Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 131 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/04/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

Rosint Community was founded by the Susu Tribe under the leadership of Pa. Alimamy Kamara. He is crowned as local chief and a district officer of Port Loko.

The founders of this community were Muslims who were later joined by Christians. Even though many people here have different faiths and denominations, they still live as one family. Intermarriage between tribes and religions is entirely normal in Rosint.

Rosint is from the Themne language, meaning "sand." The Susu and Themne came in this community for fishing, while the Limba later came for tapping palm wine. Daily activity begins as early as 5 am for the Muslims, 6 am for the Christians. It starts with bathing in preparation for morning prayer and services. When people return home from the mosques and churches, they prepare their children for school. Rice left from the other day is warmed up for breakfast, and then the children have to clean the compound and wash the dishes. The children will take their showers to get to school by 8 am.

While children are at school, adults either go to the beach to fish or to the swamp to farm. Farmers grow different kind of crops and vegetables. Everyone returns home around 5 pm for dinner. Students do their homework before the sun sets, and everyone goes to evening prayers around 8 pm.

The livelihoods in this community are fishing, gardening, production of oysters, teaching and petty trade. Rosint is the greatest producer of oysters in Sierra Leone, making it stand out as a community.


Sierra Leone has faced some particularly dry times these past few years. Rain hasn't fallen as expected, and this has taken a huge toll on wells excavated several years ago. Many of these projects wrapped up when they hit water, without any anticipation of extreme, environment-changing weather.

We've stood by these communities as they use, manage, and maintain their water points. Quarterly visits have revealed a drastic decrease in water levels, and many hand-dug wells have gone dry, including this one in Rosint Community.

Since our installation of a new AfriDev pump years ago, the community has taken the initiative of adding their own submersible pump that supplies water to a reservoir. This alteration has compromised the integrity of the well pad, allowing contamination to wash underground. It doesn't even appear that the submersible pump is working properly, with the majority of community members still manually pumping water from the AfriDev.

When the pump can't pull up any water, community members are forced to return to surface water. The main source is the swamp where they farm. Containers are dunked directly in the milky-colored water and carried back home for cooking, cleaning, and drinking. After consuming this swamp water, community members complain of diarrhea. Children are late for or entirely miss school, and families spend resources and time treating preventable illnesses.

The community leaders always call us during this difficult time to make sure we know the well is not meeting their water needs. They cannot afford what it takes to put reliable water back in their well, so we have decided to come alongside them to restore clean water to Rosint.


100% of households in this area of Rosint have pit latrines. However, they're not always preferred. Many are not clean or maintained, so potential users will instead seek the privacy of bushes and trees to relieve themselves.

There are no hand-washing stations here, and few helpful tools like dish racks and clotheslines. Animals are not penned and roam freely around the community.

70-year-old Isatu Gilbert is a nurse who can testify to the poor health of her neighbors "The health situation is very poor. People in the community are often sick with malaria, typhoid and dysentery."

Here's what we're going to do about it:


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.

A Reliable Water Well

In the past, wells were rehabilitated using large cement caissons lowered down inside of the well. A well technician goes down and digs the dirt out around the caisson until it slowly sinks down and the water comes in. This is not the best method because we constantly have to return to these wells to dig them deeper after they fill up with sand again (because this is a coastal area). By drilling down inside of the well using a manual technique, we will be able to go down much deeper. We are hoping we can drill down an additional 30 or more feet to make this a water source that lasts through all seasons.

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 project is a part of our shared program with Mariatu’s Hope. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (formatted and edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Sierra Leone.

Project Updates

October, 2018: A Year Later: Rosint Community, 16 Gilbert Street

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

August, 2018: Rosint Community, 16 Gilbert Street Project Complete

Rosint Community, Sierra Leone now has a well that provides clean water throughout the year, thanks to your donation! Hundreds of people are no longer need to drink dirty 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.

We have made improvements to our system to ensure that you always hear about your project as soon as possible, for a lot has happened since construction was completed in February. Our team has been back to monitor this well, with our last visit being in July:

Things are working wonderfully!

Project Result: New Knowledge

Mrs. Gilbert let us hold hygiene and sanitation training at her household. She is a woman who is passionate about taking care of herself and her family, and she already has many of the facilities we're teaching about. Each of the three days of training, we moved to a different location around her compound to talk about those facilities. She was also integral in recruiting the participants who came each day.

