Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 311 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/10/2022

Project Features

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The well at Pewullay Church of God Prophecy Primary School was constructed by the community years ago. We have monitored this well on a quarterly basis through the years and have recently noticed that the water table has dropped and the community population has increased, causing there to be major shortages of water.

The source was intended to support both the school and the nearby community, but there are months of each year when it serves neither. People must turn to a nearby swamp to meet their water needs. That means they are now drinking from the same water source where clothes are cleaned and from which animals drink. This open and unprotected source is totally unsafe for drinking.

Packaged water is always available as long as an individual has the necessary buying power. This alternative still isn't ideal, since packaged water is not closely regulated.

One major consequence is how the students lose valuable study time. When kids leave school to find water in other communities, they are pushed to the back of the line and as a result, they spend most study time waiting for access to water.

Secondly, hygiene and sanitation are compromised because of water shortage. The handwashing facilities are often without water and even the floors cannot be scrubbed regularly. So, diseases are easily transferred due to hand contact among the pupils.

The good news is that the well (seen below) is cared for properly and treated with chlorine every three months. That means that a safe, reliable source is possible if we just drill deeper.

"I must say that we are been impeded in maintaining good hygiene and sanitation by acute water shortage in this school. But I am sure that if we have a reliable water source, we are sure to maintain a hundred percent hygiene and sanitation status," Mr. Seimah Kamara, a teacher at the school, said.

Pewullay is a rural community and most of the buildings are made of locally produced mud blocks with cement plastering. These are arranged in straight lines along the roads in the community. However, there are a few urban neighborhoods on the outskirts of this community, suggesting that in the coming years this community will experience some urbanization.

Presently, this community is very peaceful during the day because most of the able-bodied individuals are at their various livelihoods. Some of the parents of the children at the school are fishermen. So, some of the children are expected to go to the beach to assist with the fishing business of drawing in nets, sorting fish and helping their parents.

What we will do:


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

Project Updates

11/07/2019: Giving Update: Pewullay Primary School

A year ago, your generous donation helped Pewullay 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 Pewullay Primary School. Month after month, their giving supports ongoing sustainability programs that help this school maintain access to safe, reliable water. Read more…

01/18/2019: Pewullay Primary School Project Complete

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

The community people, especially the fishermen, received lots of praises from our work teams. They were so generous to us. The drill team in particular still remembers the fry fish from the community people. They said they never ran out of fish while they worked in this community, and that is something they always remember about Pewullay.

New Knowledge

The training team got together and took a quick glance at the baseline survey to determine training topics for Pewullay. From it, they came up with a plan and presented it to the administration.

Later that same day, a team member was sent to inform the school administration on the proposed days of training. All of the students and teachers were in attendance which gave us a total of almost 300 participants.

Some of the training participants

These students were very curious, making participation wonderful. When it was time for the handwashing and tippy tap topic, every pupil wanted to be granted the opportunity of demonstrating how to make and then use a tippy tap handwashing station. It was the same excitement for holding up picture cards at the front of the group and for demonstrating toothbrushing with the big model teeth. The kids in the senior classes who had gone through some of these topics in class wanted to prove themselves to their teachers on training days.

Making tippy tap handwashing stations

Other topics included:

– Good and bad hygiene
– Pump maintenance
– Nutrition
– Cost recovery program
– How to build a dish rack and clothesline
– Cholera, diarrhea, and oral rehydration solutions

"I have personally learned a lot from these trainers. Yes, I used to wash my hands, but the method that was taught by the trainers was very fine. It makes handwashing very thorough, with very limited chance of a virus sticking in between the fingers," said Mr. Seimah Kamara.

Mr. Seimah Kamara

"I also was very impressed with the lessons taught on proper tooth care. Generally, the training was a big plus for our hygiene because we learned new ways of doing old stuff and all was good for our health."

Clean Water Restored

The first things the drill team did when they arrived at Pewullay Primary School were to contact school leadership and find a place to set up drill camp. They arrived to find out the headteacher had traveled elsewhere, but the deputy headteacher was able to clear space in one of the classrooms for the team stay in.

Here is how we restored clean, reliable water here:

1. Raised the tripod

2. Found the original depth (40 feet)

3. Socketed the pipes

4. Installed temporary drill casing

5. Lined up the drill rods

6. Drilled!

Drilling by hand is always hard work. The first layer was sand for 10 feet. The next day, the team found sand for 10 more feet and retired for the evening once again. On the third day, the team encountered clay sand for six feet and red clay for three feet to give them a total depth of 69 feet.

7. Installed screening and filter pack

Screening is slits cut in the pipe to allow water from the aquifer to flow through.

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


10. Tested the yield (we got a static water level of 29 feet going at 41 liters per minute)

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

For this well, we turned the drainage system into an area for handwashing. There is a PVC pipe that can easily be attached to the pump. When pumping, little holes in the long stretch of PVC allow students to wash their hands.

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

Not wanting to disrupt the class schedule, the team waited until it was nearing lunch hour. But the message of the team's visit for a dedication ceremony was already circulating and the kids and their teachers were waiting when the team arrived.

The team arrived to find all of the students out cleaning up their school compound. This was such an encouraging sight for the trainers! They waited until the kids were more than halfway done with their cleaning.

At this point, the team asked the headteacher to bring the kids to the well. Without even waiting for the formal instruction, they raced to the well. In no time the inside and outside of the well area was full of people ready to celebrate with song and dance - and splashing!

They had a lot of fun with the handwashing pipe that connects to the pump, too.  In fact, the kids started using the handwashing station as a drinking station. Multiple kids were able to access drinking water with just one person pumping.

"This well is a very big boost to our hygiene and sanitation here. Latrines, for example, cannot be properly utilized without water. Before now we were unable to use our latrines because we had no water. But the presence of this well here has granted us the license to fully utilize our latrines," said Teacher James Thullah.

"I must also state that the rate of disease transmission has reduced in this school. Our wash hand stations now have water so that we can frequently wash diseases away. So we are very thankful to you guys for your love."

11/05/2018: Pewullay Primary School Project Underway

Dirty water from the swamp is making the students attending Pewullay Primary School sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to provide a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school 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

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: Pewullay Primary School

November, 2019

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Pewullay Church of God 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!

Things at Pewullay Primary School are better in the year since the rehabilitation of their well. The most significant improvement the students have enjoyed over the year is that they no longer come to school late due to time spent getting water each morning.

Now, they have clean and safe drinking water in the school's compound.

"We thank God because there are so many changes that occurred during this year. Before we used to have many challenges. Our pupils used to come to school late because early in the morning they had to go to the stream to fetch water [where] they spent more than an hour. By the time they came home and got ready for school they were late," said Deputy Head Teacher James S. Thullah.

"But now they don't come to school late and the environment [is] very conducive for learning because of the implementation of this water project in our school."

The school has an active child health club that is responsible for maintaining the standard of hygiene and sanitation in the school and the community. The members of the child health club are teaching the rest of the school how to practice handwashing and personal hygiene. These changes, alongside the availability of water from the well throughout the school day, have contributed to the changes our teams observed during a recent visit to the school.

"My life has changed greatly. Our teachers give us priority over the well because it belongs to us. We are so happy about that and we are doing our best to sustain it," said 12-year-old student Kadiatu J. Thullah.

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 Pewullay Church of God 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 Pewullay Church of God 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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