Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 401 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/05/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

The well at St. John's Catholic Church in Targrin was constructed in 2008 and maintained for the past decade. However, the water level dropped in recent years and needs to be deepened in order for the local community to still access safe water from it.

The well’s environment was clean when we visited. However, it was a totally different thing when we went to the nearby swamp where some people collect water. There was hardly any water in the holes at the swamp, and the one that had some water looks like a spot just for wild animals. The water had a yellowish color and the environment was dirty with waste water draining back into its original source. We found a well at the nearby school, but it was also dry (we plan to deepen this well, too).

Depending on the time of the year, water quantity can be low or dry in both protected wells and the swamp. Most hand-dug wells in this part of the country, where the water table is way below the reach of private local diggers are dry in the months of March, April through June. Water packets are available for purchase, but accessibility depends on one's purchasing power.

Cost is not an issue for the community sources, but there are other challenges. The swamp source is hard to reach in the due to the condition of the road. When the quantity in source becomes low the source starts to experience overcrowding. And it can be very dangerous to climb the hill with a container full of water, especially for elderly people.

St. John's Church has existed in this community for more than twenty years. This church’s involvement in this community has been and is still been very tremendous. They have built a school in this community and provided employment opportunities for some people in this community. They also allow the community people access to some of their facilities, for example, their school field is been used to host most of the community’s outdoor activities.

The houses in this community are mostly built with locally produced mud bricks but with cement plastering. They are built in straight lines on both sides of the highway with some scattered in the hinter part of the community. Most of the trees are cut down to make way for new homes and therefore is less vegetated. It is a very noisy community.

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

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

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

No handwashing 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 handwashing 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.

Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul is dry for four months every year and needs major work to supply adequate, clean water to the community year round. The pump will be removed, and a hand auger will be lowered inside and powered by a drill team. 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 all seasons. As the team drills, casing will be installed, transforming the bottom of this hand-dug well into a 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 (edited for clarity) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Sierra Leone.

Project Updates

November, 2019: Giving Update: Targrin Community

A year ago, your generous donation helped Targrin Community in Sierra Leone access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Targrin Community. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

August, 2018: Targrin Community Restored with Reliable, Clean Water

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point in Targrin Community, already providing clean water to families! People here no longer have to rely on dirty water from the swamp. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines.

New Knowledge

The team sent a representative to the St. John's Catholic Church to inform them and the surrounding community about the need for hygiene and sanitation training. Follow-up calls were made to plan the event. When the team finally reached the community, the pump caretaker and two volunteers went house to house to call people to the venue.

The church had some great shade for us under the main building. The sea breeze was blowing gently to counter the harshness of the sun. Everyone was actively listening and involved in each activity, and the majority of participants brought a clean, empty plastic container so that we could build handwashing stations together.

Topics included handwashing and how to make a tippy tap handwashing station, good and bad hygiene, disease transmission, tools like dish racks and clotheslines, oral rehydration solution, animal care, latrine use, and pump maintenance.

A toothbrushing demonstration riveted most people since they had never seen such large teeth before!

We love using pictures and demonstrations to communicate with our participants.

The trainer taught that diseases are largely spread by hand contact, and they justified this with a simple demonstration. They selected volunteers at random and had them dip their hands in a cup of glitter. Then, they shook hands with other participants.

"What do you see?" she asked.

Everyone in the crowd now had glittery hands. What they experienced with the glitter is exactly what happens during diseases transmission in communities.

This got everyone excited to make the tippy tap handwashing stations. Nails are heated by the lighted candles and used to pierce a hole in the top end of the container. The container was tied to a rope and hung on a stick. After they constructed their own tippy taps, they practiced using them and they were encouraged to share what they learned with their friends.

"Training like this is uncommon. I took handwashing for granted before now, but this training has taught me a good lesson. Now I know that I should wash my hands regularly to wash off diseases from my body," Joseph Kamara said.

"I think this is going to help us improve our health."

Clean Water Restored

The first thing the drill team did when they arrived in Targrin Community was to contact church leadership since this well is on their property.

Here is how they restored clean, reliable water here:

1. Raised the tripod

2. Found the original depth (for this well, we measured 51 feet)

3. Socketed the pipes

4. Installed casing

5. Lined up the drill rods

6. Drilled!

Drilling by hand is always hard labor. They immediately hit stone clay, which lasted for several feet. After, they reached black clay. They called the main office for advice because black clay can negatively impact water quality. The drill team was advised to stop drilling; if they had pushed through the black clay, they probably would have hit salt water from the ocean. They made it to 91 feet.

7. Installed screening and filter pack

8. Cemented an iron rod to well lining, and fixed it with an iron collar at the top

9. Bailed the well by hand for three days

10. Tested the yield (we got a static water level of 49 feet going at 28.7 liters per minute)

11. Built a cement platform, walls, and drainage system

12. Installed a stainless steel India Mk11 pump

The hand-drill method allows the team to install the cylinder far below the aquifer so that the community has great water access throughout the year.

13. Water quality test

The Ministry of Water Resources has verified that this well meets the World Health Organization’s standards for drinking water.

"This well will free us from the deadly claws of rainy season diarrhea and cholera. Now I don't think anyone in his or her right mind will ever go down to the swamp again to get water. This organization and its donors have brought long life to us in this community," shared Mr. Aruna Sesay.

June, 2018: Targrin Community Project Underway

Dirty water from the swamp is making people in Targrin Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your community through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!

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.

Giving Update: Tagrin Community

November, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Tagrin Community in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Alusine J. Koroma. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Targrin 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!

Their lives of people in Tagrin Community have improved in the past year because they no longer go to the swamp or streams to fetch water.

"Through my interviews, I can tell that the lives of the people transformed from where it was to a better state," reported field officer Omoh Emmanual after a recent visit to the well here.

"Since this project was completed last year, the changes that have happened are great. Now we have pure water to drink, even the passersby can testify that our water is pure," shared Joseph S. Koroma, a teacher at the nearby school and caretaker of the well.

These changes can be attributed to the reliable, safe well in Tagrin. In addition, things are improving for this community due to the application of the teachings of our hygiene and sanitation team who taught them about good and bad hygiene as a part of this project.

"My life has changed for good. Initially, the water in this pump was not good for drinking because it was dirty with a very bad smell. It got worse when the well went dry in the dry season," said 14-year-old Alusine J. Koroma.

"Now with the well rehabilitation, the water is colorless, tasteless and has no germs. I can say that because the pump is been treated frequently. Now the pump has rules and regulation which governs it. Water is always available and great for drinking."

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 Targrin 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 Targrin 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 Sponsor - Pineapple Fund