Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/18/2024

Project Features

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Masoila is a very large community located at the center of Lungi, close to the Freetown International Airport. Apart from the loud noise of aircraft coming and going out of the country, this community has a large Mosque that is often visited by people traveling to and from Sierra Leone.

The community is not very vegetated because of its location, but there are some mango trees and other fruit plantations that looked so colorful when our teams visited. During the dry season, these trees give the community people shade to rest and enjoy some fresh air.

Most buildings around this community are modern buildings with concrete blocks and zinc roofs, though there are a few buildings with mud blocks and zinc roofs too. The majority of these houses are built large to accommodate extended families.

Petty trading and the sale of farm produce by a few farmers in the community is the most common livelihood here. During some special market days in other rural communities, called lumas, women from this community go and buy farm produce which they bring back to sell at their little marketplace to earn their daily living.

There are also a few people who engage in other types of vocational trades like working at the airport, bread baking, and soapmaking. Bread is one of the locally made products that is sold in large quantities every day. Some men and women in this community engage themselves in bread baking by building bakeries at the back of their houses to earn them money to better provide for themselves and their families.

Water is a crucial part of daily life for people in Masoila. However, the well located at #3 Kamara Street is facing challenges. With more than 500 people relying on the well to meet their water needs, it struggles during the dry season and when the water table drops. There are periods when it goes dry and the packaged water sold by vendors is very expensive to purchase for the average person.

As a result, people have to travel long distances to reach the nearest working well. The time and energy lost by getting water each day is a burden on families in this community. We visited more than 60 households while in the community and found only 1 handwashing station with water. This is the result of the water shortages faced by the community. As a result, people rarely wash their hands after using the bathroom - a behavior that leads to the spread of diseases. With a regular water source, this problem can disappear immediately!

The Kamara Street community has long been praying for this project. Shiek Fuad Koroma, the Chief Imam of the Kamara Street Central Mosque said that he has been asking for help to repair the well. This well is the only water point that is supplying the Mosque.

"Clean water is the backbone to having a clean and healthy community environment,” said Shiek Koroma.

"I can remember not too far in the past when our country was ravaged by Cholera and Ebola. The effects of not having clean water were then felt throughout the country."

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

Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul 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 combination 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 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 community members how to build a tippy tap (a hands-free 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 to keep them away from people's food and water.

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

January, 2020: Lungi, Masoila, #3 Kamara Street Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point at #3 Kamara Street in Masoila, Sierra Leone that is already providing clean water to community members and the nearby mosque!

"We use a lot of water every day, and looking at the population around, one must confess that this is a very big boost to both the mosque and the community. Diseases like diarrhea, typhoid, and other sicknesses that are waterborne will definitely now be put to our past," said Mohamed Conteh, a member of the community and mosque.

"Water is life. Muslims use water for ablution, or purification, before prayers. It is a very key facility for one’s prayers to be accepted. We, therefore, thank you for this facility”.

We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training, which focused on healthy practices such as handwashing and using latrines.

Clean Water Restored

Here is how we restored clean, reliable water here:

- Raised the tripod

- Found the original depth (for this well, we measured 50 feet)

- Socketed the pipes

- Installed casing

- Lined up the drill rods

- Drilled!
We reached a final depth of 70 feet with water at 29 feet. It is now deep enough so that when the water table drops at certain times of the year people will still have access to water. 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

New Knowledge

The training started with team consultation with the water user committee and as usual, we thoroughly looked into the baseline information provided. This gave our teams an eye-opener as to the prevailing hygienic situation of the community. Topics were, therefore, tailored to answer questions that would positively address the needs of that community.

Training participants

We developed a work plan and purchased all of the required items for the training. The training coordinator made phone calls alerting the appropriate local leaders of our coming and reminded them of their agreement to meet with us. The coordinator also made the effort to visit them in person to confirm that everything was in place for the exercise.

A date was selected that could accommodate the greatest number of attendees. Our teams arrived to find more than 150 people in attendance on the first day. For effective participation on day 1, the training was scheduled for the afternoon just after prayers so that most people took part in physical demonstrations like handwashing. On subsequent days, they were required to be involved with more topics such as disease transmission stories, healthy and unhealthy community practices, and others.

The weather for the training was bright and very much accommodating. One could hardly believe that it was conducted in the rainy season. Water committee members and their Chair were very instrumental in galvanizing the participants to come to the training and the training was conducted in one of the houses very close to the well. It was an open veranda, well ventilated, and ideal for the teaching and learning process.

Participants were involved in all of the facets of training. They played a pivotal role in the success of the training due to their involvement in setting up the venue and they were also instrumental in each demonstration.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps; good and bad hygiene; disease transmission story; 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; diarrhea doll; and HIV and AIDS.

"The training, in my opinion, will greatly impact our community. The instructors were very outstanding in their message delivery," said Mohamed T. Kamara, after the training ended.

"Plenty of our behavior in our daily lives is a result of ignorance - habits like a poor choice as to where to urinate, domestic animals sleeping together with humans, deliberate refusal of sleeping under a mosquito bed net and many more. This training has widened our horizon as it will instill a positive change in our attitudes. We will have handwashing stations in our backyards to avert us from plenty of diseases”.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2020: Lungi, Masoila, #3 Kamara Street Dedication

In Loving Memory of Miralem Bektesevic (1/15/88-9/21/19)

The community came together after the construction was complete to celebrate the well and the life of Miralem Bektesevic. One of our staff members read the eulogy from Miralem's sister, Buta. Her letter was read in English and then in Krio. The community was very moved by this gesture, and after the dedication was talking about what a remarkable young man Miralem must have been.

The Imam Sheik Pa Alhaji Fuad offered additional prayers in his memory and a special prayer for Miralem's family. Community members had the opportunity to learn about Miralem during the ceremony and see his picture. One of the women in the community sang a beautiful song in his memory.

Children look at Mirealem's picture

"The community was very moved by this gesture to provide safe drinking water in memory of such a special human being. The Imam's prayer was for the family that God would grant them peace in the midst of sadness," shared our field staff after the ceremony.

"Our team sends their most since condolences to the family, and may the soul of Miralem rest in perfect peace."

Community leaders were also invited to participate in the dedication of the well. The representative for the district council, Mr. Sheku Jah, registered his thanks and appreciation for the project and its contribution to the assurance of clean, safe drinking water in the Masoila community.

See videos from the special dedication here.

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!