Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 376 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/10/2023

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Tintafor is an urban area with noise coming from all corners. The sounds of motorcycles and cars fill the air. On the day of our visit, the sound of an early Saturday morning marching band could be heard a long distance away. It was a cool and sunny early that Saturday morning. The dew was fast disappearing and the mango trees were changing leaves ready to produce the delicious mangoes.

The flat land here is devoid of grass and throws a cloud of dust anytime a vehicle passes by. The buildings range from mud blocks to cement block houses. Animals are left roaming around looking for their daily bread. It is a difficult task given the fact that there are so few green spaces in this community.

This community has always thrived on business. Because of that, people come far and wide to settle here due to the availability of jobs at the nearby airport. The most common livelihood here is trading local and imported commodities. The Tintafor market is not far from here, and that is where people go to do their daily shopping. There you will find fishmongers, people selling vegetables, and various household items.

The swamps that are nearby are used or rented out to gardeners by the landowners of Tintafor Community. Owning a plot of swamp land can produce dividends for the owner because of the rent that is collected and a portion of the produce is also provided.

The water well is located within a short walk from most households in this community. It is clean with a fence that was built by the community members - funded by the water user committee money that was collected monthly. The metal gate that was made was stolen over a year ago and it is yet to be replaced.

But there is another big problem with the well - it does not produce enough water. That is due to the fact that the water table dropped. Each household is allowed just five containers of water per day in an effort to prevent overuse of the water point. There are even points during the year that the well goes entirely dry. The drying has been consistent over the years and is getting worse.

That means that many people have to supplement their water needs by purchasing packaged water from nearby vendors. This is costly to the families due to the money spent buying the water and treating illnesses sometimes caused by consuming water from unregulated vendors. Families who cannot afford the water must turn to extremely contaminated open sources, such as the nearest swamp.

"Not having enough clean water is detrimental to the development of our community," said Sorie Kanu.

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

Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul is dry for a few 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 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 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.

Project Updates

March, 2020: Lungi, Tintafor, St. Lucia Well Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point at St. Lucia in Sierra Leone that is already providing clean water to students and neighboring community members!

"I am the happiest person right now because we have a new hand pump and a deeper and improved water point," said Sorie Kanu, a local petty trader who uses the well.

"It was a real struggle for our children and wives because they had to travel far distances to fetch water from a safe source. Having access to a safe water source within a short distance is way better. Words cannot begin to express how good I feel about the conversion and rehabilitation of this well."

Clean Water Restored

The crew was moved to the community a day before the drilling began. A specific location not too far from the well was chosen and cordoned off from being accessed by the community members so that the team could sleep there and store the drilling equipment during their time at the site. Here is how we restored clean, reliable water at this well:

- Raised the tripod

- Found the original depth

- Socketed the pipes

- Installed casing

- Lined up the drill rods

- Drilled!
We reached a final depth of 22.12 meters with the water at 17.57 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 the 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 was planned for a Friday morning. Community members and local officials attended to mark the completion of the well. This community has been struggling for the availability of pure water for a few months now and the idea of a well dedication brought smiles and laughter to the faces of the children in the community.

The management of the water point has been handed over to the water user committee, which is made up of members elected by their peers. The measures that are put in place are to ensure that no one individual is given the opportunity to misuse the money that is generated. The committee is made aware of our cost recovery program which will start 6 months to the date of the dedication. The money collected will be used for repairs after the sixth month. The community may also choose to raise money for other purposes as well such as community activities and issues.

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.

We conducted hygiene and sanitation training which focused on healthy practices such as handwashing and using latrines. More than 130 people attended the 3 days of training with at least 1 member from each household that uses the well in attendance.

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.

"I know the hygiene training has changed my life and I hope and pray that all the people in the community will have learned 1 thing. Keeping our environment clean is vital to living a long and healthy life. The most important thing is accepting what has been taught and putting it into practice," said Hannah Kamara, the Section Chief, after attending the training.

"As a mother of young children, it is very important to have proper handwashing implemented in our home to avoid some illnesses."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Tintafor, St. Lucia Well project underway

A severe clean water shortage at Tintafor, St. Lucia Well drains time, energy, and health from people here. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school 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!


Lebrusan Studio
Marjan and Foad on behalf of Mehrab
Mitch Brownlie, Brisbane, Australia
Zel Campaign for Water

And 1 other fundraising page(s)
15 individual donor(s)