were cemented into the well lining and attached to the casing to support the weight of the PVC and keep it straight from bottom to top. The team welded a collar in the pump base to further support the casing.

The well was developed by bailing; two men bailed by hand for four days to ensure proper development. The well could then be tested by installing a submersible pump at 70 feet and using it for one hour. The team measured the discharge, which was 650 gallons. The static water level remained at 53 feet the entire time!  We were able to calculate that this well has a nice yield of 40 liters per minute.

11 sierraleone5121 yield test

So much water was pumped during the yield test - Everybody could fill their containers!

With this great success, we could build a new walled well pad and install the new stainless steel hand-pump.

12 sierraleone5121 pump installation

As the team was packing up, they learned they were sharing the baffa with a black snake about two feet in length. They immediately killed it because snakes are not welcome visitors in Sierra Leone - most are poisonous.

Yealia Sesay told us about the great hope restored to her along with this clean water. "I am a 25-year-old woman with disability. You can imagine how a woman like me with one hand goes down the swamp in search of safe drinking water. Most times, I fall down several times inside the pit because of losing my balance. Sometimes I struggle to help myself out. But at most times God always sent someone to help me. I know for sure that God has great love for me... Indeed my ordeal has now become things of the past. I am with the confidence that my worries about safe drinking water have gone. My own children will not have to go through the struggles I have gone through..."

Project Photos

Project Type

Hand-dug wells have been an important source of water throughout human history! Now, we have so many different types of water sources, but hand-dug wells still have their place. Hand dug wells are not as deep as borehole wells, and work best in areas where there is a ready supply of water just under the surface of the ground, such as next to a mature sand dam. Our artisans dig down through the layers of the ground and then line the hole with bricks, stone, or concrete, which prevent contamination and collapse. Then, back up at surface level, we install a well platform and a hand pump so people can draw up the water easily.

I am with the confidence that my worries about safe drinking water have gone. My own children will not have to go through the struggles I have gone through…

Yealia Sesay

A Year Later: Kitonki Community, War Wounded Camp

October, 2018

This reliable, clean water well has kept this community away from the dirty, mosquito-infested swamp.

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Kitonki Community, War Wounded Camp.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kitonki Community, War Wounded Camp 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 restore water to Kitonki Community. 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 Omoh Emmanuel with you.

Just a few years ago, this was one of the most unpleasant communities in which to live. People had abandoned this well because it was hard to near impossible to pump enough water. This forced them to walk a long distance to the swamp, and children would often go to bed thirsty and hungry.

Now that a clean, reliable water well is in this community, we see a lot of smiling faces. Water constraints are over, and the environment is very clean. There used to be a big malaria issue because of the mosquitoes attracted to stagnant water, but now community members care for themselves and their environment by digging good drainage and clearing overgrowth.

Rehabilitation 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.

Yaela Sesay lives near the well and has dedicated her time to being the pump caretaker. Mrs. Sesay talked about all of the changes she's witnessed after the rehabilitation of this well and the accompanying hygiene and sanitation training:

- We have stopped going to the swamp to fetch dirty water.
- We have stopped cooking dinner too late.
- Now that we live in clean surroundings, malaria, typhoid, diarrhea, and stomachaches are "running away from us."
- We are not letting animals roam about our homes freely.
- We say no to open defecation in our community.

Yaela Sesay

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 Kitonki is changing many lives.

We met with young Kadiatu at the well, too.

She said, "I was brought into this community to help my aunt by my mother. My aunt was amputated, both the two hands, during the rebel war in Sierra Leone."

"She is not able to fetch water and do some other activities, that’s why they brought me here to assist her in the domestic work. I came to this community in 2015 and then, we would wake up at 4:30am and go to the swamp to fetch water," Kadiatu continued.

Kadiatu Koroma

"But since the intervention of this organization in this community, it has taken me away from going to the swamp to fetch water all year. Before I would normally sleep in class every day but since the intervention of this organization in this community, I have never slept in class."

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 Kitonki Community, War Wounded Camp 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 Kitonki Community, War Wounded Camp – 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 - Yakima Foursquare Church