Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 252 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/14/2024

Project Features

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In 1992, the community got together and built a two-classroom mud block building to open what is now DEC Bompa Primary School. The population of the school eventually increased and could no longer fit into the small building. Then in 1997, the community mobilized again to construct a three-classroom building. Fortunately, an organization called the Christian Children Fund supplied them zinc for roofing. The classrooms are huge and are divided to host two classes each.

In 2000, this school sent seven candidates for the National Primary School Examination. All scored between 250-270, surpassing the government passing mark of 230. Currently, they have two students enrolled in the University of Sierra Leone.

The grounds of this school cover approximately 2,100 square feet. A good percentage of the total area is occupied by the football field and is right in front of the building. The school still has just a single three-classroom building and two classes occupy each room. There is also a small room for the headteacher.

The areas surrounding the back and right side of the school compound are heavily forested. Tall palm trees and other tall trees protect the school building from heavy wind. The palm trees are also a source of livelihood for the community people. People harvest the kernel and produce palm oil to sell in bigger towns and then support themselves and their families with the proceeds.

Bompa is in the interior of Lokomasama. It is located in a very forested part of the chiefdom and most of its vegetation is intact because urban development is going very slowly. It is not necessarily a coastal community, however, it benefits from the gentle wind from the Atlantic Ocean because of its closeness to Yurka. The people of this place live a traditional life with farming as their source of livelihood.

The village itself is built along the main road that leads to Bailor Wharf, a very famous fishing community. All the houses are in straight lines on opposite sides of the road and most of them are built from locally produced mud blocks. Few have cement plastering to help them stand the test of time.

Currently, this school has no access to clean drinking water. There is a hand-dug well on the school grounds, but it is dry for the majority of the year because it is not deep enough. This is a common problem for these kinds of wells in the region because the water table will drop at various points throughout the year.

As a result, drinking water is fetched from a very distant swamp source. For this group, going to the swamp on a busy road is very risky and therefore trips are not frequent. Students' uniforms go days without being cleaned and bathing before going to school is seldom.

The water itself is unsafe for drinking. An open source like this is open to many contaminants. What is most problematic is the fact that this source is shared with wild animals. Some of these animals are infested with very deadly diseases that may kill humans.

Heavy contamination of this source is also caused by the very people who are supposed to protect their source. Community members use this source to farm, bathe, and launder. In most cases, they are not mindful of the containers they dunk into the source and some wastewater surely ends up in the swamp. All of these factors contribute to an unsafe health situation for the students.

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:

Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul is dry for most of the year and needs major work to supply adequate, clean water to the community year round. The pump will be removed, and a hand auger will be lowered inside and powered by a drill team. 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 all seasons.

As the team drills, casing will be installed, transforming the bottom of this hand-dug well into a 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.

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

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

No handwashing stations were observed here. 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 handwashing demonstrations, and will also teach about other tools like dish racks and the importance of properly penning in animals.

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.

Project Updates

February, 2020: Lokomasama, Bompa, DEC Bompa Primary School Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point at DEC Bompa Primary School in Sierra Leone that is already providing clean water to students and neighboring community members!

“Our problem of fetching water at the swamp has come to an end. We now have well-sanitized water to drink," said Lamin Fofanah, a teacher at the school.

"Some parents feared to send some of their kids to the swamp. This well has just eliminated all these risks and I am very grateful."

We helped to form a Water User Committee in which 9 members were elected to take over the management of the water point. This committee is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring the full operation, maintenance and sustainability of the water point. We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training, which focused on healthy practices such as handwashing and using latrines.

Clean Water Restored

On a Monday, the drilling team was dispatched to the school. They were well received by the school authorities and community members. The school quickly set aside a classroom to the team for both their lodging and their equipment. A local woman cooked the team dinner and they slept at the school before starting work the next day. Here is how our team restored clean, reliable water here:

- Raised the tripod

- Found the original depth

- Socketed the pipes

- Installed casing

- Lined up the drill rods

- Drilled!

We reached a final depth of 17.6 meters with the water at 8.7 meters. The hand-drill method allowed the team to install the cylinder far below the aquifer so that the community has great water access throughout the year.

- Installed screening and filter pack

- Cemented an iron rod to well lining, and fixed it with an iron collar at the top

- Bailed the well by hand for 3 days and flushed it

- Tested the yield

- Built a cement platform, walls, and drainage system

- Installed a stainless steel India Mk11 pump

- Conducted a water quality test


The dedication of the completed well started with singing and offering thanks for this philanthropic gesture extended to the school and the community. The headmaster was so enthused that he urgently summoned the traditional "soway" to come with the traditional drums to accelerate the musical tempo.

The school together with the community rallied around the new well while chanting and dancing. The oldest woman in the community who seldom comes out of her house surprised the public by showing up to this well. Mr. Kabba, the village headman, spoke first. He was extremely delighted for the water point as he emphasized that this project will be very useful to both the school and the community.

Ya Gbassay Kanu, the women's representative, also registered her thanks and appreciation for the project. The school headmaster then took the podium with a thanksgiving song.

"Diseases like cholera, typhoid, and related waterborne diseases were the result of drinking the contaminated water we got from the stream. We are very much thankful that these obstacles have come to an end," he said.

New Knowledge

Before conducting any hygiene training, we made repeated phone calls and visits to the local water user committee to better understand the challenges and lack of sanitation facilities in the community. We brought the findings from our baseline survey to the attention of the committee to help them make the necessary adjustments before the training or drilling could commence. When all the necessary guidelines were met, only then did our team of hygiene trainers go to conduct the training.

The team consulted with the head teacher to agree on an appropriate date for the training. The head teacher and the teachers were instrumental in bringing the participants to the class for the training. More than 170 students and community members were in attendance for the training.

The school is surrounded by very tall trees. The training took place in one of the classrooms which was highly ventilated with a gentle breeze from these trees. Pupils sat in front and the community members took the balcony. The place was ideal for a teaching and learning exercise.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps; good and bad hygiene; disease transmission and prevention; worms and parasites; proper care of teeth; proper care of the pump; keeping the water clean; the cost recovery system; dishracks and clotheslines; the importance of toilets; keeping the latrine clean; balanced diets; the diarrhea doll; and HIV and AIDS.

The participants were fully concentrated on the training and most of the lessons taught captured the interest of the people. The training was very much participant-centered.

When the handwashing lesson was taught, we called participants to demonstrate the traditional handwashing methods. They were happy to learn that if they cultivate the habit of frequent handwashing, they can help avert diseases that may try to come their way. There were plenty of questions asked on disease transmission which led to many good discussions.

“This hygiene and sanitation training has given me the knowledge that we must wash our hands with soap and water always," said teacher Victor Coker.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

December, 2019: Lokomasama, Bompa, DEC Bompa Primary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Lokomasama, Bompa, DEC Bompa Primary School drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know the community 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

Abundant water is often right under our feet! Beneath the Earth’s surface, rivers called aquifers flow through layers of sediment and rock, providing a constant supply of safe water. For borehole wells, we drill deep into the earth, allowing us to access this water which is naturally filtered and protected from sources of contamination at the surface level. First, we decide where to drill by surveying the area and determining where aquifers are likely to sit. To reach the underground water, our drill rigs plunge through meters (sometimes even hundreds of meters!) of soil, silt, rock, and more. Once the drill finds water, we build a well platform and attach a hand pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around five gallons of water per minute! Learn more here!


In honor of Jamie Greene Chang
65 individual donor(s)