Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/13/2023

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Currently, two protected water sources in Mabendo Community are not functioning, and the only alternative for the people in this village is the swamp source and unprotected wells.

This village has three water wells and all of these wells are near most homes in this community. Unfortunately, two of the wells are not functioning. And even the one that is functioning has a very limited water quantity that is prone to drying up.

Now that there is just one functioning well in this community, everybody flocks there for water to drink, causing heavy overcrowding at the well. Access is also restricted by those living nearby.

So the people have to trek a considerable distance to the swamp or the stream, which are the current alternate water points.

The swamp water is not good for the people in this community. We observed that the water is milky with a very bad odor. And because it is in the open and not necessarily controlled, the surrounding is not clean and prone to all sorts of contamination.

Rehabilitating the wells in this community will help ensure widespread access to safe water. One point is at the Mabendo Mosque. This mosque has a great latrine, the area is perfectly clean, and each room has a handwashing container. But the only trouble is that two of those containers had no water in them because of the water shortage in the community.

"Well, I will say with confidence that we have actually maintained a satisfactory level of hygiene and sanitation. Our pitfalls would be caused by the shortage of water as you can see that some of our hand washing facilities don’t have water," Mr. Idrissa Kamara, a local teacher, said to us.

"But we hope to improve in that area when you guys have rehabilitated our well."

What we can do:


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

The hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach community members about the importance of handwashing, building and using dish racks, and other sanitation facilities. Pictures will be used to teach the community how to discern between healthy and unhealthy hygiene and sanitation practices. They will applaud the community for full latrine coverage but will also teach them how to improve by keeping flies out of the pits.

These trainings will also result in a water user committee that manages and maintains the new well. They will enforce proper behavior and report to us whenever they need our help solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

Well Rehabilitation

We want to work on the well located at the school. Our team has decided to do the hard work of drilling a borehole by hand in the bottom of this well, which will not only increase the water quantity but will ensure its quality, too. A new well pad will keep contaminants out, and a new India MkII stainless steel pump will provide easy and safe access to the clean water inside.

This community has been drinking dirty swamp water and suffering the consequences. With our rehabilitating this open well, the surrounding community will be provided with plenty of safe, clean drinking water.

Project Updates

November, 2019: Giving Update: Mabendo Community, Mosque

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

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

October, 2018: Mabendo Community, Mosque Project Complete

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point at the mosque in Mabendo Community that’s already providing clean water to people! The neighboring community members no longer have to rely on dirty water from the swamp. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted in Mabendo, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines.

New Knowledge

Because we had three wells here to rehabilitate, we decided to plan a large hygiene and sanitation program here. This meant that we needed the total involvement of all staff, and we even needed volunteers for this huge program. There were comedian volunteers and child health club members. Two men also set up a football match in the community to happen two days before training. This set a tone of excitement about the upcoming training.

Some of the comedians and staff members performing together during training.

On training day, everyone arrived in the community under a very heavy rain. While praying for fair weather, team members erected a military camping tent at the front of the venue. The sky cleared!

From there, we only needed to put music on the sound system to attract the entire Mabendo Village. There were more than 400 people there.

There was a puppet show in which students made their puppets members of a household that suffers from a cholera outbreak. This dramatization taught community members how to make a rehydration solution to save those suffering from cholera symptoms. The puppets then moved on to teach about how cholera becomes an issue in the first place.

People learned how to wash hands and make a handwashing station of their own, the importance of toilets, dental care, and a balanced diet. There was also a session on proper care of the water well pump and how to raise the funds to cover maintenance costs.

Dental hygiene is always an important topic here, too. The trainer started with facts like the number of times one should brush their teeth in a day, how long you can use the same toothbrush, the type of pastes to use etc. She advised people to brush their teeth twice a day and not use a toothbrush for more than three months. She also told them not to keep their toothbrushes out in the open and suggested particular brands.

In Sierra Leone, there are a lot of counterfeit tubes of toothpaste and drugs and some of the counterfeit brands actually burn your gums, though some people still sell them.

