Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 378 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/04/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Kasongha is an urban area with a good grid of roads that can host either a motorbike or a car. The area is speckled with concrete homes, so much so that there is very little vegetation left. But just 20 years ago, this area used to be covered with agriculture. In 1999, the man who owned this land worked with the African Muslim Agency to construct an Islamic school and college. The institutions became very successful, drawing large crowds to settle in the area.

The community has made a lot of progress in this short time with all its concrete buildings and business outlets, and they're even connected to the national power supply.

The majority of adults become petty traders, while others are civil servants or teachers. It's typical for more than one family to be renting a single concrete home.

As alluded to above, most community members are Muslim. There are also some Christians who have settled in the area who live in great peace with the Muslim community. Both religious groups gather for certain celebrations.

A day in a Muslim community begins early at 5:30am so that people can get ready for Suba prayer. The kids are ready with all their chores done by 7:30am so they can get to school. Adults spread out to different places to sell produce or wares, with nobody returning home before 8pm.


This hand-dug well is affected by Sierra Leone's severe dry season (lasting for a quarter of the year!). It and hundreds of other wells in Africa are negatively impacted by fluctuating water tables dependent on rainfall, and we're not going to shy away. We've noticed the community takes wonderful care of this well, and it will be incredible to have it up and running with reliable clean water throughout the year.

During our visit to Kasongha, we witnessed water coming from the pump, but only a few buckets could be filled before the well would need time to rest (the well is 20 meters deep with only 1.5 meters of water in it).

When the water table becomes inaccessible with the pump, community members are forced to get their water from the swamp again. Without clean water year round, community members are still suffering and even dying from waterborne diseases like typhoid and cholera.

Mr. Lamin Bangura told us, "Those of us living here hustle under the hot burning sun and need water constantly to rehydrate... so if we do not replace this with enough clean water, our days will be numbered. We could die at any moment through minor sicknesses."


One of the great things about this urban environment is how each household has its own pit latrine. They seem to be well kept, too. We're still seeing the fruits of our first training with people living here; the pits are covered when not in use and some even have hand-washing stations right outside (over 60%).

Even the water containers are clean, and drinking water is kept up off the ground.

100% of households have clotheslines, all but one or two have bathing shelters, and most people have garbage pits. However, dish racks still need to be adopted here.

Here is what we plan to do about it:


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.

Well Rehabilitation

We've developed an innovative method to convert hand-dug wells into boreholes. 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 we either drill from the top or 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 (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Sierra Leone.

Project Updates

October, 2019: Giving Update: Kasongha, #3 Nahim Drive

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kasongha, #3 Nahim Drive in Sierra Leone access clean water.

There’s an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water at Kasongha, #3 Nahim Drive. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this community maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

June, 2018: Kasongha Community Training Complete

Our one-day sanitation and hygiene training with Kasongha is complete! Now, community members are equipped with the knowledge and skills to improve their health!

Unlike our other trainings, this was conducted for multiple communities at one time. More than 350 people gathered at DEC Kasongha School to participate.

We expected to have a larger attendance than we did, especially for people in this community. That being said, the student population and the teachers boosted the attendance rate. But it was great overall due to the fact that most of the kids come from these communities and they are one of the most vulnerable groups in every community.

It will be always tough to gather the people together because many of them depend on daily hustling for survival. But when once the difficult job of gathering them is successfully done, they would be so enthusiastic during training and everybody would want to be a part of the process. Certain topics about hygiene are particularly very interesting to most people in these communities.

Topics covered included:

  1. Hand Washing
  2. Tippy Tap
  3. Good and Bad Hygiene
  4. Healthy and Unhealthy community
  5. Animal Houses
  6. Dish Racks and Clotheslines
  7. Food Science
  8. Disease Transmission
  9. Proper care of the pump

One such topic is hand washing and tippy tap. Most people in these communities do take hand washing for granted. When it was first announced that the team will be teaching them how to wash their hands, most of them were full of laughter.

But they were taken by surprise when they were told why it is very important that they wash their hands regularly and properly. Nobody from amongst them imagined that diseases are mostly transmitted by hand. A case study was made on the Ebola virus.

Next was the presentation and demonstration of tippy tap. This is the topic that attracts most participants in many communities that we have been. Everybody would display an interest in demonstrating tippy tap. So it was no different in this program. Even those that were not fortunate to be called upon were very anxious to know how to go about the preparation of tippy tap. Their involvement was actually very great.

