Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 395 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/19/2023

Project Features

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The area of Masoila off Swarray Deen Street is quite large, with 395 people living in modern houses. There are mango trees amongst many other trees creating shade for resting during the sunny days. The area is usually accessible by car, though sometimes large potholes filled with water render the road impassable, especially during the rainy season. In the dry season, dust from passing vehicles replaces the water-filled potholes.

The main water source for people here is a seasonal well. When the well does not produce water, the children and women tasked with fetching water have to search for it elsewhere. That generally means walking an additional fifteen or twenty minutes each way to the nearest water point. The added time delays people's schedules daily schedules. For children, that means arriving to school late. Among women, those who work lose wage-earning hours, and those working at home have less time to complete their long list of tasks.

Isatu is a young teenager who lives in the community. She told us that whenever there is a water shortage at the well, she gets to school late because of the time she spends searching for water. During the dry months, Isatu spends more time looking for water than preparing for school.

One of the alternative water sources is a protected hand-dug well with a pump, but this water source is privately owned, and it is located in a fenced-in compound. Because of this, the well tends to be difficult to access as it is under the sole regulation of its owner. The second alternative water is a hand-dug well mostly open to contamination.

This community's common livelihood is petty trading and motorbike riding, the latter mostly done by the young men. A few people have small gardens behind their backyards with raised beds used to plant vegetables for consumption. The swamp and stream are far off the community, depriving the people of engaging in large-scale gardening, farming, and fishing like other communities with such resources.

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 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

April, 2021: Masoila, Off Swarray Deen Street Project Complete!

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

"Thank you for providing us with safe and reliable drinking water. This water well is a blessing to us because we can no longer struggle for safe drinking water," said Isatu Bah.

"Since the construction of this new well, all our water-related problems have been settled. We no longer have to prepare our food late because of lack of water or use the streams to launder our clothes. This well has relieved the stress from our children of going in search of water in the morning, causing them to be late for school."

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 20 meters, with the water at 14 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

There was a celebration to mark the completion of the project. It started with individual prayers, and then people sang songs of praise. Community members danced and celebrated, showing how grateful they were for providing safe and reliable drinking water for their community.

Dedication celebration

"On behalf of my fellow children in this community, I want to extend my thanks and appreciation to you for doing such a wonderful thing for us by providing a safe and reliable water source for our community. It pleases me to witness this dedication because this well has been a savior for us in this community, and we are now free from all the water problems that make us go from community to community in search of drinking water," said Abdul J.

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 may 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. When that is set, we dispatch our teams to the agreed-upon location to hold the meeting.

The training took place at one of the community member's compound, which is located very close to the well. The compound was very spacious, and it accommodated the participants well. There are trees in the compound with enough shade to protect the venue from the hot, burning rays of the sun.

Handwashing demonstration

Training topics covered include 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.

During the session on malaria and dengue fever, people started whispering because they were amazed to know that it's only an infected mosquito bite that can cause malaria and not fruits like oranges, mangoes, or drinking too much beer - as people used to say. Attendees admitted that they have been practicing the wrong thing by preventing their children from eating fruits because of a lack of knowledge. They promised to put the knowledge they acquired from the training to good use - especially the advice of sleeping inside the bed net and preventing mosquitoes from breeding by cleaning their community of stagnant water.

Tippy tap construction.

"This training is very important to me because I have acquired knowledge about hygiene and sanitation, which I think is very important for my wellbeing. So by doing all that I have been taught, I am sure to be free from malaria," said Foday Kamara, a local trader.

We also sensitized the community on COVID-19. Our trainers discussed the virus, how it is spread, and ways to prevent transmission.

"The training has helped me understand more about COVID-19 and its preventive measures like frequent handwashing with soap and water, observing physical distance, and the proper way of wearing a face mask whenever I am attending public gatherings or going to public places," said Hassanatu Bah.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

March, 2021: Lungi, Masoila, Off Swarray Deen Street project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Lungi, Masoila, Off Swarray Deen 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: No More Sleepless Nights!

May, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Masoila Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Masoila Community 2 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!

"It was like hell for me living in this community," said Hasfatu, a 45-year-old housewife, speaking of the time before we rehabilitated Masoila community's well last year.

Masoila's well would dry out for several months out of each year, making life a challenge for those responsible for fetching water there - the women and children.

"That was the most painful moment for me, especially during the month of Ramadan," Hasfatu explained. "As [a] Muslim, this is the most important period, and the only thing that makes this period a holy period is water, and that is the time that we run out of water from this community. This was a great challenge, and I had to go very far in the neighborhood to fetch water, which sometimes affect[ed] my fasting.

"As [a] Muslim woman, I have the responsibility during the period of fasting to prepare food very early in the morning and in the evening for the family. My husband [would] not care how I managed to cook the food, but the food should be on the table and that is all he cares [about]. Sometimes, I had sleepless nights thinking [about] where I [would] get water from. I believe hundreds of women in this community were going through similar challenges because there was no water available always."

But thankfully, things have changed now for Hasfatu and the other women in her community.

"[You] do not know how joyful I am having water at all times, especially during this period of fasting," Hafsatu said. "This water facility is a blessing to me in this community and I am very happy. The burden I used to have before in terms of water is over and I am now able to do all my domestic work on time and have enough sleep to gain energy for the next day."

Hasfatu collecting water.

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 Masoila Community 2 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 Masoila Community 2 – 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)