Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 211 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/24/2023

Project Features

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Water shortage is an overwhelming problem in this community. The meager incomes of the average family cannot afford the purchase of packaged water. When the nearest well becomes inaccessible either due to controls or rationing, they resort to drinking from the swamp. This unsafe and contaminated water is a constant source of infections and waterborne diseases. As a result, most deaths here are caused by diseases such as cholera and diarrhea, particularly in the rainy season.

The good news is that we can help solve this problem for the 211 people who live here.

The well marked for this overhaul is dry for four months every 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, the 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.

"Contaminated water in one of our war camps almost killed me during the war. So, safe water is a must for me and I will be very happy when this project holds through," said Pa Mohamed Jalloh.

Tholmossor is an urban community that is quite peaceful. This section is filled with homes of people who were injured during Sierra Leone's civil war (1991-2002). There used to be lots of vegetation here but the deforestation for the construction of the amputee homes drastically reduced the vegetation. However, the people have started planting trees around - and in the very near future, this community will be vegetated once again.

One occupation that comes to most people’s minds when you mention an amputee is begging, at least in Africa. But the amputees here have defied that expectation by engaging income-generating activities like farming and petty trading. They trade everyday items and then use that profit for gardening vegetables. The proceeds from this gardening are then used to support their homes.

Here people wake up very early in the morning. To start with, all the kids here go to school. So parents have to wake up very early to prepare the kids for school as they are expected to be in school for devotions by 8 am. Those who go to the farm, depending on whether it is harvest or planting season, concentrate on their farming activities for most of the day. When the men have the time, they come home and bathe and then find a place to hang around with friends. The women are left with the domestic affairs until nightfall.

Life is made more difficult by the fact that there is no nearby safe and reliable water source. As a result, these people must spend time traveling to get to water - an activity that is even harder for people with disabilities in this community. Packaged water is easy to get, but it is too costly. In addition, families here face challenges due to a poor state of sanitation and hygiene.

That too will be addressed. 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 in solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

Project Updates

August, 2019: Tholmossor, Amputee Camp Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point at the Amputee Camp in Tholmossor, Sierra Leone that is already providing clean water to students and neighboring community members! Hygiene and sanitation training was also conducted at the school, which focused on healthy practices such as washing hands and using latrines.

Clean Water Restored

Before the team left for this community, a call was made to the section chief to inform him of their move and terms for hosting the crew were briefly discussed. This made it very easy for the team to settle in because, by the time they reached the camp, steps were already executed to prepare for their stay. The community lodged them in one of the houses located about fifteen meters from the well. All materials and equipment were packed in and the team got on the job the next day.

Here is how we restored clean, reliable water here:

1. Raised the tripod

2. Found the original depth (for this well, we measured 51 feet)

3. Socketed the pipes

4. Installed casing

5. Lined up the drill rods

6. Drilled!

The team lined up the drilling rods and the drilling bits. They lowered a man down the well to help with guarding the pipe at its appropriate position to prevent any damage. Next, they connected the drill bit to the drilling rods and started drilling. The first layer was sandy and therefore needed the short drill bit. The team used this to add 14 feet to the original 51 feet, increasing the total depth to 65 feet.

The same sand bit was installed to drill but the drill bit got stock down the well. This was the beginning of a gruesome day for the team. Different techniques, including the services of the winch, were employed to pull the bit up, but to avail. This went on for more than 3.5 hours that day. Not much progress with regards to adding further depth to the hole was made that day. After the exhaustive task of getting the drill bit out of the hole, they managed to add only 2 feet to the total depth that day. The total depth now reached 67 feet.

The team never wanted to go through the same experience as when the short drill bit got stock down the well the other day. As a response, therefore, they installed the long sand bit to add a further 9 feet to the total depth, improving the total depth to an encouraging 76 feet. They decided to stop the drilling at this depth because they were confident that at this depth the well will provide as much water as would serve the community year-round.

