Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 300 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/14/2024

Project Features

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Borope village was once just a few houses scattered around with patches of bushes. The arrival of a mining company at the turn of the century suddenly increased the population and the number of houses. Landowners rushed and built nice homes in the hope of collecting rent, but they were later disappointed by the abrupt closure of the mining company. Today, many of these homes sit empty.

As people rushed to live in the area following the opening of the mine, a need for schools arose. So, the local head man opened a school in his backyard in 2003. The population was larger than expected when the school started with more than 350 students showing up the first day. So, some students had to sit outside during class. The need for more space led the school to relocate in 2009 to its current location. Today, more than 616 students attend the school.

The school has not kept up its water supply with its growth. The school has a well on its property. But it is broke down years ago and no longer provides water.


With a broken well on the school grounds. The school does not have adequate access to a clean water supply.  Sometimes, the students will turn to the nearby stream to get water because it is easy and close. But doing so exposes them to waterborne diseases.

"A village of more than one thousand people and one functioning water well. I feel bad for my students and family members, we are left with no option but to drink water from the stream or open water well," said teacher Ibrahim Bangura.

"The children, because of health problems caused by drinking dirty water, are absent from school frequently."

The other main source of water for the school is a community well which is located on the other side of town.

"We the children carry the bulk of responsibility of fetching water for the homes and school," said Alimamy, a student at the school.

Unfortunately, that well frequently falls into disrepair and is not fixed quickly. Our teams observed during their visit that the well pad is damaged in need of repair and the pump itself also needs to be repaired to improve functionality.

That forces people to seek alternative water sources that are generally unsafe. The fact that the school shares the well with the community means that there are often long lines to fetch water. It is the only functioning water well in a village of more than a thousand people, far too many to share one water point. Some children are not willing to wait in line, so they opt to get water from whatever is the most convenient place, even if the water is not safe for drinking.

The conversion of the school well to a borehole will ensure that there is year-round access to safe water on the school grounds.

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, the 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. The community is going to be allowed to fetch water during school hours and shortly after. The fetching of water is also going to be restricted on weekends.

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

There will be hygiene and sanitation training sessions offered for three days in a row.

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 training 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

February, 2021: Borope Village School Project Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at Borope Village School in Sierra Leone 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.

"I am saying a big thanks to you for this facility you have provided for us because it was not easy to access safe drinking water. Before this time, when we wanted to drink water, we had to go out of the school compound in search of water, and some of our companions never returned to the school until the following day," said student Isatu.

"This water well in our school compound will create a great impact in our daily lives. Getting water is one thing, but getting the water that is chlorinated regularly is a life-saving step that I welcome, and my fellow students welcome as well. We also want to thank them for the hygiene lesson they taught us during the hygiene training."

Clean Water Restored

The drill team arrived the day before beginning work. They set up camp and unpacked all of their tools and supplies to prepare for drilling the next day. The community provided space for them to store their belongings and meals for the duration of their stay. The next morning, the work began.

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 17 meters, with the water at 12 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 water well was dedicated and handed over to the community with the section chief, Pa Alimamy Sesay, a representative from the Ministry of Water Resources, and the senior inspector of schools, Bob Sesay, all present. The community and school have been praying for such an occasion, they said. With answered prayers, the day came, and every member of the community welcomed it. Teachers and community members joined the students in singing songs of praise and dancing to celebrate the well.

Students dance at the well

The entire village showed up for the dedication, but, in order to meet COVID-19 restrictions, we had to ask a portion of the group to head home. Otherwise, we are sure we would have been celebrating with many more dozens of people!

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 necessary guidelines were met, only then did our team of hygiene trainers go to conduct the training.

The training was divided into three parts. First, our team of hygiene and sanitation facilitators trains the school teachers. Next, the teachers train the students in their respective classrooms. Finally, the school teachers train the community members on the third day. This method is called the training of trainers.

It is also essential to coordinate all training sessions with the water user committee members from the school's community. Teachers' presence is significant since they are the head of the school, but most of those teachers reside in villages outside of where the school is located. This typically makes teachers' involvement in the multi-day training that takes place over a weekend difficult.

The team contacted the school Headmaster before leaving the office. When the team arrived at the school, the headmaster and the school teachers occupied one classroom spacious enough to observe physical distancing protocols. The classroom was also well ventilated. All teachers were present during the 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; dish racks and clotheslines; the importance of toilets; keeping the latrine clean; balanced diets; the diarrhea doll; and HIV and AIDS.

The most memorable topic during the hygiene training was COVID-19 prevention. With every virus, rumors distort the facts and mislead the people. Once the myths and lies are mixed in with the truth, it is difficult for the true message to reach people. At the mention of the coronavirus, there was total silence in the room; you could hear a pin drop. The teachers, students, and parents expressed their thanks for listening to the many questions and myths about the virus so that our trainers could provide the correct information to the group.

Tippy tap construction

"This training was very valuable to me as a teacher and as a member of the community. I wish the training would have taken place a year ago. This training has also taught me to be proactive with decisions concerning my health, environment, and the importance of keeping a clean and healthy area," said teacher Issa Kanu.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

January, 2021: Kamasondo, Borope Village School Underway!

Students at Borope Village School do not have a reliable source for water. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point in the community and much more.

Get to know this school through the narrative and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation, and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with news of success!

April, 2020: Borope Village School project underway

A severe clean water shortage at Borope Village School in Sierra Leone drains students' time, energy, and health. 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! Learn more here!

A Year Later: Hopeful for the Future!

March, 2022

A year ago, your generous donation helped Borope Village School in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Memunatu. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Borope Community School 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!

Memunatu B., 13, shared the water challenges she faced daily before rehabilitating the well at her school. "We used to find it difficult when we wanted to use the toilet and when we wanted to drink water. I had to bring water from my house to school, but it was not enough because my friends who did not have [the] opportunity to have a one-liter rubber (bottle) took it from me, and I had no choice than to share with them whatever little that was available."

She continued, "Life was like hell in the school and also [in the] community. Sometimes I asked God, 'what am I doing here?' But those questions [did not] change [my] circumstances."

But now, with access to clean water anytime, things look more hopeful for her. "I am so happy that I have pure drinking water in this school for the first time since the establishment of the school. Since I started schooling here, for six years now, because I am in class six, this is the first time we have [had] access to a hand pump. Sometimes my eyes could not believe if this [was] really us enjoying drinking pure water."

"My plans and goals are to focus on my education, and when I grow up, I will help provide clean drinking water in all these communities," said Memunatu.

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 Borope Community School 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 Borope Community School – 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.


2 individual donor(s)