Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/02/2024

Project Features

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Targrin used to be a very rural part of the chiefdom despite the fact that it is the gateway to Sierra Leone. This community is steadily being transformed into a fishing community and this means that more people are moving here.

As a result, every available space is being used to build a home. The community has no regular plan, so the new houses are scattered in every direction. Because of the high population density, this community is very noisy.

Targrin Health Post is a health clinic that serves more than 10,000 people in this area. The concept for a health center in this community was developed by the community people themselves.

The normal day for staff starts at 8:00 am with cleaning the clinic's environment before the arrival of patients. The process will last for at least an hour, after which they start seeing patients with different health complications. They work up until 6:00 pm and then they go home.

There is a well on the clinic grounds used by local community members and people at the clinic, but it is not closed with a pump. That means the clean water in the ground is contaminated by the containers and other debris that fall in when people open the hatch to fetch water. Lowering a bucket down also slows down the process of fetching water, which forces people to use other sources including an open swamp.

The leading cause of death in this community is malaria. This is the result of poor hygiene and sanitation, which leads to heavy mosquito breeding grounds. One factor leading to this poor hygiene is a water shortage. Second to malaria is cholera and diarrhea. The desperate need for water directs the people to use very contaminated sources like the swamp. So in the rainy season, cholera and diarrhea become prevalent.

It is also a problem for the health clinic. When the well runs out of water, the staff rely on community members to fetch water to meet their needs. In medical emergencies, such a water shortage can impact the health outcomes for patients.

"We as health officers are trying to maintain our institution’s hygiene and sanitation to an average level at least. And water shortage is impeding that. But with a reliable water supply, our hygiene will be appreciable," said health worker Abdulai Songa.

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

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for 3 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 clinic workers and 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.

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

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, 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 at the clinic and the surrounding community will have access to safe drinking water in both quality and quantity, even through the dry months.

Project Updates

May, 2020: COVID-19 Prevention Training Update at Targrin Health Post

Our teams are working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Join us in our fight against the virus while maintaining access to clean, reliable water.

We are carrying out awareness and prevention trainings on the virus in every community we serve. Very often, our teams are the first (and only) to bring news and information of the virus to rural communities like Targrin, Sierra Leone

We trained people on the symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention of COVID-19.

With distancing and/or small groups: Due to public gathering concerns, we worked with trusted community leaders to gather a select group of community members who would then relay the information learned to the rest of their family and friends.

We began training communities before the first reported case of COVID-19 in the country and before the government enacted public health guidance related to it. We worked with trusted community leaders and Water User Committees to gather community members for the training. Although community members did not observe social distancing during the training, we sensitized them on its importance and effectiveness in combating the spread of the virus.

We covered essential hygiene lessons:

- Demonstrations on how to build a simple handwashing station

- Proper handwashing technique

- The importance of using soap and clean water for handwashing

- Cleaning and disinfecting commonly touched surfaces including at the water point.

We covered COVID-19-specific guidance in line with national and international standards:

- Information on the symptoms and transmission routes of COVID-19

- What social distancing is and how to practice it

- How to cough into an elbow

- Alternative ways to greet people without handshakes, fist bumps, etc.

- How to make and properly wear a facemask.

During training, we installed a new handwashing station with soap near the community’s water point.

Due to the rampant spread of misinformation about COVID-19, we also dedicated time to a question and answer session to help debunk rumors about the disease and provide extra information where needed.

We continue to stay in touch with this community as the pandemic progresses. We want to ensure their water point remains functional and their community stays informed about the virus.

Water access, sanitation, and hygiene are at the crux of disease prevention. You can directly support our work on the frontlines of COVID-19 prevention in all of the communities we serve while maintaining their access to safe, clean, and reliable water.

October, 2019: Targrin Health Post Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point at Targrin Health Post in Sierra Leone that is already providing clean water to students and neighboring community members! We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training, which focused on healthy practices such as handwashing and using latrines.

Clean Water Restored

"The new water point is going to be a very big and important improvement for the community. A lot of families depend on the availability of water throughout the night. We are so thankful for the project and what the people are trying to teach us," said Ibrahim Kamara, a local fisherman who now uses the well to meet his water needs.

Here is how we restored clean, reliable water here:

- Raised the tripod

- Found the original depth

- Socketed the pipes

- Installed casing

- Lined up the drill rods

- Drilled!

- 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

We reached a final depth of 20.3 meters with the water at 16.6 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.

A submersible pump provided by the health post was installed as a part of the process. This will help pump water so that it is even easier for community members to fetch water. Our teams worked with community members during the set up of the pump so that they can manage it going forward.

"I promise my family and other families that everybody is going to be expected to play his or her part to make sure the well is properly taken care of," Mr. Kamara said.

The dedication of the well was attended by members from the community and people at the health post. Songs were sung and speeches were made to celebrate the completion of the project and the clean water flowing from the well. Children played in the water and everyone was joyful during the event.

People sing at the dedication

Ibrahim Kamara making a statement

New Knowledge

The main contact person for the community health center at Targrin is Abdulahi Songha, who happens to be the current community health officer in charge of the daily operation. The health officer is highly regarded and respected in the community and whatever he says is honored.

Training participants

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

The hygiene team, after their house-to-house visits, decided to teach the following topics.

Day 1:

- Good and bad hygiene; healthy and unhealthy communities; disease transmission.

Day 2:

- Handwashing; three-legged stool of health; dishracks; keeping the water clean; proper care of the pump; the importance of having and using a latrine.

The team also touched on the water user fee to sustain the life of the pump.

Tippy tap construction

Sex is a taboo subject that is usually not spoken of in the open in Sierra Leone. The mention of HIV "is immediately met with looks of denial and confusion," explained our team members. The setting of the hygiene training is the ideal place to teach people about their personal health and the fact that this "sickness" is still around and very active in Sierra Leone. The team talked about the importance of knowing your status and getting checked, not only when pregnant.

"I have been a nurse for more than 15 years and each day is always like my first day. I am always very thankful to hear the messages of hygiene and sanitation given out by other members of the medical field," said Hulamatu Sesay, a nurse at the health post.

Nurse Hulamatu Sesay

"I am going to increase my involvement with community people in encouraging them to visit the clinic immediately after feeling sick and make house calls about handwashing. The topics taught here will need to be reinforced to make positive changes lasting. We will reinforce them at the clinic level and community level."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

August, 2019: Tagrin Health Post Project Underway

A severe clean water shortage at Tagrin Health Post 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!

Giving Update: Targrin Health Post

February, 2021

A year ago, your generous donation helped Targrin Health Post in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Sulaiman. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Targrin Health Post.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Targrin Health Post 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!

"Previously, it was really not easy to get water from this well, most especially during the dry season when the water is not even sufficient for the health center, not to talk about us the school-going children. Sadly, for us as school-going pupils, we constantly go to school late almost every day due to overcrowding in the pump even at that, after the water changes color after getting few buckets of water," said 14-year-old Sulaiman.

"Fetching water from this water point now is much easier as it was in the previous state. Now we have sufficient and available water supply at our homes, and we now practice proper hygiene. The completion of this project has impacted my life greatly in the area of my education and the practice of proper hygiene."

Sulaiman K

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 Targrin Health Post 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 Targrin Health Post – 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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