So for proper illustration, the trainer used what we call "The Teeth."

This is a huge plastic mouth with big teeth. She also took out a giant toothbrush which she used to patiently illustrate the technique of proper toothbrushing. She also called on a participant to demonstrate the same skills before the audience. The people were so amused by the big teeth that they would burst out into laughter during the demonstration.

It all ended with a lot of applause!

Imam Pa Saidu Bangura was one of the leading figures in attendance.

"This training has started changing our lives already. You saw people washing their hands when the training was ongoing. The chief has also ensured that all homes have a toilet and a dish rack. So with these in place, some diseases will effectively be eradicated from this village," he shared.

"But we should be thankful to you guys for the wonderful education you have given us on our personal hygiene and community hygiene. We are now well-prepared to fight against common diseases like cholera, malaria, and diarrhea."

Clean Water Restored

The first things the drill team did when they arrived at the Mabendo Mosque were to contact the Imam and find a place to camp.

Here is how we restored clean, reliable water here:

1. Raised the tripod

2. Found the original depth (for this well, we measured 48 feet)

3. Socketed the pipes

4. Installed casing

5. Lined up the drill rods

6. Drilled!

Drilling by hand is always hard work. The team immediately met a strong, dense clay. They hit a stone just after five feet and retired for the evening. The next morning, a team member delivered the stone drill bit so they could try getting deeper than 53 feet. After 45 minutes with the stone bit, the team was through and could make it down to 60 feet.

The team was able to drill without uninstalling the pump first since there was a hatch in the well pad.

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 and flushed it

Bailing the well

10. Tested the yield (we got a static water level of 38 feet going at 40.95 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

When the team arrived at the mosque to celebrate clean water with the community, there were prayers going on in the mosque. There was a reasonable amount of people already at the well during this time, but the mosque needed quietness for their prayers and so we waited patiently. When people were dismissed, we turned on the boombox and the crowd formed.

They all came by the well area and joyful singing and dancing began. While the boombox was playing, some people decided to break off and sing their own traditional songs of praise. This went on for some time and the people loved it. We transitioned to closing speeches because of approaching rain clouds.

The Imam gave thanks on behalf of his people, and an old woman who had lived in the community for several years talked about the hope this water brings.

"We are very happy for this well to be here," Mrs. Betty Bangura said.

"We the women and our kids suffered a lot, especially during the dry season. Bad water from the swamp usually got us and our kids sick. Aside from that, we usually produced late meals for the family because of the water shortage," she continued.

"But this well has relieved us from all these disadvantages here, and we are very grateful for that. Thank you."

June, 2018: Mabendo Community Project Underway

A dirty water source at the mosque is making people in Mabendo Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know the people living here 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: Mabendo Community, Mosque

November, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mabendo Community, Mosque in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Adama Kamara. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Mabendo Community, Mosque 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!

The reliable water from the well at the Mosque in Mabendo Community has been a positive contribution to the people living here for the past year.

This is a religious institution that requires that its followers use water anytime they choose to pay a visit. Washing some strategic areas of their bodies before entering the mosque is regarded as a holy ritual. The people no longer have to scramble for water to observe their ablution before going into the mosque.

This in itself is a major change in their lives.

“Things are better than before. We have water in our community and we are not late again for school. In the past, we used to wash our feet and hands at home before we come here to pray. Now, we do everything here at the mosque because there is water available for us to use,” said Adama Kamara, an 11-year-old boy we spoke with during a recent visit to the well.

The mosque environment is also very clean and one can sense happiness from them, shared our teams after their visit. They also noted that people are happier because the access to water is making things easier for everyone.

“I am very happy for this project for two main reasons. Firstly, our children no longer suffer the stress of swamp visits. Secondly, lateness in school is eliminated. Before now, they used to go down the swamp to fetch water and that has always contributed to their lateness in school," said Chief Pa Adekallie Kamara.

"Now we have easy access to water.”

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 Mabendo Community, Mosque 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 Mabendo Community, Mosque – 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