Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 368 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/11/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

This well is located at the Missionary Church of Africa (MCA) Jr. Secondary School. Initially, this was a school and community well. However, with the school closing, it serves the entire community.

It was a great resource for the people living here - until it stopped working.

Now the nearest water source the purchase of packaged water at the market, which most people cannot afford. Because buying package water for domestic use takes a millionaire.

So the majority of the people, especially kids and women, now have just one option, that is to trek far away to the swamp. This source is not only heavily contaminated, it can be dangerous to reach for this group of people.

Lungi itself is an urban town now but most of the communities in it have a very rural setting and Royema is no exception. Royeama as a whole is very peaceful because of its location in almost the outskirt of the main town with very little vegetation.

The buildings are mostly mud blocks with cement plastering scattered all over the place with a definite plan. Yet there are few urban concrete structures that were built by people migrating to this town. The buildings are constructed out of mud blocks.

The local Sheik explained that the well has gone dry on three occasions since it was constructed, but that the diggers never came back.

The number one issue here is the lack of proper hygiene and sanitation in the homes of this community. Most homes have latrines, but they are in deplorable conditions. The people resort to drinking water from any source, no matter its hygiene status.

"As a farmer, my profession dictates that I spend most of my time in the sun. And I have long noticed that if don’t drink water frequently, I will suffer from headaches," Pa Sorrie said to us.

"So I often go all out to have clean water to drink because if I don’t have enough clean drinking water, my very life will be at risk.”

Because people drink water from any source, there is a high likelihood that they will contract waterborne diseases which can be very deadly. And as a result, they must pay for the expensive medical bill or suffer the consequences of not getting proper medical treatment.

What we can do:


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 gather students, teachers, and community members together at the school. They will teach about good and bad hygiene, penning in animals, and building good tools like handwashing stations and dish racks. Most importantly, the trainer will emphasize the importance of having and using even basic pit latrines.

Well Rehabilitation

We see that there's been a drop in this area's water table and the well is going dry. We feel it is important to convert this hand-dug well to a borehole at the bottom, thus giving this community a year-round source of safe drinking water.

We will be hand-drilling a borehole down inside this hand-dug well. The community will host our drill team for days at a time, and may also provide labor. Women will volunteer to cook rice for the team and the other community volunteers.

Once this plan is implemented, this community will have access to safe drinking water in both quality and quantity, even through the dry months. We're even hopeful that with the restoration of clean water, Royema MCA School will be able to start classes once again.

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: Royema MCA School and Community

A year ago, your generous donation helped Royema MCA School and Community in Sierra Leone access clean water.

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

August, 2018: Royema MCA School and Community Project Complete

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point at Royema MCA School that's already providing clean water to families! Students and neighboring community members 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 member to inform this community about a proposed hygiene training session. Later, reminder calls were made to the chairman of the water committee. On the morning of the training, another reminder call was made. When we got there, we were disappointed to find only a few members of the water user committee waiting for us at the school. We went out together and made a strong effort to gather more participants. Attendance wasn't great that first day of training, but a ton more people came for the second and third days.

Training 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. We love using demonstrations and illustrations to teach these things and more.

The instructor informed people that one of the simplest, easiest ways that diseases are transmitted is through the hands. That was news to most people gathered, for we could see the shock on their faces when they heard the words. We demonstrated this concept by letting the people dunk their hands in a bowl of glitter. The instructor then asked that they greet each other. After, they could see how the glitter represented germs. They were amazed at how everyone, even those who didn't volunteer, had glitter on their hands from the handshake. This was then followed by the lesson on how to make tippy tap handwashing stations.

Community members here are realizing that germs spread just as easily as glitter!

"Personally, I had very little idea about the importance of handwashing. The training has given me full insight. Now, I am going to ensure that this be a common practice in my home because it will help fight against diseases," Mrs. Janet Gassimu said.

"There are definitely going to be some changes in our lives, especially if everyone applies the teaching about handwashing."

Clean Water Restored

The first things the drill team did when they arrived at Royema MCA School were to contact local leadership and find a place to camp. They found a good spot for their tents at a shady edge of the school grounds.

Here is how they restored clean, reliable water here:

1. Raised the tripod

2. Found the original depth (for this well, we measured 64 feet)

3. Socketed the pipes

4. Installed casing

5. Lined up the drill rods

6. Drilled!

Drilling by hand is always hard work. The very first material encountered was red clay, which was a tough discovery for the drill team since clay is a tough material to get through. They broke through five feet of red clay and met sand. Sand is a relief because it is not only easier to drill through, but is easier for water to flow through as well. They made it to 87.6 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 60 feet going at 41 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.

Upon news of safe water, our team arranged for a celebration with the community. We met a group of community members at the well, and we immediately started singing and dancing. People took turns approaching the pump to get their first tastes of the water, but eventually, the kids took over and had a splash fest!

This restored water well will serve the families living in Royema community. We also hope that this water source will result in Royema MCA School reopening in the future.

"The relief that this well has brought to us is unmeasurable," Mrs. Fatmata Sesay said.

"First of all, our hygiene status is going to improve. And for those of us with young girls, we were always tormented when we sent them out to search for water. Some would be subjected to danger. But now that we have this well close in our view, we are very grateful."

June, 2018: Royema Community Project Underway

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

Get to know this 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: Royema MCA School and Community

November, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Royema MCA School and Community in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Doris Mansaray. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Royema MCA School and 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!

The lives of the students and community members around Royema MCA School have improved over the past year. Our team observed a trend in community growth as a result of their water point. According to some interviewees, the availability of water is one reason for the improved population.

"The changes are numerous," said Mrs. Kadiatu, one of the caretakers of the well.

"We used to fetch water from the swamp which we normally used for drinking, but now we have our own water in the community which is pure, fresh, and clean to drink. If the pump breaks down, as soon as we call the office they will come and fix it within a day."

Water has brought “life” into this community, said Field Officer Omoh Emmanuel. He reported a healthy community. The children and the women were all happy, he said.

"We always drank from the swamp source, but that is no longer the case. Today, we are drinking from a well-sanitized source," said Doris Mansaray, a 13-year-old student at Royema MCA School.

The sanitation in the community has also improved greatly. Plenty of homes have handwashing stations and toilets. Some even have water and soap inside. We believe this community has much more positive growth and development to come.

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 Royema MCA School and 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 Royema MCA School and 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.


1 individual donor(s)