Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 137 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/02/2024

Project Features

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The New London community in Lungi, Sierra Leone is growing very fast, surrounded by churches and a few mosques. The once quiet, peaceful, and vegetated area is now filled with homes. All available land has been bought by people from all over the country wanting to relocate to Lungi. The biggest attraction to this community is its proximity to the airport, government hospital, central police station, the Catholic mission, and the military barracks.

The main water source for some 137 people here is a hand-dug well that was constructed by the Catholic Mission at #10 Dankama Street. It was done as a show of gratitude for a staff member who has served them faithfully for many years.

At the time of our visit, the well was dry and water could not be accessed. At the all-too-frequent times like this, people here have to travel further to access other water points - leading to long waits due to increased stress at those sources.

"I suffer a lot because of this nonfunctional well in front of my tailor shop. I know with a properly functioning well, that will reduce the number of people at the other wells in the community," said Vandy Sandi, a local tailor.

In addition, the well is not monitored or maintained in any formal way. As a result, community members are susceptible to waterborne illnesses such as diarrhea, dysentery, and typhoid. Seeking treatment is costly and time-consuming, though illnesses that are left untreated can sometimes turn fatal.

"This proposed project will do wonders for the community in New London. It will reduce the long lines and lessen the pressure at some of our water sites. The more pressure a water point gets, the more it is open to damage and disrepair," said one of our field officers after visiting the well.

One challenge for this community is getting around in the rainy season. It is a flat land prone to floods. The absence of gutters makes the roads impassable with multiple ditches that stall motorcycle engines. The riders that are familiar with the community use rain boots to travel in and out of the community. Even the smallest rain usually fills the streets with water that spills into the front doors of some unlucky people. The stagnant water poses a threat and exposure to malaria and other waterborne illnesses.

The people in New London rely on gardening and petty trading to make a living. The practice of wearing used clothing was popular in the past but a new generation of tailors comprised of both women and men are coming up with new styles that attract people from around the world. The practice of sewing African clothes from fabrics designed in elaborate colors has gained a new and wide attraction making tailoring a good source of income for some people in the community.

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.

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

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

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.

"The community can greatly improve on the hygiene and sanitation by making sure that all homes, schools, churches, and mosques have adequate handwashing stations with clean water and soap. The homes have latrines and the real reason people decided to build latrines is that there is no more free land to defecate," explained community member Betty Chambers.

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

November, 2020: Lungi, New London, #10 Dankama Street Project Complete!

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

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at #10 Dankama Street 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.

"Safe and clean water is at my doorstep now. It is a great relief because whether I am home or not, I know that my children have nothing else to do outside of our compound," shared Mariana Kamara.

The dedication for the well took place earlier in the COVID-19 pandemic in Sierra Leone when physical distancing was a newer concept. Due to that, some people were still reluctant to follow COVID-prevention measures, including distancing. Our teams discussed the importance of taking all steps possible to prevent the spread of the virus. We also set up a handwashing station with soap to encourage everyone to use it before and after fetching water.

(before physical distancing)

Clean Water Restored

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!

We reached a final depth of 23 meters with the water at 16 meters. The hand-drill method allowed the team to install the cylinder far below the aquifer so that the community has excellent 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 three days and flushed it

- Tested the yield

Yield test

- Built a cement platform, walls, and drainage system

- Installed a stainless steel India Mk11 pump

Installing the pump

- Conducted a water quality test

"The most important thing this water well is going to help me achieve is better grades. The days I am absent or late to school are going to be a thing of the past," said young teenager Fatama.

"I used to go to different neighborhoods looking for water, and that used to take up a lot of time. The physical exhaustion and carrying large containers on my head have slowly added to back and neck pains that I am currently experiencing."

New Knowledge

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

People at the training (before physical distancing)

This community has one of the most active and development-orientated Councilors, Fatmata Akai. Fatmata is always involved in our office meetings, as well as every hygiene training. She was a crucial part of working with the community to prepare for the training, which we held under a large mango tree to provide shade from the hot sun.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps; good and bad hygiene; disease transmission and prevention; worms and parasites; proper care of teeth; adequate care for the pump; keeping the water clean; the cost recovery system; dish racks and clotheslines; the importance of toilets; keeping the restroom clean; balanced diets; the diarrhea doll; and HIV and AIDS.

(before physical distancing)

The most memorable topic was good and bad hygiene. This topic covers a broad range of issues that, if properly addressed, can create a community with a lower chance of contracting particular illnesses. We showed different depictions of communities engaging in good or bad hygiene practices, and we the participants to explain the difference between the two depictions.

The second most memorable topic was handwashing. The arrival of COVID-19 made it essential for all people to get in the habit of proper handwashing with soap and clean, running water.

Councilor Fatmata Akai participates in the handwashing activity. (before physical distancing)

"The training was very valuable to me, and this is the kind of information that is needed among our fellow students. Knowledge is power, and the beginning of attaining wisdom," shared Ada, a young girl who attended the training.

"The school setting has one of the highest chances of bacteria or disease transmission, so it is very important to make sure that all school-going pupils are empowered with this information to help them protect and safeguard their lives."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

September, 2020: Lungi, New London, #10 Dankama Street project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at #10 Dankama Street in New London, Sierra Leone drains community members' 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!

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!

A Year Later: More Time to Study!

January, 2022

Over a year ago, your generous donation helped New London Community in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Sadiatu. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in New London Community 3.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help New London Community 3 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!

"It is very important to have access to clean and safe drinking water in your area next to your compound, especially for us, the school-going children," said Sadiatu.

"What I wanted to achieve as a school-going pupil is clean, safe, and affordable drinking water at any given time. I thank God we have it in my community. I am going to focus more on my studies because all my worries are over now in terms of having access to clean and safe drinking water."

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 New London Community 3 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 New London Community 3 – 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.


8 individual donor(s)