Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 151 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/23/2024

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Abdul Turay dug a well on his property in 2004, and in 2008 he obtained a hand pump to make water collection safer and more accessible. For many years the well never went dry. But recently, due to the global effects of climate change, the well has started going dry for a few months each year.

The 151 people living here used to be an isolated community, but they now live in the Suctarr neighborhood center. A few trees that have stood the test of time surround the community. The development has robbed this community of badly needed vegetation, which is essential in fighting climate change. People from all over the country and different tribes make up this community. This diversity creates a strong bond and intermarriage between tribes. There was a time when tribal tensions were high, but now that tension is slowly being wiped out.

The community benefits from its proximity to the only government hospital in the Chiefdom. Members of this community enjoy the privilege of knowing someone within the hospital since most staff live in the area. As a result, they can get treatment quickly when there is a need.

But an unreliable water source for this community means people here are more prone to waterborne diseases - leading to more hospital trips.

"We are now left with going to other communities to fetch water, and they will have us pay before we can fetch the water, and it is always more expensive than the monthly fee we are used to," said Aminata Gibo, a 38-year old mother.

"I normally have my children fetch water for the home very early in the morning or later in the afternoon, but since they now have to travel far from the house, they should fetch the water after school."

Mr. Turay dug the well as a goodwill gesture to serve the entire community. He has a daughter with a physical disability, and walking far distances is out of the question for her. When the well functioned all year, his daughter collected water right at home whenever she needed it. Now, however, she has to rely on her siblings and parents to help her with water.

The well is presently dry and poses a significant inconvenience for everyone who relies on this water source. The children in the community must travel to other areas in search of reliable sources of water. The water they cannot get in the morning can be made up in the afternoon immediately after they come home from school.

"Not having water in our community because the well has dried up causes a lot of problems because now I have to fetch water up until night time," explained teenager Victoria.

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 us whenever they need our help solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

Project Updates

February, 2021: Lungi, Suctarr, #1 Kabbia Lane Project Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at #1 Kabbia Lane 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.

"The fastest way to see the development of any community is accessibility to safe and clean water. I have been a member of this community for fifteen years. I moved here to be closer to my workplace and later decided to build a house, and the rest of my family followed suit. I am delighted that this water point is up and running. Since the conversion to a borehole, the long lines and quarrels are a thing of the past," said Tenneh Koroma, a local nurse.

"As an active member of the water user committee, I will make sure that other members of the committee will use their position as a tool to empower the entire community. After six months, we will open a bank account to keep track of all the money collected. We are going to make sure meetings are held monthly, and elections are to be conducted yearly to go over the constitution and ensure that all members conduct themselves accordingly."

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 18 meters, with the water at 9 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 project was handed over to the community on a nice and sunny afternoon. The dedication time was chosen to bring out the most amount of people. The majority of people in the community are Muslim, with some Christian families, all living side by side. The community represents a true picture of religious tolerance, and all came to celebrate the completed well.

The first and most important part of the dedication was to observe the coronavirus guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants. People sang songs of praise in the different local languages, commemorating the varied tribal groups that live together within the community. All of the water user committee members were present for the dedication, a sign of their commitment to the project's successful sustainability.

"I have carried so many buckets of water that a patch of hair is missing from the center of my head. Patches of missing hair are a sign of a job well done. I usually have to fetch water until late in the night. That comes with being a child in any community in Sierra Leone. I am now going to have more time to study, which will greatly improve my grades in school," said Tamba, a young teenaged boy.

"As a student, time spent away from my studies will translate to failing grades. With the newly renovated water point, I am going to have more study time. I do not want to go through what I went through ever again. For anyone to lose patches of hair on the head, it means that the head has endured a great amount of stress and pain. I refuse to go through that again."

New Knowledge

A properly formed water user committee is the first step to successful hygiene training. First, the community held a meeting witnessed by our community engagement officer on the committee's election. The election was successful, with the committee members designated as the liaison between the community and our organization.

Weeks before the training, we made phone calls and visits to inspect all available facilities before the training. Days before the training, our hygiene team and our community engagement officer made house visits to ensure every household would be represented during the three consecutive training days.

We also 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.

Handwashing demonstration

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions on public gatherings, we required physical distancing and the use of face masks. An open space under a large mango tree was swept and lined with chairs to serve as the training venue. The cool breeze from the trees and shade from the hot sun created an atmosphere conducive to listening and learning. The information given to the participants is just as important as where and how it is delivered.

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.

"I have had my share of issues trying to educate the community about the importance of a clean and safe environment, but with added information from your organization, I know it is a great help. As a health care provider, the hygiene team covered all the topics and then some. This training is going to reinforce what I am already doing. The training is backed by information to make educated decisions," said Kadiatu Kamara.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

December, 2020: Lungi, Suctarr, #1 Kabbia Lane project underway!

Dirty water from unsafe water sources is making people in Suctarr sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community 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!

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: Plans to Become a Doctor!

March, 2022

A year ago, your generous donation helped Suctarr Community in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Andrew. 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 3.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Suctarr 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!

Andrew, 10, shared how he felt before the rehabilitation of the well in his community last year. "I was feeling very bad because the pump we were having here was not good and it used to break down regularly, and that means we had to look for water, by all means, to take care of ourselves. I was not feeling good as a child."

Andrew gets help putting a bucket of water on his head.

But since rehabilitating the well, he has plenty to celebrate. "I am very happy now that we have this water point facility rehabilitated in our community. We don't have to struggle again for water."

Andrew has big plans of being a doctor in the future. "Good and safe drinking water for me is very important. I think as a child, I can achieve this plan and goal. I want to be a doctor when I grow up."

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 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 Suctarr 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.


Project Underwriter - Giving Tuesday Matching Funds
1 individual donor(s)