Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 300 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 09/25/2023

Project Features

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Polloth Village is a rural community that is fast improving and catching up to the larger towns. It is vegetated and filled with various fruits and vegetables expected to be found in a tropical environment. There are back roads at every single house in the village that directly leads to the different family gardens.

The most common livelihood is farming. There is dryland farming of vegetables and swamp farming of rice. People devote all their resources to planting large hectares of pineapples, rice, cashews, palm trees, and the infamous Polloth banana - the variety of banana that has made this village famous.

The village came to our attention when it was made known to the country director that the two water points in the village are of more than 1,000 people are not functioning (go here to see the second point which we are also rehabilitating this year).

Since there is no reliable water source here, people then turn to open and unsafe swamps to get their water. One of our staff members is from this community and told us that he suffered from waterborne diseases due to drinking unsafe water in the past.

This well has not worked properly for the past 10 years. It was constructed in the late 1980s and started great until the effects of receding water tables started to cause it to run dry. The water point is not very deep, and it is prone to go dry at various points during the year.

The nearest swamp for most households is a 20-minute walk away. As a result, people will bathe and wash clothes in the same water that people bring home to cook and drink. This makes the water even less safe for people to consume. Cases of waterborne diseases are common due to this problem.

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 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

May, 2021: Polloth Village, Kroo Town Area Project Complete!

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

"My worries about looking for good water are now over. I will now put much time into my studies and other daily activities. This water point will help to bring me good health because it is exceptionally clean and pure to drink," said Lamine T, a teenaged student who lives near the well.

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 16 meters with 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

Bailing the well

Finished well

The dedication of the newly completed well in Polloth Kroo Town village is a remarkable event, said our team. On arrival at the dedication ground, everyone was gathered at the water point, ready before starting the dedication. Community members, guests from the Ministry of Water Resources, a local Councilor, and our team attended the dedication program.

The event opened with individual silent prayers and was followed by a welcoming address by the Headman. The community members were all in a jubilant mood, singing in their local dialect (Temne), praising God for giving them a good water source. People spoke on behalf of the entire community, expressing their gratitude for the water project for making it possible for them to have a quality drinking water source right at their doorsteps.

"I am delighted to receive this great help. This water facility is a great help for my community at large and me. It gives me quick and easy access to quality drinking water. I believe that this will help to reduce the risk of drinking contaminated water and enhance a healthy life," shared Ya Alimammy Kanu, a farmer living in the village.

"It will prevent us from wasting time fetching water because I do not need to go far to fetch water. This water facility will also help reduce the burden of taking risks in going to the stream to fetch water. My children will no longer late for school because there is now a water facility at my doorstep."

It was amazing to see older people singing and dancing to be free from the water challenges in their community, our team recalled. They were highly active in all the sessions of the entire dedication program.

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.

Polloth Kroo Town is a community surrounded by coconut, mango, and banana trees. Most of the houses in this community are shaded by these trees, which produce an excellent atmospheric condition. The hygiene and sanitation training took place in a privately owned compound. It was most appropriate because it was a central location for the community, and the venue was an open environment surrounded by coconut and mango trees with a very fresh atmosphere. The venue was so spacious more than fifty people could freely gather in line with the physical distancing protocol.

Nearly all of the fifty-two households in the community had a representative attend the three-day training. 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 is valuable to me personally because it has widened my knowledge to know about how to practice hygiene and sanitation in my personal life and the community at large. With the knowledge I have got from the training, I strongly believe that I can make a change in making sure that we do all the things needed to be done to enhance good health," said John Kallay, a local teacher.

The session on worms and parasites was a topic that attracted the attention of every participant in the training. The community members were surprised to learn that worm infestations can occur when someone walks barefoot, especially children who take in worm larvae by walking in contaminated water. They also did not realize that worms and parasites can be contracted by eating food without handwashing or swimming in local lakes.

Participants became extremely interested in this topic because they have realized that they have been vulnerable to worm infestation due to a lack of knowledge about the topic. But now, they said, they are all happy to know the facts about worms and parasites. The group took home the new knowledge and skills to make a change about worms and parasites in their community.

"I believe that the new knowledge and skills I have learned from the training will help promote hygiene and sanitation practices and ensure the good health of everyone in my community. It has created awareness on regular handwashing, especially after using latrines, the essence of constructing a drying rack, rubbish pit, and the proper handling of latrines. I strongly believe that if only we practice all the knowledge and skills we have learned from the training, we can have a healthy community to live longer," said Mr. Kallay.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

March, 2021: Polloth Village, Kroo Town Area project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Polloth Village, Kroo Town Area 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: Freedom At Last!

June, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Polloth 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!

Before Polloth's well was rehabilitated, Isatu suffered finding water.

"I was not feeling good, especially when we had a pump that dried up in the dry season—the time that everybody need water most," Isatu said.

"Fetching water was a great job for girls like me, and walking very early in the morning to [the] swamp to fetch water, and going back and forth, was very discouraging for me. I had no choice but to follow the rules or else you will end up being beaten by your parents, even though it was not your fault."

But now, that has changed. Isatu can fetch water right in town rather than venturing out to the swamp, leaving her time to do other things.

"I am excited for having this facility in my community for a year now," Isatu said. "It is not running dry in the dry season. [The well] has helped achieve clean and safe drinking water, and at last, I have [the] freedom to fetch [water in] my own time because the well is very close to my house."

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 Polloth 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 Polloth 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.


154 individual donor(s)