The first day, our facilitator had fun introducing hand-washing by going around shaking hands with others in the group. She had secretly put glitter on her hands, and had fun talking about how the transferral of glitter from hand to hand is just like germs! She then taught participants how to wash hands and when. Participants brought empty containers with which we showed them how to build hand-washing stations. We provided the other materials, as well as soap to get them started.

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

Mrs. Gilbert told us, "This part of the country is not hygienic. People here are so busy doing their business of processing oysters. The odor from some people can be very offensive! But the hygiene training filled in some major gaps. Really this hygiene training has proved as a stepping stone for many people living in this community. It has helped to reduce the filthiness that has been so prevalent." She admitted though she's always loved good hygiene and sanitation, she even learned some new things for herself. She continued, "In addition, even myself, I learnt something about hand-washing. Before I did not know that there are methods in hand-washing. But during your training, I learned the various methods. I realized that I have not been doing it properly. I am so happy that your training has served as a reminder for me and also the people I am staying with."

Mrs. Gilbert

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 52 feet deep with three 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 Rosint, 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.

Rotating this drill by hand is hard work!

As they drilled, the team met sand mixed with clay. At 10 feet, it turned to mostly clay, and at 68 feet deep it turned to a dark grey clay. This dark clay persisted, so the team decided that 72 feet was a wise place to stop drilling.

10 feet of casing was slotted for screen and lowered down between 55 and 65 feet. Seven buckets of filter pack were poured between the two casings, and then they could hoist out the temporary larger casing used for the drilling.

Scooping the filter pack to pour between the 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 60 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 49 feet deep remained the same throughout the entire test. Thus, the yield is 40 liters per minute.

Scooping the filter pack to pour between the casings.

With this great success, we could build a new well pad and install the new stainless steel India MkII hand-pump. Community members gathered at the well to celebrate the return of clean water, and some village elders even joined. A man named Mr. Conteh was so moved by the occasion that he asked to read the water user constitution out loud to remind everyone how to best care for their well.

Mrs. Gloria Fakondoh

Mrs. Gloria Fakondoh is a middle-aged woman who has suffered for a good portion of her life because of water scarcity. She stepped forward to share what this new clean water source means to her. "The rehabilitation of this well has helped many to live without fear of having to go far away in search of pure water. It was very difficult to access clean drinking water in this community. The only one considered safe was far across the main road, which is most times dangerous for our children because of the many vehicles. We thought God had abandoned us, but he sent you to rescue us from this water crisis," she said.

January, 2018: Rosint Community Project Underway

Rosint 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 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: Rosint Community, 16 Gilbert Street

October, 2018

“Now, I am always on time at school because I have safe water available in my community.” – M’balu

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rosint 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 Rosint 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 Omoh Emmanuel with you.

This project had help this community so much. Now, the people in this community are boasting of a clean and healthy environment. People rarely walk to the swamp since this well started providing reliable and clean water for drinking, cooking and cleaning. Whenever you run into someone at the swamp, they're fetching barrels of water for irrigating their farm or garden.

This well continues to yield water through the driest of months.

We spoke with pump caretaker Yeanoh Amara and young M'balu Kamara about some of the changes they have witnessed.

"The community now knows the importance of clean and safe water. People have stopped going to the swamp," shared Mrs. Amara. Instead, they're getting their water from this well. Mrs. Amara lives right by the well and does her best to make sure the area is kept clean and that people follow the rules.

"Most of the people now have toilets with a door and a roof, and they look good. They don't throw their garbage all around anymore." People remember what we taught during training last year and are putting this knowledge into practice.

From left to right: Omoh Emmanuel, M'balu, and Yeanoh Amara.

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 Rosint is changing many lives.

According to 14-year-old M'balu, she'd like to see people take even better care of their water well. She finds people aren't taking their shoes off when they come to fetch water, and they're not joining in the cleaning activity each Saturday. But having this clean, reliable water has impacted M'balu in a great way.

"Since this project was completed, I hardly go to the swamp or far away communities to fetch water. This sometimes caused snake bites, but now I am grateful to God and your organization for this redemption," M'balu shared.

"Now, I am always on time at school because I have safe water available in my community."

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 Rosint 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 Rosint 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 Underwriter - The Well Church of Lewisville
The Barrow Family
Scandinavians for Life
The Barrow Family
10 individual donor(s)