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 3 days and flushed it

10. Tested the yield

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


After all of the work was done, our team notified the community members and school of the dedication ceremony to mark the completion of the project. People were already in a celebratory mood before the team arrived. Traditional singing and dancing were a welcoming scene when we got there. People produced musical sounds out of any object they could lay their hands on.

The Councilor Celebrating with Community Members

The councilor of this WARD, Mr. Abu Bakarr Koroma, was also part of the celebration and was called upon to deliver a wonderful speech. His speech was a message of gratitude to the donors and the organization. He assured the team that he will ensure that the facility and any other ones in his WARD are properly managed. He ended by blessing the donors and the organization.

Two women, Fatmata Sillah and Adama B. Freeman also sent out a message of gratitude to the donors and the organization. Adama B. Freeman, in particular, emphasized her size and explained how she used to fall with water on her head while carrying it from farther distances. Today, she is free from her troubles. She was very grateful for that.

At the end of their speeches, people broke into another round of singing and dancing with the councilor himself leading the group. The people were even more than happy and they did everything to show how grateful they were for this facility.

New Knowledge

Our team built the training plan on the findings of the baseline survey. Lessons were selected based on the prevailing situation found in the community and topics were therefore arranged to meet their needs accordingly. This meant working to come up with topics and lessons that would help positively change the bad hygiene practices observed during the baseline survey.

Participants were recruited in the community via phone messages through members of the water committee and the section chief. Expectations were that every household sends at least 1 representative. Whenever the team arrived here, the sound of the megaphone was enough to alert people of their presence.

The training was colored with the involvement of the Child Health Club attending the St. Ann’s Primary School located in the same community. Some of the kids are the children of some of the amputees and their presence was a huge boost to the level of attendants and the participation level.

Training topics covered included:

- Handwashing and tippy tap
- Good and bad hygiene
- Healthy and unhealthy community
- Diseases transmission story
- Dishracks and clotheslines
- Worms and parasites
- Proper care of the teeth
- Proper care of the pump
- Keeping the water clean
- The cost recovery system
- The importance of toilets
- Keeping the latrine clean
- Balanced diets
- Diarrhea doll
- HIV and AIDS

The kids taught the lessons on oral hygiene, malaria, cholera, diarrhea, oral rehydration salts, and the disease transmission story. The community members were very much instrumental in the presentations on handwashing and tippy taps. In effect all participants were involved in the training, making it a very interactive event.

"I never knew that sleeping with our animals under the same roof is hygienically bad. Now that we have learned about this, I don’t think some of us will ever risk doing that anymore," Sulaiman Kargbo said.

During the training, the body language of the participants showed their guilt in not keeping their water clean. To the trainers, this was a positive sign of comprehension and the unconscious display of “we will change this habit” in body language. This was very special.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2019: Tholmossor, Amputee Camp Project Underway

Dirty water from the swamp is making people in Tholmossor Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by restoring clean, reliable 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 again with news of success!

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!

Giving Update: Tholmossor, Amputee Camp New Site

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Amputee Camp New Site in Tholmossor, Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Adama. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Tholmossor Community 3.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Tholmossor Community 3 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!

"Truly, it was not easy for us. It was one of the worst times I ever had. The pump was malfunctioning, it gets dried some months, and most older people are sometimes hard on us. These are the things that cause us to late for school most times," said 15-year-old Adama.

"Previously, we were not having pure, safe not to even talk about sufficient water supply. But thank God for the intervention for rescuing us from this water crisis. Now we have clean, safe, sufficient water and an easy-going pump."

Kadiatu Kamara

Kadiatu Kamara added, "We no longer go the distance in search of water anymore. As I am speaking, there are no complaints of water crisis or shortage in this community. Moreover, this has impacted my life greatly in the area of maintaining the hygiene and sanitation in my family and the community as a whole."

Adama and Kadiatu with a member of our team.

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 Tholmossor Community 3 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 Tholmossor Community 3 – 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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