Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/15/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Rotifunk Baptist Primary School is in the center of Lungi. There is practically very little vegetation, except for a few compounds where you can see mostly mango trees planted at the backyards. The town is less noisy in the mornings but gets very noisy in the afternoons when the kids are off from school.

The weather was very bright and very sunny on the day we visited.

It is located not too far from our office, so we spent a little under five minutes to get there. We got to this location on motor bikes. The roads are not that bad, even though they are dusty and have many potholes.

The School

Baptist Primary School is a Nigerian Missionary school, dubbed Nigeria Baptist Mission Sierra Leone. This school was founded by the Late Rev. Daniel A. Kamara and established in 1996 as a next step for students who attend Gateway Baptist Primary School in nearby Masoila.

It initially served 65 students in classes one to three and was held in a rented private home. The school relocated in 1998 to the Late Mr. Aruna Kanu’s house where the enrollment increased to 165 students and seven staff.

In 2003, the school relocated to its current location where they erected a structure with locally-produced materials, the product of which is called "bafa" in our local dialect. But in 2007, the Sababu education project came to their rescue and constructed a three classroom concrete building which currently hosts the majority of the pupils. Very recently, a German charity organization name GAGU SL also built a two classroom structure to reduce overcrowding in classes.

Enrollment today stands at 585 pupils with eight teachers and eight staff.

A Day in the Life

The kids wake up very early in the morning at about 5:30am to fetch water for the home and to tidy themselves before going to school at 8am for devotion.

After devotion, senior pupils are selected to clean the school environment and junior ones are given the task to sweep the classrooms and some others are selected to fetch water for the handwashing station and for drinking.

In the school, the water is stored in clean rubber buckets that have been placed in the corridor close to each classroom door.

Actual classes start at 9am and 2pm is the normal home hour.


People in the community collect water from a number of sources. Some households have unprotected wells on their properties. They usually will allow limited access to these water points.

For others, they get the water from protected wells in the village or a nearby swamp. Most people in these communities would to go to project water sources because they are usually well-treated and access is based on first-come first-serve.

It is one thing to get to a well, but it is a totally different thing to access its water. These sources can be so overcrowded that some people will often leave their containers at the well and come back later to fill them - only to come back and discover that they were stolen.

These kinds of challenges motivate others to make the long walk to the open swamp. One has to cover a very great distance, and upon reaching there, ultimately collect contaminated water.

Human activity through laundering, bathing, etc., exposes the swamp to heavy contamination. Soap used to launder are made from poisonous chemicals like caustic soda which is not good for humans. Also wild animals often carry diseases that are not good for humans and they use this source as their primary source of water.

In this part of this country, water sources are often considerably affected by the weather. They are mostly dry in the dry season. Availability will fall the further we go into the dry season and some sources go completely dry as the dry season peaks.

The only source that does not experience seasonal variation is the packaged water source. Here quantity is dependent on how much a household or individual can afford to pay for.

There is a hand-dug well that a very good number of pupils depend on not just as a water source, but also as a food source. This is because most of them are coming from homes which cannot afford their daily lunch, so they therefore have to rely on water as a food supplement.

However, this well is one of the seasonal sources mentioned above. We have noticed a drop in the water table and feel it is necessary to dig this well deeper.


The sanitation condition of latrines in this school is very satisfactory. The latrine area is well swept and all the rooms in the latrine are clean and dry with handwashing facility and water in each room. However, we were told by one of the teachers that the latrines usually run out of soap and water when the well get dry.

"There is reasonable hygiene education in this school and we often ensure that it reflects the kids behavior as well," Elizabeth Lakoh, a teacher at the school, said.

"You can see the compound is properly kept with our wash hand stations all filled with water in case a pupil or teacher might want to wash his or hand, which we do after every period. So our hygiene status is reasonably satisfactory."

There is actually not much to worry about in this school in terms of hygiene and sanitation. The exceptions will surface when the well get dry. And this when their will be a serious cause for concern. With the maintenance of this well, there will be a sharp improvement in sanitation condition in this school.

Here’s what we’re going to do about:


There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered to community members, students and school staff for three days in a row.

The hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach community members how to build a tippy tap (a handwashing 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. Pictures will be used to teach the community how to discern between healthy and unhealthy hygiene and sanitation practices.

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

Since extreme weather has affected this hand-dug in Rotifunk, we will be converting it to a borehole. Our drill team will be hand-drilling it much deeper! Once they’ve struck more than enough water, they’ll build a new well pad and install a stainless steel India MkII pump.

This clean water will not only supply the school and its staff during the day, but will be open for community members during the night hours, too.

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

November, 2019: Giving Update: Rotifunk Baptist Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Rotifunk Baptist Primary School in Sierra Leone access clean water.

