Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/26/2022

Project Features

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Community Profile

New Life Clinic is constructed out of cement blocks and is surrounded by homes made of both mud and cement. This area in Yongoroo, Sierra Leone is lush and swampy and is right across the road from the sea.

The clinic first opened in the 1800s and was headed by a British nurse who went by the name Mrs. Crockson. The clinic is still just as small as it was once it opened: one room for medicine, one for a toilet, and one for patients. There are a few smaller unattached rooms on the property like a dormitory, laundry, and latrines.

It serves areas with a total population of 9,000. The most common case treated is malaria, which is not surprising for a fishing community on the sea. There's lots of dirty, stagnant water where mosquitoes breed.


There is a hand-dug well at the clinic, but it goes dry for at least three months each year. These months, there's no rain to refresh the shallow water table in this well. Staff, patients, and the clinic's neighboring families must find water elsewhere.

Without the clean water this well was supplying, clinic staff and the surrounding community must return to the previous sources they were using.

There's another much more reliable well 350 meters down the busy road. The water is clean, but it is not ideal for clinic staff to have to interrupt the care of patients to go out into the community and fetch water. Children living near the clinic told us that they're afraid to walk far down the busy street to get the water they need.

The clinic, on behalf of their staff and dozens of daily patients, request help to make their well a clean water source that lasts the entire year. They have a system standing by that will allow them to distribute water around the clinic by tap – they just need adequate clean water in the well.


The clinic's hygiene and sanitation situation is stellar, which is a comfort to patients. There are four latrines that are sanitized and covered. There are seven different hand-washing stations available for staff and patients.

"I am personally very satisfied with the hygiene and sanitation in this clinic. As you can see, the whole compound is perfectly kept," Mrs. Bangura, deputy head nurse at the clinic, as she showed us around.

"There are enough hand-washing stations, toilets, a garbage pit, clotheslines, dish racks, and other things. Who wouldn't be jealous of our practices?"

The surrounding community, on the other hand, have latrines made of mud. These are seldom covered or cleaned. Mr. Kamara, a fisherman who lives near the clinic knows about the sharp contrast between his community and the clinic.

"We certainly don't have a perfect smell in this community. Flies are all over the place, and the latrines play a part," he shared.

As a result, the brunt of hygiene and sanitation training will be done with the community members living near the clinic.

Here’s what we plan to do about it:


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 the importance of building good latrines, hand-washing stations, 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. The trainer also looks forward to giving the nurses a few sessions to share what they feel is important for their neighbors to learn.

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 found this well has low to dry levels during the driest months of the year. Our team has decided to do the hard job 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 clinic and the surrounding community members thought they left the issue of water scarcity behind when they got a well. However, the dry months force them to walk longer distances in search of clean water. By rehabilitating this open well, New Life Clinic and surrounding Yongoroo will be provided with plenty of safe, clean drinking water that persists through the driest seasons.

We are excited to see this well reliably serve New Life Clinic so that they can effectively serve Yongoroo Community.

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

10/01/2019: Giving Update: Yongoroo Community, New Life Clinic

A year ago, your generous donation helped Yongoroo Community, New Life Clinic in Sierra Leone access clean water.

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

05/29/2018: Clean Water at New Life Clinic

We are excited to share that there is safe, reliable water in Yongoroo New Life Clinic, which is 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

Attempts to organize the three-day training were initially unsuccessful. We traveled to the community to hold the training and were told that the fishermen had gone out to sea and would not return for a few weeks. Another attempt failed before agreeing on a date with the help of the community headman.

Once we gathered together, things went better than expected. We had so much success and the people attending were excited to participate and learn.

"My memories of the past unsuccessful days were soon erased by level of cooperation that the people displayed on subsequent days," one of the trainers said.

The first day was primarily about handwashing. We used empty jerrycans, string, and other materials to build these, and encouraged participants to return home and build another. Once we finished, we set up one of the handwashing stations to demonstrate how to properly wash your hands. Proper handwashing at all the proper times is the easiest way to prevent sickness.

Because of the high illiteracy rate in Sierra Leone, people really respond to this method of training, as well as the hands-on with the tippy taps.

The second day we discussed daily habits and how they affect health in ways the community never imagined.

There are some topics best presented using pictures. The team holds up different scenes that participants would see on a daily basis. The people were especially interested in this particular topic for one reason: for each scene displayed, there was at least one household guilty of the hygiene mistake portrayed. You could see participants glancing over at the leaders of guilty households. This ended up being quite funny in the end, because everyone was guilty of doing at least something wrong.

It’s important to always use a latrine, pen in animals to keep them out of the kitchen, always cover food and so many other things. The trainer showed how if you don’t go about your daily business the right way, there can be deadly consequences. We also trained on oral rehydration solution (ORS) because we know that even with the greatest effort to prevent diarrhea, it will still be an occasional issue. This ORS will help keep community members, especially children, healthy as they recover from diarrhea.

The final day was all about caring for the water point so that it serves generations to come. After, we took time to review the important takeaways from the three days of training.

“We know that it is good to be clean. But actually, do not understand what constitutes cleanliness," Mrs. Isatu Mansaray, a nurse at the clinic, said.

"Most of what we have learnt from you people used to be taken for granted by us, because we are uneducated. But I must confess that the teachings have actually changed our lives in this community. We now know how washing our hands after toilet will benefit us,”

Clean Water Restored

The team of three artisans set up their camping gear near the water point and performed the necessary checks on equipment to get them ready for the next day’s operation. The proceeded to rehabilitate the existing well.