"Honestly, I didn’t know anything about tippy tap until that training. And I have seen the benefit of it especially when I see my kids washing their hands after play. I feel good within myself," Mrs. Isata Kemson Banda Kamara said.

"Really this training will help us a lot in this community”

The child health club was utilized in a very efficient and effective way. They used puppets to present almost all the hygiene training topics. But the one that stood out most during the training was the presentation on good and bad hygiene. This presentation was done using pictorial displays.

What actually happened was that the instructors would display a photo and the puppets will explain what that photo depicts. There were photos of varying good and bad hygiene practices such as a woman bathing her baby, a woman after fetching water left one container of water uncovered, another photo depicting somebody sweeping the compound, another photo depicting someone hanging clothes on drying lines.

The puppets would explain this good and bad hygiene practices explicitly to the participants and conclude with a sound warning that will trigger a spontaneous outburst of laughter. It is such a fun and unique way of presenting important topics and really held the attention of the participants.

Another section of the training involves comedians who act our various things related to proper hygiene and sanitation. In one scene, a three-legged stool is used to describe the need for a balanced diet. There are more serious sections, like the drama on diseases transmission.

"To me, the fun was actually what made this presentation special," Thomas Lewis, a reporting officer for Mariatu's Hope, said. "Other communities have been getting this presentation from the traditional hygiene and sanitation team. But this time there was the need for this training to have some funny part and the comedians prove the best candidates. Also, having a group hygiene training was very fun and effective."

May, 2018: Kasongha Community Project Water Point Complete

We are excited to share that there is safe, reliable water in Kasongha Community, which is already providing clean water to families! People here no longer have to rely on dirty water from the swamp.

But we are not done yet!

A three-day hygiene and sanitation training will be conducted in the coming weeks. It will focus on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines. The training is a crucial part of our work, which is why we are not saying that the entire project is complete.

However, with clean water flowing in the community, we wanted to update you as soon as possible that the well rehabilitation is done.

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 the 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.

During drilling in this community, the team did not encounter any clay like they did in Tholmossor and New Life Clinic. But this location was very sandy which kept the team in constant fear of the hole collapsing at a point. Of course, the presence of sand is obviously a good sign of water but associated with the possibility of a hole collapsing during drilling.

This drilling method is advantageous in one respect, it allows the team to install the hand-pump cylinder far below the aquifer. This means that the community will have very good access to water even during the peak of the dry season. Usually there is the fear that the pump might encounter debris and sand if the borehole is a little sandy such as in this case, so the team suspended the cylinder to two feet above the bottom of the well to prevent this.

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, is 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 the 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. A 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 MKII hand-pump was 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 community. 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.

"I am happy particularly for the kids around here, they will not be covering long distances again to find water," Mrs. Haja Zainab Lamin Kamara said.


May, 2018: Kasongha Community Project Underway

Dirty water from the swamp is making people in Kasongha Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to restore them with 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 Videos

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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: Kasongha, 3A Nahim Drive

September, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kasongha, 3A Nahim Drive in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Maseray A. Turay. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kasongha 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!

Life has truly changed for the people in Kasongha community. Houses are being built knowing that there is safe and available water in the community. Children go to school on time because they can now easily access water within their community.

"The health condition in this community has improved greatly," said Fatama Binta Jalloh, the caretaker of the well, to our team during a recent visit.

"Personally, whenever I used water from the stream my body scratched for the rest of the day. With the well you provided, the community now has clean and safe water. Now, I can wash with no complications for my skin."

Maseray A. Turay, a 16-year-old girl who fetches water from the well, used to travel down a hill to get water from the nearest river. She said the trip was risky just to get water that would give her a rash and was unsafe for drinking. With this well, she no longer has to make that journey or suffer the health consequences.

"My life has changed tremendously to a better state. Now the community is living a healthy life, especially we the children of this community," she said to us.

Based on our team's observations, the sanitation aspect of this community is gradually growing. Now the community boasts a 95 % rate of toilets with handwashing facilities.

This change was caused by the acceptance and application of what has been taught. It is supported by the constant teaching of the hygiene and sanitation team and monitoring of the well through our Monitoring and Evaluation Officers.

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 Kasongha 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 Kasongha 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.