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

August, 2018: Rotifunk Baptist Primary School Project Complete

We are excited to share that there is now a safe, reliable water well at Rotifunk Baptist Primary School. Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines.

New Knowledge

The team ensured that the school knew about the need for hygiene and sanitation training as soon as we started working with them. All our team had to do on the day of training was to plug in a boombox and use a megaphone to draw out families from the neighboring households. That was more than enough to attract their attention!

Since there wasn't enough room inside the school, we gathered outside. The area around the school didn't have any trees, so a family across the street offered their shady land. It was way too sunny to be outside without shade!

Everybody was enthusiastic about being there to learn. The students were especially eager to volunteer whenever our team needed help holding up posters or doing demonstrations. Our trainers taught how to build a handwashing station, wash hands, tell the difference between good and bad habits, eat a balanced diet, how to pen in animals, and how diseases are transmitted.

Participants were especially interested in making handwashing stations called tippy taps. A tippy tap is one of the most economical ways to store water for frequent handwashing. To prove how easily germs spread from one person to another, volunteers came to the front, dipped their hands in glitter, and went around shaking hands with others. Glitter was everywhere!

Washing with soap and water doesn't just get rid of glitter, but germs too. This experiential lesson really took hold.

Making tippy taps

"These training exercises have already started having an impact on our lives in this school. More kids are now washing their hands now that the well has been rehabilitated," Headteacher Mohamed Kamara said.

"Our classrooms were never properly mopped either. The other thing is the way they had some of our pupils act in a story that Mariatu's Hope designed, called, "Disease Transmission Stories." Also, the demonstration of how to make the tippy taps and how to use them well was very interesting and, in fact, it was a new thing to me," she continued.

"The method they use to teach about the proper care of teeth was amazing; a big mouth with giant teeth was very funny to the pupils, but it helped them really understand the message."

Using a big toothbrush for the "giant teeth!"

"Above all, we actually needed enough water so that our latrines would be taken care of. And now that we have enough water backed by the lessons learned from this training, our health is sure to improve," Headteacher Kamara concluded.

Clean Water Restored

The first thing the drill team did when they arrived Kasongha was to contact the local leaders. After getting permission to proceed, they set up camp by the well.

Here is how they restored clean, reliable water here:

1. Raise the tripod

2. Find the original depth (for this well, we measured at 57 feet)

3. Socket the pipes

4. Install casing

5. Line up the drill rods

6. Drill!

The team met sand up to 67.2 feet during the first day of drilling. On the second day, they drilled another 20 feet to reach a depth of 87 feet. At that point, they could install the pump cylinder way below the aquifer to ensure lasting water throughout the year.

7. Install screening and filter pack

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

9. Bail the well by hand for three days

10. Test the yield (we got a static water level of 60 feet going at 49 liters per minute)

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

12. India Mk11 pump installation

13. Water quality test

It only took a few minutes by motorbike to get back to the well upon news of its completion. Students were in class, but when the headteacher saw we had arrived to celebrate clean water, he put classes on hold and asked all of the students to come out and see.

Mrs. Fatmata Kamara has been elected primary caretaker of this well.

"Had this well not come to this community, some of us would have either been sick of pain or dead from thirst because we cannot afford packaged water," she said.

"We used to go far from this community to other communities where we were often discriminated against. So we are very happy that we now have our own well nearby!"

May, 2018: Rotifunk Baptist Primary School Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Rotifunk Baptist Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school 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

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: Rotifunk Baptist Primary School

November, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Rotifunk Baptist Primary School in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Kadiatu Cham. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Rotifunk Baptist Primary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rotifunk Baptist Primary School 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 school environment has changed in the year since the rehabilitation of the well at Rotifunk Baptist Primary School.

"This water well has done great things for me and my family. Initially, we trekked a distance away from our community to fetch water in neighboring communities. The risk of car or motorbike accidents have always been around," said Rugiatu Wurie, caretaker of the well.

"Now as I am speaking to you, we are safe because we have pure, safe, and clean water at our disposal. Now our children are safe fetching water in the environment."

In the area of hygiene and sanitation, things have really improved. The changes came due to the intense hygiene and sanitation training that was presented at this school as a part of the well rehabilitation.

"We always have enough water now to keep up sound hygiene and sanitation and to drink. The toilet is often clean now and we also wash our hands regularly," said 12-year-old student Kadiatu Cham.

This is a very clean school. There are handwashing stations for the students to use after going to the bathroom. The toilets are well-kept with water and soap in them. We confirmed that the school administration and caretaker of the pump are trying to keep the hygiene and sanitation status high in the school. If they can continue on this path, the future is looking bright for Kadiatu and her fellow students at Rotifunk Baptist Primary School.

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 Rotifunk Baptist Primary School 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 Rotifunk Baptist Primary School – 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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