Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 452 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/29/2024

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

Magburaka Road was named by Masamuta Turay, a man from Magburaka Town. Because of his love for his town, he gave the same name to his street.

This area of New London is very diverse. There are different kinds of people living in this community, Christians as well as Muslims. These people are all religiously tolerant and peaceful, nor is there any tribal discrimination.

The only cause of division is water scarcity. Mr. Kanu noticed this and wanted to do whatever he could. He decided to help the community by digging a water well. With that, his community started to improve. People are still building houses and becoming bigger every day.

Most community members are manual laborers and business people (airport workers, traders, or teachers), so they are always busy. Many people have gardens, either in their yard or in the swamp area not far from this community. Most of the homes here have electricity (from 7  PM-7AM), so most evenings families stay inside to watch football and movies.

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. 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. Our monitoring officer confirms that they find the well is dry for no less than three months every year.

When this well isn't working, people don't get enough sleep. Women and children are forced to wake up even earlier to fetch water from the other sources that become very crowded. When there are water shortages, families sacrifice proper hygiene. When people can't get safe drinking water from this well, they are forced to use a nearby open well where they fetch dirty water with a rope and bucket.

Mr. Amadu Tholley pleaded, "The water in this community is very nice to drink. I cannot afford to miss it. There are other wells but this one is different. It taste like any spring water, so please help us fix the problem of the well drying!"

Sanitation Situation

Over half of the households have pit latrines, while the others share with their neighbor.

Everyone has a clothesline but there are few dish racks, so we plan to teach how to build dish racks during training. There are even a few hand-washing stations, though they didn't have a cleaning agent like soap or ash.

New London is home to people from diverse educational backgrounds. Some have created homes and environments that maintain good standards, while others don't know any better.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

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

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 many months 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: New London Community

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

January, 2018: New London Community, Magburaka Road Project Complete

New London 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 enough 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 New London, 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

Mr. Kanu was our contact person as we prepared the time and place for hygiene and sanitation training. He agreed to hold sessions at his compound on the first day, and at his neighbor Mr. Morlai's home for the last two days. He and his wife did their best to personally visit every household in the community to urge community members to attend.

Despite having to reschedule a couple of times because of the rain, attendance was good. We had 35 to 85 participants throughout, with the heaviest attendance on the first day.

There was a demonstration with the trainer walking around shaking hands with all the participants. 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. After making these together, we taught about the importance of hand-washing, when to do it, and how to do it. After these sessions, participants could take their new tippy taps home and set them up outside their latrines.

Participants each building their own hand-washing station.

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?

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. This day is especially important because of our training on pump management and maintenance.

The trainer using a dish rack example in the community to talk about every household's need for one.

56-year-old Kadie Bangura was grateful she got to attend. "Honestly I thought that hygiene only means to bathe daily. We were just doing what we feel like doing without proper knowledge. ...Through the hygiene training, we have been taught that hygiene includes community hygiene, taking care of our drinking vessels, the dishes, taking care of our toilets and keeping our homes clean and tidy. Surely I don’t want to be selfish by keeping all these knowledge to myself. I am going to share it with those who were not present for the training so that they too will benefit from it," she shared.

Kadie Bangura

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 44 feet deep with two feet of water. At this time of the year, community members were only able to draw one or two containers of water before the well needed rest. In a few more weeks, the well would have been completely dry.

The team set 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 worked from ground level here in New London, and started by removing the pump and hatch.

First, they installed 6″ PVC casing through the hatch cover down to the bottom of the well. This ensured that the drilling began 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 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.

Drilling by hand is hard work!

The team met sand all the way to 73 feet, which is a great sign because it’s both clean and allows water to freely flow through it. By then, there was a huge amount of water.

They lowered 18 feet of casing slotted for screen down to 65 feet, and then dumped seven buckets of filter pack between the two casings. The team could then hoist out the temporary casing.

Pouring filter pack between the two casings

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. We are excited that the static water level at 53 feet deep remained the same throughout the entire test. Thus, the yield is 40 liters per minute.

With this great success, we could build a new well pad and install the new stainless steel hand-pump. Everyone wanted to gather together as soon as clean water was restored, but it was raining heavily that morning. They agreed to meet at the well later in the afternoon to celebrate clean water with singing and dancing. We brought music, and the children were the first to arrive. Mr. Morlai Kamara stepped forward to give his vote of thanks, saying "Good things are not hard to identify. This new water source has all the qualities of pure drinking water. From the time this well has been rehabilitated and treated, I believed that our frequent cases of stomach pains will no longer exist."

November, 2017: New London Community, Magburaka Road Project Underway

New London 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 months at a time 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 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: New London Community

October, 2018

“I am not easily late for school because I have water in my community. I also save plenty of time to study, which has boosted up my academics.” – Adama

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in New London Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help New London Community 2 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 New London 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.

Life has truly improved for the people in New London. The community is looking very healthy and clean.

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.

We spoke with the well caretaker, Mr. Amadu Tholley, about some of the other changes he's witnessed.

"The biggest change that has ever happened is having water clean and pure in the community. My people are not going to the swamp and unprotected water sources anymore," Mr. Tholley said.

Mr. Amadu Tholley

There is not only enough water for drinking but for washing and cleaning too. "The community is healthy and clean. The teachings your organization gave us, our people took them and put them into practice," Mr. Tholley continued.

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 New London is changing many lives.

We also spoke to 16-year-old Adama about how she's personally been impacted by having a clean, reliable water well. "My life has changed drastically in terms of education and hygiene," Adama said.

From left to right: Omoh Emmanuel, Adama, and Mr. Tholley

"In the aspect of education, I am not easily late for school because I have water in my community. I also save plenty of time to study, which has boosted up my academics," Adama continued.

"Truly our community has changed from where we were to this present date. There is a great improvement. Now, people don't easily get sick."

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 New London Community 2 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 New London Community 2 – 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.