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The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Woman Drinking Clean And Safe Water
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Children Celebrating Safe Drinking Water
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Children Celebrating Safe Drinking Water
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Community Members Celebrating The Well
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Community Members Celebrating The Well
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Happy Women Splashing Water
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Kids Happy Playing With Water
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Town Chief And Old Woman Splashing Clean Water
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Woman Joyfully Playing
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Drilling
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Drilling
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Drilling
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Drilling
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Drilling
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Chlorination
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Clean Water Flowing
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Hygiene Facilitator Teaching About Bad Hygiene Practices
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Hygiene Facilitator Showing Dirty Water From Handwashing
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Finished Project
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Community Members Teaching And Displaying Disease Transmission Stories
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Hygiene Facilitator Teaching About Diarrhea
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Hygiene Facilitator In Action
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Kids Displaying Transmission Story Posters
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Mabinty Kamara
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Memunatu
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Pad Construction
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Participants Demonstrating Handwashing
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Participants Constructing Tippy Tap
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Setting Up Tripod
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Yield Test
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Woman Carrying Water
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Child Carrying Water
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Young Man Working On His Motorbike
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Child Carrying Water
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Well In Need Of Rehabilitation
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Area For Drying Fish
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Attayah Base Youth Center
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Child Carrying Water
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Community Landscape
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Community Landscape
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Garbage Pit
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Health Center Latrine
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Health Center Sign
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Household
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Household
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Incinerator At Health Center
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Kadie Baba Bangura
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Kids Playing Stone Ball
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Lady Hanging Clothes
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Latrine
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Latrine
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Local Business
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Mahera Health Center Building
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Midwife Nurse
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Notice Board At Attayah Base
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Old Woman Selling Charcoal
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Potato Leaves And Cassava Leaves Set For Sale
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Pump Caretaker
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Selling Potato Leaves
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Washing Clothes
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Water Storage At Health Center
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Water Storage Drinking Purpose
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Water Storage For Domestic Use
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Woman Cleaning Fish
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Woman Cooking
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Woman Laundering
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Young Man Making Fishing Net
The Water Project: Lungi, Mahera, Mahera Health Clinic -  Young Men Carrying Potato Leaves And Cassava Leaves On Their Heads

Project Status



Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 300 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



There are more than 500 people a day who depend on the well at Mahera Health Clinic. The well needs to be fully functional and providing water year-round to meet the needs of people here. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

During the dry season, this well does not produce nearly enough water. People wait in long lines. Sometimes, fights break out and many community members turn to alternative and often unsafe water sources to meet their daily needs.

“I am a petty trader with young children, and my daily use of water is so high that without this water well 100 feet away from my house, I do not know what to do,” said Kadie Baba Bangura.

“The hardest time for our community is during the dry season from January to March. I am always worried about how far my children have to travel to fetch water.”

The effects of climate change are being felt in all areas of the country. The first to feel the effect are the people who rely on hand-dug wells. Throughout the chiefdom, there are reported cases of water wells going dry during at least one segment of the year, and sometimes more often. This year is worse than last year and it continues to worsen with time.

This community is the home of the late paramount chief, Komkanda, and is comprised of people from all parts of the country who bring their unique customs and practices to Mahera. The second oldest school in the entire chiefdom belongs to this community, which has produced some of the brightest and most influential people in the chiefdom. It is a community that relies on fishing and gardening for their livelihood and has transformed from a quiet area to one full of noise from the rapidly growing community and bustle of development. Most of the homes are being rehabilitated from mud blocks to cement blocks with cement plastering. In such a large community as Mahera, the changes are gradual yet noticeable.

What We Can Do:

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 conversion from hand-dug well to borehole will not only eliminate the cycle of seasonal drying, but it will also ensure that the water provided will be bacteria-free.

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.

“I will be the happiest person in this community when this water well is converted. I will have water at any time of the day and not worry about going far from my house,” said 13-year-old girl Isatu.

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for 3 consecutive days.

“The hygiene and sanitation in this community have been steadily improving even though we have a long way to go,” said Mammy Kamara.

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 dishracks 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


04/30/2020: Mahera Health Clinic Project Complete!

Please note, all photos in this report were taken before social distancing recommendations went into effect.

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable water point at Mahera Health Clinic 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.

“It is very disheartening to watch families come to heads for drinking water. I think the more clean and safe water points we have, the better off we are,” said Pa Komrabai Kargbo, the village Chief.

“I just cannot begin to explain how happy I am since this water well has been converted to a borehole and a new pump installed. All our worries are over for now and for a long time to come.”

Clean Water Restored

Here is how we restored clean, reliable water here:

Step 1: Raised the tripod

Step 2: Found the original depth

Step 3: Socketed the pipes

Step 4: Installed casing

Step 5: Lined up the drill rods

Step 6: Drilled!
We reached a final depth of 23 meters with the water at 14 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.

Step 7: Installed screening and filter pack

Step 8: Cemented an iron rod to the well lining, and fixed it with an iron collar at the top

Step 9: Bailed the well by hand for 3 days and flushed it

Chlorinating the well

Step 10: Tested the yield

Step 11: Built a cement platform, walls, and drainage system

Step 12: Installed a stainless steel India Mk11 pump

Step 13: Conducted a water quality test

Installing the pump

Step 14: Handed over the completed well!

After everything was ready, our teams contacted the local leaders in the community and staff at the clinic to hold a dedication ceremony. Our teams arrived to find people there, including Pa Komrabai Kargbo to celebrate the completion of the well. Pa Kargbo and others delivered speeches and sang songs in celebration.

“I don’t have to get up early anymore. Because of the frequent breakdown of the well in the past, we had to travel in groups to fetch water from other pumps,” said 12-year-old Memunatu.

“This water is going to limit my travel to other communities to fetch water. It is also going to increase the chances of me drinking safe and clean water. This will greatly increase my study time, sleep time, and increase the possibility of getting good grades.”

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.

The training schedule was facilitated by the public relations officer. Her job is to make sure that there is a working relationship between the community and our team. We make sure that the community has a lot to do with the planning, implementation, repair, and sustainability of the project. A 9-member water user committee, elected by a majority of the people surveyed to manage their new well, helped to plan and run the training.

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 members were contacted and given a concrete time when and where the training was going to be conducted.

The training was held under a large mango tree not too far from the water well. The large trees made the heat bearable, even in the early morning hours.

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.

Handwashing was the most memorable topic. The hygiene team presented the usual 3 methods of handwashing and right from the start, everyone unanimously chose the tippy tap method as their preferred tool. Tippy taps are typically the most affordable option and can be placed anywhere, especially places where handwashing is mostly needed such as outside kitchens and latrines.

“The training was valuable because I can finally get the information to my children at home. Knowledge is power, and being empowered has given me an added voice to change what is happening in my home as well as the whole country,” said Mabinty Kamara, a 35-year-old petty trader who attended the training.

“Making sure all homes have latrines and handwashing stations reduces the chances of disease transmission in addition to making sure all animals are controlled. This training has created a positive impact in my life by making me aware of my surroundings and environment.”

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : sierraleone20401-woman-joyfully-playing


03/24/2020: Mahera Health Clinic project underway

A severe clean water shortage at Mahera Health Clinic drains peoples’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this 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!


The Water Project : sierraleone20401-child-carrying-water-2


Project Photos


Project Type

Borehole and Hand Pump

Girls and women walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - we are able to pull water to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.


Contributors

Project Underwriter - Lorean and Anisha Ledesma
Community Baptist Church
3 individual donor(s)