This is how it was done:

Socketing the pipes
Because the sizes of the original sockets are not always appropriate, fire is set to heat pipes that to be used to improvise sockets. The heated pipe fits into the other pipe so that it further opens to create an improvised socket.

Fixing the tripod
Three metal pipes are connected to make a single pod, there are nine of those needed for a tripod. A rope is then passed through a pulley attached to the top end of the tripod. This rope is tied to the bucket auger drill bit to the drilling rod and lowered inside the temporary casing to the bottom of the well.

Finding depth
After the installation of the tripod, the static level and total depth are established. For these levels, the team uses a drop line that has a metal tied to one end. This line is dropped into the well and tied at the frame of the well to indicate the total depth of the well. The tied portion of the line to the watermark is the static level. If you subtract the static level from the total depth, you get the water quantity.

Installation of casing pipes
A 6" casing pipe is fitted into an iron plank and riveted for a firm grip. A nut is then slacked from the plank and a rope tied to the 6" socket is pulled to allow the pulley to easily lower the pipe into the well. A strong board is laid on top of the pipe and forcefully hit to let it sit tight at the base of the well.

Lining up of drilling rod
These rods are numbered and connected accordingly. A rope is tied to the end of the last rod which will be pulled and released instantaneously so that the drilling bits will dig a borehole into the soil down the well.

At the start, the team encountered different colors of clay which were worrying signs that a difficult task lies ahead. Yet they continue to drill through the clay layers and finally hit the sandy layer. This, of course, was a good sign for one reason, that is, that sand is an evidence of plenty water around. But this benefit has a string attached to it as well. There is always the possibility of a hole collapsing during drilling when the drilling reaches a sandy layer. However, that did not happen in this case.

And this drilling method allows the team to install the hand pump cylinder far below the aquifer. Which means that the community will have a very good access to plenty water in this particular well. The team suspended the cylinder to two feet above the bottom of the well for fear of debris and other materials reaching the pump.

4" casing pipes are laid out to the requisite depth of the well. The casing pipes are the screened, that is, the pipes are given slight slices to make a passage for water. The pipe is then wrapped with empty rice bags all in the bid to help filter any debris.

This screened pipe is slotted into casing pipes and is lowered into the well. About 5 buckets of sand mixed with small stones, called filter packs, are poured in between the two casings. A chain hoist is set up to pull out the temporary casing, leaving the 4' pipe at the bottom of the well.

Iron rod support
This process requires that iron rod is cemented to the well lining and attached to the casing to support the weight of the PVC and keep it straight from the bottom of the well to the top of the pump base. They weld a collar into the pump base to help support the casing.

Bailing and Yield testing
The hand bailing system requires two people to bail by hand. The well is bailed for three days. The well is then yield tested by installing an electrical submersible pump to the depth of the well and is pumped for about an hour. They continue pumping for another hour while measuring the amount of water pumped out. They were relieved after the yield test. After passing the yield test, a sanitary seal is placed in the borehole to about three feet from the surface with cement to keep it clean.

This involves constructing a cement wall round the well and constructing a drainage system for the control of unwanted water around the well area. This process takes three days to complete.

A quality stainless steel India MK2 hand-pump is then installed. The pump's cylinder is installed to a depth similar to that of the yield test.

The dedication is all about handing the water well facility over to the school for which it was provided. The ceremony was well organized and coordinated. The community people were arraigned to the well area and all the kids were asked to surround the tap whilst the other category of people stays around the well.

A cross-section of the office staff went to organize a ceremony where community members were given final instructions about the benefit of safe drinking water and proper care of the pump.

"Honestly this well will help to save lives," Mr. Micheal Ndanema said.

"Before now we had to send people to the swamp to help with water even during delivery in this clinic. Imagine a patient being treated for typhoid and goes back to fetch water from a typhoid-infested source. So my brother this water well will save lives, to put it simply.”

04/26/2018: Yongoroo Community, New Life Clinic Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at New Life Clinic drains people's time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this clinic and the surrounding community through the introduction 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

Dug Well and Hand Pump

Hand-dug wells are best suited for clay, sand, gravel and mixed soil ground formations. A large diameter well is dug by hand, and then lined with either bricks or concrete to prevent contamination and collapse of the well. Once a water table is hit, the well is capped and a hand-pump is installed – creating a complete and enclosed water system.

Giving Update: Yongoroo Community, New Life Clinic

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Yongoroo Community, New Life Clinic in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Mohamed Kargbo. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help New Life Clinic 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 well at New Life Clinic is still up and running a year after the project was complete. It supplies water to both the hospital and people living in nearby Yongoroo Community.

There is evidence of improvement in the hospital and surrounding community, said people to our staff as they reflected back on the years when the well was unable to supply enough water. The maternity ward was harmed by the lack of access to water, said Chief Health Officer Micheal N’danema.

People were suffering in order to fetch water. Much of what the clinic was treating in the past was related to waterborne illnesses. Most patients came with diarrhea, especially during the rainy season. A reliable source of clean water has helped decrease the number of diarrhea cases the clinic treats, Mr. N'danema said.

"My life has changed greatly from the risk I was going through every day walking down the hill every morning and evening after school to reach a spring near the local river. Now I have safe and clean drinking water available at my doorstep," said 15-year-old student Mohamed Kargbo.

"I go to school now on time, not thinking about going down the hill at night or morning."

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 Life Clinic 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 Life Clinic – 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!


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