Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 112 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/21/2024

Project Features

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Homes in this part of Lungi are built in straight lines on opposite sides of the only road that runs between Komkanda Memorial Secondary School and continues to other villages. The village is densely vegetated and very quiet because most of its dwellers spend a good part of their time on their farms. Komkanda Memorial Secondary School is located in a particularly rural area where there are no houses neighboring the school directly, except for the quarters for the school teachers.

The school started with two streams, junior secondary school one and two. Enrollment was 200 pupils, 114 boys and 86 girls. In 2007 the school's enrollment suddenly dropped because thieves ran off with the pump head for the school's well, exposing them to serious drawbacks in water, hygiene, and sanitation. But it was not an entirely bad year. Under the principalship of Mr. Abdul A. Koroma, the school attained the national standard. However, the school has yet to qualify for government assistance so parents have to pay school fees to attend.

Water remains a challenge. In fact, there is another well five meters from the back of the school building that suffered the same fate as the first school well. It had its pump head stolen a year ago. Students must walk to the primary school located a few hundred meters away to get water. But this means time is wasted when students leave the school grounds. To make matters worse, it adds stress onto a water point that is meant to serve the primary school and also serves nearby community members.

Waterborne sicknesses are common among children in this school since many have to use alternative sources for drinking. The bad thing is that this community is located some distance away from the nearest health center. People rely on street peddlers for their medication and most of these peddlers walk about with expired medicines which can be very dangerous for human consumption. That exposes community members to further illness and only adds to the financial drain caused by needing to treat the waterborne illnesses in the first place.

The children in this school come from homes where parents cannot even afford to give them lunch money. For most of them, water becomes a substitute for food. That means that any time there is not enough water, students are less likely to come to class.

One visible negative effect of their pump’s non-functionality is that the principal has converted the school’s handwashing stations into his own domestic water container. It is another way that the lack of availability of water compromises hygiene and sanitation in this school.

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

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.

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 within the 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 Komkanda Memorial Secondary School

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 schools like Komkanda Memorial Secondary School in 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.

February, 2020: Komkanda Memorial Secondary School Project Complete!

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

"I want to give a big thanks to you for your good, humanitarian work in our school. This well has taken us far from...relying on the swamp and our neighbor’s school well," said teacher Patrick Kpana.

Clean Water Restored

The team deployed to the school a day before drilling was scheduled to begin. Construction materials were stored in classrooms and the team was given space at the school to sleep before starting drilling the next day.

The team faced no significant obstacles over the 3 days it took to complete the project. 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!

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

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 first day of training coincided with the World Water Day celebration. The team knew beforehand that this event would attract so many participants to the extent that no classroom in the school would be able to accommodate everybody. In response to this, a large “bafa” (tent) was constructed just outside the school building.

The second and third days of the training were held in one of the school classrooms due to the slightly lower attendance. However, there were still more than 200 people who completed the full 3 days of training.

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 teaching exercises were participatory. The attendees were involved in group work, poster analysis, and songs. They were instrumental in the group discussions and they were also fully involved in the tippy tap handwashing station construction activity. Everyone was very excited throughout the training sessions.

"We are thankful for the tremendous lessons we have learned during the hygiene and sanitation trainings. I learned a lot. Our pupils used to go to the toilet and neglect washing their hands afterward, but things have changed. They are now used to washing their hands after using the toilet," said teacher Kpana.

The discussion of supporting and caring for the well was unexpectedly a major point of discussion here. While the well is located on school grounds, it is also available for the community members to use. The students made sure that the community members in attendance knew that they too were responsible for caring for the well during regular use and that they too have to contribute if something needs repair. It led to a spirited debate that ended with a broad understanding that the shared water point needs support from everyone, not just the school.

The students were also interested in the topic of HIV/AIDS. Participants became very interested in the presentation and many hands began popping up for questions and clarifications. A young boy, for example, wanted to know the cost of treatment for HIV in hospitals. (The treatment is free.) Most were interested in the signs and symptoms of the disease. This was important for quick medical attention.

"The training provided sound information on the importance of hygiene and sanitation, especially for people like us in this rural setting. Good hygiene means healthy lives, and with the knowledge gained in this training, we will be able to change our lives and live a healthy one," said Principal Abdul Koroma.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Komkanda Memorial Secondary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Komkanda Memorial Secondary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to solve this issue by building 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 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!


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