Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 226 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/29/2024

Project Features

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The central well at #47 Kamara Street in Suctarr Community is not providing sufficient water for the 226 people who rely on it to meet their daily water needs. The water table has dramatically reduced due to climate change. As a result, it takes longer for people to fetch water. And the overuse of the well is causing frequent damage that requires regular repairs.

"We are really struggling to get a clean source of water when this well is broken down," said Adama Conteh, the 47-year-old caretaker of the pump.

"I had to purchase 2 large drums to store water since this breaks down frequently. Due to the hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic, purchasing a storage container was no easy sacrifice."

This well is the primary water source and the best source for clean and safe water for the entire community. But the challenge facing all people who use this water source is the well's low recharge. The low recharge makes it nearly impossible for people to get their required amount of water for their various homes and needs.

The other water source is an open well that is treated by the owner. The open well owner was kind enough to share that he and his family take excellent care of the well, and it is chlorinated twice a month. Despite his attention, the well is open means that it is likely still contaminated by the bucket that is dropped down to draw water and other things that may fall into the well. The open well is not safe for children and young adults. The children, when unsupervised, stand a significant risk of falling in the well.

We met Joseph, a 13-year-old boy, who shared that he does not like fetching water from the open well, so he dealt with his sister to share the responsibility.

"Having to look down the open well makes me dizzy anytime I fetch water. I have shared this with my parents, but they always think I am trying to get out of doing my part of the chores," he said.

"I made a deal with my older sister  - a deal she could not let pass - she fetches the water, and I carry it home."

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 to ensure the well supplies water throughout all seasons.

As the team drills, a 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 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.

After our visit, the hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach community members how to build a tippy tap (a 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.

This training will also strengthen the water user committee that manages and maintains this well. They enforce proper behavior and report to our team whenever they need our help solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

Project Updates

April, 2021: Lungi, Suctarr, #47 Kamara Street Project Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at #47 Kamara Street in Suctarr, 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.

"The problem with this water point was the water was not sufficient during the dry season, and the pump would constantly break down. I am so happy for this rehabilitation that I will no longer suffer or have to fetch water from an open well," said Sarian Riddle.

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 following day, 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 21 meters with the water at 11 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 three 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

"With this newly converted hand-dug well to a borehole, the lower water table is a thing of the past. I watched the drillers doing their job, and I am certain that the water provided to us now is of the highest quality. The different types of pipes used will definitely ensure that I am giving my children clean water, whether for taking a bath, cooking, or drinking," said Sarian.

A member of the water user committee had passed away shortly after the committee was formed in November of 2019. A new Chair was then elected, but the community wanted to honor the late man's name by making sure this project is a success.

The well was handed over to the community with the health care workers in the community, community members, and a representative from the District Council. Mr. Koroma was there to represent the Councilor in the ward. The dedication ceremony was held in the morning before the sun became unbearably hot.

It is a requirement for the water user committee members to be present at the handing over ceremony. The rules and guidelines governing the water point are repeated in front of all present to ensure everyone in the community is made aware of the expectations.

"Having access to reliable and safe water will make the biggest improvement in my life. As a school-going pupil and a girl at that, I have experienced most of the constraints of traveling far distances to fetch water. Before the renovation of the water point, I would sometimes fetch water from the open well, a task that is dangerous and not at all safe for drinking. The access to reliable and safe drinking water will not only improve my attendance and tardiness at school but will also improve my grades," shared Hawa F.

New Knowledge

Before conducting any hygiene training, we make repeated phone calls and visits to the local water user committee to better understand the community’s challenges and lack of sanitation facilities. We share the findings from our discussions with the committee members to help them make the necessary adjustments before the training begins. For example, we identify households without handwashing stations or those that need to repair their latrines. With this information, community members can work together to improve hygiene and satiation at home.

After that, we schedule a time when members from each household using the water point can attend multi-day hygiene and sanitation training. Days before the training, the community engagement officer visited the community to ensure that all community members are aware and will be represented. Telephone calls are also made to the committee members. As a prerequisite for being on the committee, all training and meetings should be attended by each member.

When that is set, we dispatch our teams to the agreed-upon location to hold the meeting. The morning of the training was also used to make house calls for a last-minute reminder. The training was held under a mango tree, with enough shade to keep the participants interested and focused while out of the sun.

The attendance was as we had expected because every household was represented during the training. There were a total of 33 households, and a total of 55 people came to the training, with some households being represented by two people.

Tippy tap construction

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.

Handwashing demonstration

"As a teacher, my pupils look up to me for advice more than their parents. I am obligated to make sure all and any information that is of use to any community member is shared. I will make sure that information is passed on to the last person," said teacher Sheku Conteh.

"I have always been a stickler for perfection, and with an added education on hygiene topics, I will make sure that I pass on the information to every member of the community. As a teacher, I always have to practice what I preach. If I tell children and community people to clean their environment, I also have to implement the same practices."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

February, 2021: Lungi, Suctarr, #47 Kamara Street project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at #47 Kamara Street 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!

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: Fewer Breakdowns Means More Water!

April, 2022

A year ago, your generous donation helped Lungi Community in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Adama. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Suctarr Community 4.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Suctarr Community 4 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!

Adama Conteh, 47, has a unique understanding of the waterpoint located at #47 Kamara Street. She is the community caretaker of the pump, and before we rehabilitated the well, she felt the burden of constant repairs and breakdowns.

"The only difficulty I used to face with the pump was the frequent breakdowns on [a] regular basis, which was a burden to us. We used to spend a lot of money buying spare parts for [the] maintenance of this facility to keep it running," Adama said.

The frequent repairs wasted money Adama and her fellow community members could not afford to lose. But now that the well has been rehabilitated, things are different.

"It is very easy for me because the water is reliable and sustainable at every point in time without no shortage of water. There [are] no frequent breakdowns, as compared to before."

Like others in her community, Adama is thankful for a functioning, low-maintenance water point that provides her with sufficient clean and safe drinking water. This allows her and others to keep their resources intact for other needs.

Adama with Alusine, a boy from the community, standing outside the well.

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 Suctarr Community 4 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 Suctarr Community 4 – 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.


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