Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 452 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2017

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/08/2024

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

Pa. Burreh Tholley was the first person to ever settle in this area, way back in 1892. He originally came from Gbinty Kamaraka, and chose to settle by the river since his occupation was fishing and farming. Others joined him in farming and fishing as the years passed.

The community built up to its total of 77 houses. The name Kafunka came about through the activities of the early settlers, who were both farmers and fishermen. When they harvest good yield from their farms, they store it in elevated rooms which they call "funk." Out of these they got the name Kafunka, because they produce large amounts of rice.

A day starts early in the morning. Most here go to the mosque for prayer. After that, they prepare to go to their farms with their wife and children. They stay there until evening; some even eat dinner at the farm. When they finally return home, adults sit together and discuss community or family matters while children play. At around 6:30PM they start preparing for their final prayers after which they immediately retire to bed to get enough rest for the next full day of work.

Water Situation

There is a hand-dug well that we have been monitoring on a quarterly basis. As the years passed, we got more and more phone calls from the community. In fact, many of the locals even came to our office in person to describe how the pump wasn't working. These calls were during the dry season, and a visit from our mechanic confirmed that this well is being negatively impacted by the lack of rain.

As the water levels drop, the community must pump harder and longer to get what they need. At certain times, they can’t get any water at all. The situation is especially bad in April, May, June, and July.

As the water levels get worse, people here have no choice but to return to dangerous, dirty water sources.

Sanitation Situation

A little over half of households in Kafunka have their own pit latrine. But either way, the latrines we observed are in very poor condition. Because of this, locals prefer to seek the privacy of bushes to relieve themselves. When it rains or wild animals wander, this waste is spread and puts everyone at risk.

There are no hand-washing stations here, proving that little time or effort is spent for hygiene and sanitation.

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.

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Kafunka Community

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

October, 2017: Kafunka Community Project Complete

Kafunka 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 Kafunka 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

The community headman and imam worked on recruiting as many people as possible to attend the hygiene and sanitation training. The people here are fond of social events, so we didn't have an issue with attendance. Over 100 people met us under a tree at Mr. Momoh's compound, most of which were adults.

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 washed her dirty hands in front of the crowd. She used a bowl of clean water and after washing her hands, the clean water in the bowl turned brown. She showed the participants and asked them what they observed, and they answered saying that the color of the water had changed. The facilitator told them that our hands are always unclean, even though we may not take it into consideration. We are always vulnerable to germs, and need to keep clean by practicing good personal hygiene. This set us up for a strong transition into how to make the hand-washing stations.

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Men and women working together to build hand-washing stations.

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?

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Children helping our trainer by holding up signs illustrating good and bad hygiene behaviors.

Community members surprised us by implementing what they learned immediately after training. For example on the first day, we taught about dish racks. By the next day of training, almost everyone had built their own dish rack.

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A new dish rack that was constructed during training.

Famata is a 24-year-old new mother who learned a lot of things that will help her and her baby. She was so impressed, exclaiming that "Ignorance is a killer disease! Because I lacked the hygiene knowledge, I often breast fed my child without taking precaution. Even when from farm sweating with my dirty hands, I just fed her without cleaning myself. But with the hygiene training, I have learnt that I should regularly take care of my breasts whenever I want to breast feed my child! I used the same clothes throughout the day, and the same I used during the night. But thanks to the hygiene team, I am now going to practice personal hygiene."

29 sierraleone5124 Fatmata Bangera

Mrs. Fatmata Bangera

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 team set up the tripod and pulley over the well. Depending on the diameter of the well, the team would either drill from inside the well or from ground level. The team worked from ground level here in Kafunka; 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.

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Setting up the tripod and pulley system that aids the drilling process.

First, they installed 6″ PVC casing through the hatch cover down to the bottom of the well. This ensured that the drilling began and continued straight and also kept the hole from collapsing. They connected the bucket auger drill bit to the drilling rod and lowered it into the well, continuing to add more drill rods until they hit the bottom. Each drill rod was 18 feet in length and every time the team emptied the bucket auger, they reversed the process by disconnecting the rods until the drill bit could be emptied. This method was more labor intensive, but working from the top was much safer in this circumstance. There were 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.

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Emptying clay from the drill bit.

The team met lots of different colors of clay, continuing to drill with hopes that they'd pass through the clay. Clay is useful for a lot of things, but doesn't let water pass through it easily. There was still clay at 88 feet, so the team decided to stop.

15 feet of casing was slotted for screen, locating the top at 60 feet and the bottom at 75 feet. Seven buckets of filter pack were poured between the two casings. The team could then hoist out the temporary casing.

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 80 feet and using it for one hour. The team measured the discharge, which was 520 gallons. The static water level of 54 feet only dropped to 58 feet, and it took about 10 minutes to recharge. We were able to calculate that this well thus has a yield of 32 liters per minute. The team had been discouraged after meeting so much clay, but were encouraged with this yield. A hand pump can only yield 20 liters a minute, anyways!

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A submersible pump was used for flushing and testing the well.

With this success, we could build a new walled well pad and install the new stainless steel hand-pump. The only problem is that it’s been so rainy, we haven’t been able to paint the well pad yet – it will be white with logos for Mariatu’s Hope and The Water Project on its walls.

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A community member looks on as mechanics install the pump.

Mr. Momoh Sesay was there to celebrate with the rest of his community. He said, "I have spent most of my lifetime in this village and I have never seen this kind of quality water like the one now coming out of this new safe water source. After the hand-dug well was constructed and later got spoiled, our source of drinking water has been the swamp. We have been drinking from the swamp water until this time when our well has been rehabilitated. At the moment, we are so happy for the completion of the project. Though I am an old man, I believe that my children and grandchildren will also have to benefit greatly from this new safe drinking water."

October, 2017: Kafunka Community Project Underway

Kafunka Community will soon have a source of safe and clean water that works year round, thanks to your generous donation. A well that is dry for almost half the year is being deepened, and a new pump installed. The community will also 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, maps, and pictures. We’ll keep you updated as the work progresses.

Thank You for caring for the thirsty!

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.

A Year Later: Kafunka Community

October, 2018

“We used to leave our evening classes… to go and find drinking water for our parents but now we have pure drinking water.” – Mariatu

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kafunka 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 restore water to Kafunka 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 Edward Amara with you.

The people of this village now have reliable, pure water. As a result, they no longer go to the swamp to fetch water. This has improved health, reducing many issues like diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid.

The village surrounding the well is very hygienic. They take care of their environment by cleaning their toilets and take care of themselves by using dish racks for their dishes and clotheslines for their clothes. There have been so many changes because of what community members learned during training. They know to wash their hands with soap and water, cover their food, and clean their water containers.

We spoke with Mr. Momoh Sesay and young Mariatu about the other changes they have witnessed in Kafunka.

"We the people of this village are saying many thanks," he said.

"We are benefiting from this water well because our wives and children are no longer going to the swamp anymore to fetch water. Before this time, one of our children... was bitten by a snake in the swamp just to fetch water."

From left to right: Mr. Momoh Sesay, Mariatu, and Edward Amara

"But now, we are safe from all those problems."

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.

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 Kafunka is changing many lives.

Edward Amara interviewing some of the children who use this well.

"One of the big changes that had happened in this community is that during the previous years back before the establishment of this water project, we used to leave our evening classes... to go and find drinking water for our parents but now we have pure drinking water," remembered 12-year-old Mariatu.

"Also, we are healthy today, not like in those days when we used to drink the water from the swamp."

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 Kafunka 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 Kafunka 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.