Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 450 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/03/2024

Project Features

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The central well in Bai Bureh Junction is a protected dug well installed in 1992 by another organization, but currently monitored and chlorinated by The Water Project's field partner, Mariatu's Hope. Sadly, it can no longer provide sufficient water for the 450 community members that depend on it.

Seasonality has caused the static water level to drop over time, making access to enough water impossible, especially during the dry season. The lack of water at the protected well leads people to take dangerous trips to other parts of the community searching for water.

Early in the morning, before the call for prayers, people are out and about looking for a quick way to access water. Women and children line up in long queues, but inevitably the water runs low, and arguments start. Often these arguments end with the local chiefs having to intervene to settle them.

After school, the children repeat the search, going anywhere possible to find water. Alternative clean water sources are available, but they are too far away and require too much time and energy to reach. Additional unprotected water sources nearby include an open, hand-dug well and the local swamp, both of which only provide dirty or salty water, which means people risk becoming ill with water-related diseases.

However, one of the most critical problems presented by the lack of water when the well runs dry is the significant danger for children as they cross back and forth over the busy main road while searching for water.

Village Headman and farmer Pa Dauda Turay, 60, shared, "The number of young lives we have lost due to hit and run either by a motorcycle or a car is too much to state. I am so fearful that I have constructed my house away from the main highway. I prefer my children go far distances than venture across a heavy traffic road with drivers or riders that are not observant or [who do not] adhere to traffic laws. Over-speeding is the main cause of all the accidents that occur on this road."

He described the community's heartbreak. "This year, we as parents and elders have grieved for our daughters and sons that have been taken away before their time."

He continued describing the responsibility he feels for ensuring the community keeps their children safe. "I am the current headman, and everyone looks up to what I do as a community head. I have spoken to parents to avoid having children or adults cross the road when the ferry is coming to dock or planning to leave. As a village head and town crier, [I] have gone around the community to make sure [the message is heard] that if something is not done shortly, more lives will be lost."

Rehabilitating the well into a drilled borehole will ensure clean, safe water is available for everyone throughout the year, hopefully reducing the number of fatalities from accidents and relieving Pa Dauda Turay of his heavy burden.

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, the 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

January, 2022: Bai Bureh Junction Well Rehab Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at Bai Bureh Junction in Sierra Leone is now 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 completion of this water point has helped me to avoid getting up very early," said student Hannah K., 17. "An extra hour or two of sleep translates to paying more attention in the classroom. I can also do other chores around the house before going to school. I remember always skipping my leftover rice with sauce because of not having enough time to heat it up in the morning. Now, I even arrive at school earlier than normal with time to go over my notes and homework."

Hannah pours freshly fetched water from the new well.

"The access to this water point has eliminated the issue with children crossing the street to Mahmoud's well to fetch water," said the village's headman, Dauda Foray, 55. "I have a lot of people in my house, and we use a lot of water throughout the day. My biggest fear has been reduced. No longer will a child cross the busy road to access water at an open water well."

Dauda fills a cup at the new well.

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to the community members. The ceremony was attended by several local dignitaries from the Port Loko District Council and the Ministry of Water Resources. Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the water project. Then, Hannah and Dauda made statements on their community's behalf.

The ceremony concluded with celebration, singing, and dancing. The community members sang songs in their native language of Susu, thanking the donors for a job well done.

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 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.

Finally, we lined up the drill rods and started to drill! We reached a final depth of 21 meters with water at 12 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.

With drilling complete, we installed screening and a filter pack to keep out debris when the water is pumped. We then cemented an iron rod to the well lining and fixed it with an iron collar at the top. Next, we bailed the well by hand for three days and flushed it, clearing any debris generated by the drilling process. Finally, we tested the yield to ensure the well would provide clean water with minimal effort at the pump.

Yield test.

As the project neared completion, we built a cement platform, walls, and drainage system around the well to seal it off from surface-level contaminants. The drainage system helps to redirect runoff and spilled water to help avoid standing water at the well, which can not only be uncomfortable but unhygienic and a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

At last, we installed the stainless steel India Mk11 pump and conducted a water quality test. The test results showed that this is clean water fit for drinking!

New Knowledge

Before conducting any hygiene training, we made repeated phone calls and visits to the local water user committee to better understand the community’s challenges and lack of sanitation facilities. We shared the findings from our discussions with the committee members to help them make the necessary adjustments before the training began. For example, we identified households without handwashing stations or ones that may need to repair their latrines. With this information, community members worked together to improve hygiene and sanitation at home.

After this preparatory period, we scheduled a time when members from each household 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.

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.

Dauda learned a new method of constructing handwashing stations, which he said will be very beneficial for the community at large. "The tippy tap will be very useful in this community simply because not everyone can afford to buy the more expensive veronica buckets," he said. "They could be left outside and be installed anywhere around the house, easy to operate and construct. This new knowledge gained will and has created an awareness on proper hygiene and sanitation."

The most memorable topic at Bai Bureh Junction was when facilitators showed posters with examples of good versus bad hygiene practices. One woman volunteered a story about her entire family being stricken with diarrhea. She had seen one of the family chickens jump into the food, but after spending so much time and money on the meal, she thought it was impossible to throw the food out. She said she will no longer dish food out for her family on the ground.

Another topic the community members found interesting was dental hygiene. Many people experienced toothaches but weren't sure why. However, when the facilitators asked about their dental hygiene practices, some people said they had never used a toothbrush or toothpaste but only sticks and fingers to clean their teeth. Facilitators demonstrated how best to take care of teeth to avoid future toothaches.

Elizabeth Hindo, 42, a petty trader, learned that not every method of maintaining proper hygiene needs to be expensive. "As a parent, even though we are struggling to get by, I am still going to put measures in place to protect every member of my family. Tippy-taps are easy to construct and affordable. I am going to make sure my house will have a handwashing station, with the kitchen also getting a hand washing station. The latrine will also have one. All of this is going to be done before venturing into the community to tell them to practice the same."

A training facilitator constructs a tippy-tap for handwashing.

When an issue arises concerning the well, community members are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our field officers to assist them. Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

December, 2021: Bai Bureh Junction Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Bai Bureh Junction drains people’s 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: "This water point has impacted my entire family life."

January, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Rosint Community 4.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rosint Community 4 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!

Last year the community members in Bai Bureh Junction had to find water wherever they could, costing them valuable time and risking their health.

"Thanks to the almighty God for keeping me alive. To have clean drinking was difficult for me. Most times, my wife could not cook on time. Even taking my bath two times a day was difficult for me. My children usually went to school late, and they were sent home by the teachers. All [this] happened because of [a] shortage of water in this community," said 67-year-old farmer Dauda Turay.

But since their well was rehabilitated last year, things have been different, and now people can collect water whenever they need it.

"This water point has impacted my entire family life. Now, all domestic activities are done on time. We are drinking safe and pure water now," said Dauda. "The water point has never [gone] dry since the completion last year. My family and I are using more than two hundred liters of water a day for domestic activities."

Dauda 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 Rosint Community 4 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 Rosint Community 4 – 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 Sponsor - StossWater