Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/30/2024

Project Features

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The entire Lungi Government Hospital compound is fenced in. Within, there is a vast land, and at the center of it, there are buildings used for patient wards, laboratories, storage, and administrative buildings. The property's front has a large open space used as a car park and the patients' waiting area.

Simultaneously, the back of the buildings looks bushy due to the weeds that fill empty raised beds used for agricultural purposes during the rainy season. Then, the gardens are filled with vegetables and legumes. Trees within the compound produce both fruit and shade, accommodating patients waiting for treatment, especially when the day is sunny and hot.

This well is located on the grounds of the Lungi Government Hospital. The patients typically use this well, but a drop in the water table led to low water quantity. It tends to be very time- and energy-consuming to fetch water from here because so little water comes out. This prevents patients and staff from accessing water whenever they need it.

"People have to wait to fetch water sometimes, which is very problematic," said Dr. Alusine Yillah.

"Someone might come who urgently needs water but has to wait in line with the rest of the people to get it. This is very straining for our patients and us."

The borehole with the submersible pump is only useful when there is a power supply to the facility, which is not a regular occurrence. When there is a power cut, the entire facility also runs out of water because there is no storage tank to store water for later use. Patients and staff must then turn to the nearest community well. Fortunately, it is functional, but since it serves the nearby households, it is usually crowded.

"Accessing water in the hospital is not easy, especially when there is a high need for water by many people. We have to wait in line to fetch water, and sometimes when one is sick and has no one to help out, we have to wait until the pump is free and easily accessed," said Samuel, a patient we spoke to at the hospital.

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, 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 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.

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

August, 2021: 1 Kamara Street, Government Hospital Project Complete!

We are excited to share that there is a safe, reliable borehole well at the government hospital staff quarters in Lungi. As a result, the community members no longer have to rely on unsafe water to meet their daily needs. We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training, which focused on healthy practices such as handwashing and using latrines.

Clean Water Restored

"Today, I am happy because my worries about looking for water are over," said Fatmata, a student and sister of one of the nurses who works at the hospital. Fatmata resides with her sister in the staff quarters where the well was installed.

"This new water source is next to my doorstep, and it is always available," Fatmata shared. "The water tank which we used as our main water source [before this] is not clean. This new water source will help to restore us to pure and reliable drinking."

It was a rainy day when the new well was dedicated to staff and family at Lungi Government Hospital, but that did not deter anyone from celebrating. The dedication ceremony included many happy nurses as well as some local dignitaries, like representatives from the Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR); District Mapping Officer Mr. Osman Fofanah; Port Loko District Council (PLDC) Evaluation Officer Mr. Abu Bakarr Bangura; Lungi Government Hospital (LGH) Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Mr. Osman Conteh; and the Hospital's Deputy Matron, Margaret Turay.

Osman Conteh, the hospital's Monitoring and Evalution Officer, began the dedication by making a statement. After thanking everyone, he said, "It is good we now have a reliable water source that will help us as health workers to do proper hygiene at the quarter. This day is very important to us living at the hospital quarter because we have got a new water source at the time we need it most, especially when our usual water source is not functional. This new water source will provide sustainable water for the entire quarter."

The Matron of the hospital made a statement expressing her appreciation. According to her, everyone is very happy to see that the water challenge is solved for the hospital quarters.

Fatmata also expressed her appreciation at the ceremony for resolving the constraints they had in accessing water. She mentioned that there is now enough water at the quarters to use the sanitation facilities effectively.

The Process

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 the team to store their belongings, along with meals for the duration of their stay. The following day, the work began.

First, we raised the tripod, the structure we use to hold and maneuver each of the drilling tools. Next, we measured the well's original depth. We then socketed the pipes and installed a casing.

The team took material samples after putting each five-foot length of drill stem into the hole. We labeled the bags so we could review them later to determine the aquifer locations.

On the second day of drilling, the team expanded the hole and cleared it of mud. After reaching a total depth of 31 meters, the team forcefully pumped clean water into the well to clear any mud and debris from the drilling process. We then protected the screened pipe by adding a filter pack. The team hoisted the temporary drilling casing to fortify the pipes with cement.

Next, we bailed the well by hand for three days before conducting a yield test to verify the water quantity. The yield of this well was 60 liters per minute, with a static water level of 13 meters. With these excellent results, we installed a stainless steel India MkII pump. Water quality test results showed that this is clean water fit for drinking!

New Knowledge

Two members of the hygiene and sanitation department went to the Lungi Government Hospital Quarters to meet with the Matron (who is also the chairman of the Water User Committee) to inform them about the proposed hygiene and sanitation training to be held at the quarters.

We scheduled a time when those using the water point could attend a multi-day hygiene and sanitation training. We then dispatched our teams to the agreed-upon location to hold the meeting.

We agreed that the training would be for 2 days rather than 3, because the participants are all nurses and doctors working at the Lungi Government Hospital, and they have all received training in the past.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps, good and bad hygiene habits, disease transmission and prevention, worms and parasites, dental hygiene, proper care of the well's pump, keeping the water clean, the cost recovery system, dish racks and clotheslines, the importance of toilets, keeping latrines clean, balanced diets, the diarrhea doll, and HIV and AIDS. We deferred the COVID-19 training to the nurses who had conducted the COVID-19 training for the community.

"The training was unbelievably valuable to me because it has helped refresh my memory on things that I have long ago learned and forgotten about," said Osman Conteh. "I have gained new knowledge, especially about the construction of the tippy tap using local materials. I am advising the nurses who deal directly with the patients that they should not only treat them, but also to incorporate these training messages with medications."

Some of the participants had never seen a tippy-tap constructed before. Participants with one-gallon containers rushed to the table to construct their own tippy-taps because they all wanted to learn this new, affordable innovation.

A nurse from the group expressed that she will go and construct tippy-taps for her family at their compound and latrine since her relatives are not with her at the quarters.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2021: Lungi, Suctarr, 1 Kamara Street, Government Hospital Pump 1 project underway!

Dirty and unreliable water is making people around 1 Kamara Street in Suctarr, Sierra Leone 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: Improved sanitation conditions for patients!

January, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Lungi Government Hospital Staff Quarters.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lungi Government Hospital Staff Quarters 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!

The Lungi Government Hospital desperately needed clean water before the well on the hospital campus that the staff relied on was rehabilitated last year.

"Before the rehabilitation of this well, getting pure and safe drinking water was a big issue. We found it difficult to run [the] sanitation affairs of the hospital, especially the cleaning of the hospital toilets and taking care of the patients," said 34-year-old nurse Binta Nah.

But thankfully, things have dramatically improved since last year, and the staff is now used to operating with enough water to make a difference for their patients and their health.

"Actually, the intervention of [this] project has immensely improved the sanitation of the hospital because we have enough water to do the cleaning," said Nurse Nah.

"Having pure and safe drinking water has reduced the rate of death in the hospital, which is a big achievement because a hospital cannot run properly without the availability [of] water," concluded Nurse Nah.

Nurse Nah standing outside the rehabilitated 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 Lungi Government Hospital Staff Quarters 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 Lungi Government Hospital Staff Quarters – 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.