Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/11/2023

Project Features

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The well at #63 Spur Road in Modia Community is properly maintained but heavily used.

There are certain times during the year that all of these people arrive at the well only to find there is no water left. When this well is down, more pressure is put on other water points in the community - which are also extremely crowded.

Sometimes, people spend the entire day fetching water due to the long lines.  Women are late to prepare dinner in the evening. They need this well to work all year long.

"People in this area are really suffering for water. Sometimes people go far away, about three kilometers, to fetch water. Therefore, if we got enough water wells we would be free from the shortage of water," Mr. Abdul Karim said.

The water table has dropped, so the well needs to be deepened. Reaching an additional aquifer will ensure that a steady flow of water is accessible throughout the year.

This community’s hygiene and sanitation are not too bad. There are latrines in almost all the homes and garbage pits are maintained. Any weaknesses in sanitation are resulting from the lack of water, which will be solved when we convert this seasonal hand-dug well to a borehole.

The most common livelihoods here are farming, business, and fishing. The majority of people are farmers and a great number are government workers, teachers, and airport workers. There are many petty traders and people who sell in the market which is not far from this village.

This area is peaceful, quiet and has a friendly atmosphere. The area has less vegetation due to both the cutting of trees and its proximity to the ocean. Most of the buildings are mud blocks with flat roofs. This is a densely populated area with several people under one roof.

What we can 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

November, 2019: Giving Update: Modia Community, 63 Spur Road

A year ago, your generous donation helped Modia Community, 63 Spur Road in Sierra Leone access clean water.

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

January, 2019: Modia Community, 63 Spur Road Project Complete

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable well in Modia Community that's providing clean water! Hygiene and sanitation training was conducted, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines.

New Knowledge

The team coordinator, Zainab, called her team together to go through the information collected during a visit and interviews in Modia Community.

On the first morning of hygiene and sanitation training the last call was made to the headman to alert him that we were on our way. This is one of the communities with the highest level of cooperation. They have always told us to keep them informed before any activity so that they can give it their all. So attendance was very good.

Training was held under a mango tree close to the well in front of a carpenter's workshop. It was a hot and sunny day and it was difficult for all of us to fit in the shade, seeing that there were so many participants.

Zainab and her team taught about:

- tippy tap handwashing stations and handwashing

A woman using one of the tippy taps that was constructed during training

- differences between a healthy and unhealthy community

- dish racks and clotheslines
- proper care of the pump
- nutrition
- dental hygiene
- latrines

Every topic interested the participants. They listened to the presentations without interrupting and waited until it was time for the question and answer session. This session was so organized. At the end of every training session, the participants were all smiles. Some pointed accusing fingers on neighbors they know fall short on some of the training topics - and they joked about it as they left for their various homes.

"Our tradition has long-dented holes in our hygiene and sanitation. Most of what I have heard today is alien to not only me, but to most people gathered here right now. Just make a quick survey to prove me right or wrong. No one from among us has ever heard of tippy tap. Handwashing is also one of the most neglected practices. We hope you people are around for reminders in case some of us forget," said Mr. Mattia. We will definitely be back, thanks to our quarterly monitoring visits!

Clean Water Restored

This is such a densely populated area that we decided to try something different. Instead of drilling one borehole down inside of the hand-dug well, we drilled two boreholes and installed two pumps.

The Process:

The first thing the drill team did when they arrived in Modia Community was to contact leadership to find a place to camp.

Here is how we restored clean, reliable water here:

1. Raised the tripod

2. Found the original depth (54.8 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 team made it through 13 feet of sand, bringing the depth to 68 feet. The next day they added ten more feet. After a little more work, the team navigated to a total depth of 81 feet.

The second drill was just as straightforward as the first, with the team getting to 79 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 and flushed it

10. Tested the yield (we got a static water level of 42 feet going at 41 liters per minute - more water than a hand-pump can pull)

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

This well required a more elaborate platform and walls because of the two pumps installed. These pumps feed water out of two separate pipes that run through the wall and out to where people fetch water.

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

When we arrived in Modia to celebrate news of clean water, the people had already heard of our coming and were waiting at the well. They even had traditional drummers and people of every age were dancing. Community members shared their vote of thanks and our team followed up by reminding them of the well users' responsibility to take good care of this precious resource!

As if it had been rehearsed, women broke out into one of their favorite songs as the drummers accompanied them. The people never wanted our team to leave.

"First of all I want to express how glad I am for having the first well with two pumps on it. This is a chiefdom record and I am personally proud of it," said Mrs. Sillah.

"My brother, we the women bear the brunt of water shortage in the homes. All what the men care about is water for bathing and even that is our responsibility. They don’t care how far we go to fetch water. So we are the happiest of all groups in this community. Men also are naturally stronger than us. Their resistance to diseases is stronger than us women. Before now, when cholera breaks up here, more women die than men. So the presence of this well has reduced the burden on us. We have also been rescued from potential waterborne diseases. What you have done for us here is huge and only God can pay you."

Since this was such a new kind of technology, we even returned a month later to see if these pumps were both being used by community members. We were so happy to find both pumps producing clean water in a quick, efficient way for the women and children gathered around the well.

December, 2018: Modia Community Project Underway

Dirty water from the swamp is making people in Modia Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to restore clean water to a well 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 Videos

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: Modia Community, 63 Spur Road

November, 2019

A year ago, your generous donation helped Modia Community in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Ali Dumbuya. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Modia 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!

What the people living near 63 Spur Road in Modia Community, Sierra Leone have enjoyed for the past year is the use of 2 pumps inside 1 water point.

Because this well is so heavily used, we decided to try something different. Instead of drilling 1 borehole down inside of the hand-dug well, we drilled 2 boreholes down inside of this well and installed 2 pumps with 2 stations for the members of this community to collect the water. This kind of project is the first of its kind in Lungi, Kaffu Bullom chiefdom.

A year later, it appears the people using it are very happy with the dual well.

"My life has changed for the better because I can now go to school on time and have clean water not far from my house. As a student attending the local secondary school, I can now afford to get clean water throughout the day and year," said Ali Dumbuya, a 17-year-old student who talked to our teams during a recent visit.

The students used to go to school late because of the high demand for water in the community. Before the rehabilitation, the well often ran dry and people waited in long lines just to get water. The installation of the 2 pumps has greatly reduced the traffic and helped students and community people in getting safe and clean water.

"The biggest changes are that people fetching water now spend less time at the water well, and students now have access to clean and safe water all year round. As a student of a nearby secondary school, I do not have to go to the swamp again to fetch water to drink or [to] launder my clothes," added Ibrahim Sorie Kamara.

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 Modia 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 Modia 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.


Project Sponsor - In Honor of Umaimah Al Abdulatif