Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/20/2024

Project Features

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Approaching Conteya village is a bridge that was recently rehabilitated by the Port Loko district council. It separates Mapeh village and Conteya village. The village entrance is lined with tall palm trees, home to the palm wine harvesting tribe called the Limbas. The bridge is half a mile away from the village. The palm trees cover acres and acres of land stretching from the bridge to the town. Large trees around the houses have been around for generations, bringing shade and food to the community.

The well for the 441 people here broke down several years ago, and the only source of water at the moment is surface water in the swamp. The community faces many challenges with the swamp water. These range from possible exposure to snake bites, walking far distances on a narrow footpath to get there, the water being contaminated, and inadequate supply.

The water source is filled with leaves, debris, tadpoles, frogs, leeches, fish, and other contaminants that are not fit for human consumption. Drinking water from the source causes waterborne diseases, including typhoid and dysentery.

"I am tired of drinking contaminated water," said Nabie Kamara, the village Headman.

"Personally, the water crisis has increased the number of reported waterborne diseases for the children. The clinic is far away from our village, and as a village leader, I am concerned about what happens to people in my community when it comes to medical response. We are always going to require clean water, and the more the population increases, the more our use of water is also going to increase."

Fetching water from the swamp is generally a chore for children. They travel to the swamp and fill up their buckets with water to carry home. When the children cannot fetch their required number of buckets for the day, the mothers usually step in while the children go to school. This adds yet another chore to the mothers' busy schedule all in the name of doing what is needed to keep their families going.

"The water source is far away from the village. It will be much better if it is in the village," said young teenage boy Alusine.

The proposed project is going to bring all of the above to an end. The only way of getting safe and clean water for the people here is by using that well. The conversion of the well to a borehole will eliminate the water point's possibility of ever going dry. Using surface water to drink poses significant dangers to all members of the community. The proposed project will also eliminate exposure to harmful minerals and bacteria present in the water from the surface water source.

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 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, 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.

Training on COVID-19 Prevention, Hygiene, and Sanitation

We will offer three consecutive days of training on COVID-19 prevention and improved hygiene and sanitation practices. Our dedicated session on COVID-19 will include lessons on virus symptoms, transmission routes, and prevention best practices. We will communicate our expectations of physical distancing and wearing masks for all who choose to attend.

The hygiene and sanitation session will emphasize the importance and effectiveness of handwashing in preventing not just COVID-19, but many diarrheal diseases. Trainers will teach community members how to build a tippy tap handwashing station built using a jerrycan, string, and sticks. We will use these tippy taps for handwashing demonstrations and while also teaching about other tools like dish racks and the importance of properly penning in animals to help reduce disease transmission within the household.

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

Project Updates

February, 2021: Lokomasama, Conteya Village Project Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at Conteya Village 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.

"This water well could not have been rehabilitated at any better time than now - the beginning of the dry season - when even the stream feels the effect of global warming. Like any other teen or woman in the village, all the house chores are always the girl child's responsibility. Going to the stream no less than ten times for the day takes its toll on our bodies," remarked teenager Abibatu.

"I speak for the other women and young girls in the community when I say this is one of the greatest things that has happened to us in a very long time."

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 19 meters, with the water at 10 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

We held a dedication and handing over ceremony for the well to the community. Paul Dixion Kamara, the Councilor for the ward where the well is located, was present for the dedication and showed his gratitude and appreciation for the project. The community members sang songs in their native languages of Temne and Susu.

"I used to be up very early in the morning to fetch water from the stream. This is going to have a positive impact on my life and the lives of my family. I always worry about sending my children to fetch water from the stream because of their chances of being bitten by snakes. There is so much I want to say but cannot get the words to say it accurately; it is a major blessing for the people in my community," shared Nancy Kamara, a 20-year-old trader who lives near the well.

New Knowledge

Before conducting any hygiene training, we made repeated phone calls and visits to the local water user committee to understand the community's better challenges and lack of sanitation facilities. Our community engagement officer and the hygiene team members made several visits to this community, with each visit lasting no less than one hour, to plan for the hygiene training.

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 nine-member water user committee was encouraged to be part of the training to motivate other people to attend, too. Before the training, letters of invitation were sent out to the Councilor and the Ministry of Water Resources.

The training was held under one of the few remaining large mango trees inside the community, away from the water well. With a total of 59 households in this village, we were fortunate to note each house sent a representative to attend the training. The community's dedication was also exemplified in the number of tippy tap handwashing stations we saw already set up outside every home, as discussed in one of our pre-training meetings.

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 training was valuable to me in more ways than one. The most important thing is the knowledge shared with the community about how to keep our environment and water clean. All this is done for our benefit and the wellbeing of our families," said Nabie Kamara, the chair of the water user committee.

"COVID-19 has taken the lives of many people around the globe. Fortunately for us, the amount of deaths has been very minimal. This new knowledge will further increase our proactive efforts in making sure we practice handwashing, face mask use, physical distancing, and the use of latrines."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

December, 2020: Lokomasama, Conteya Village project underway!

Dirty water from unsafe water sources is making people in Conteya 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: Access to Water is an Answered Prayer!

February, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Conteya Community 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!

Fatmata K. is only 15, but her life has already been very challenging. She shared how getting water was before her community had a well rehabilitated last year. "It was not easy for me. When my father was alive, he used to reason with me and sometimes tell my mother not to send me down [to] the swamp to fetch water in the morning when it was cold out in the rainy season.

"But when he died, my mother remarried, and my stepfather asked me to fetch water for him from the swamp, which is beyond my mom and me. So it was like hell for me before this project was completed in this community."

Thankfully, now that the community has a reliable well, things have changed for Fatmata. "I am happy because the pressure of going down [to] the swamp in cold weather and sometimes in the rains is over. For me, this is a dream come true."

She continued, "This has always been my prayer that someday we will have a water facility in this community, and thank God we have it at our doorsteps."

Fatmata 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 Conteya Community 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 Conteya Community – 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 - The Hermosillo Family
Data Abstract Solutions, Inc.
123 individual donor(s)