Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 317 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/16/2024

Project Features

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Masome Village is a peaceful and quiet community. The thick bushes and forests that cover this village lend not only a gorgeous and lush landscape but also tunes of birdsong and other animals'  melodious voices from their far distances in the bush. There are no loud urban sounds to disrupt the peace here.

People in Masome have preserved some of their forest due to the belief that one of their protectors and gods lives among the forest and thick bushes. As a very vegetated community, some trees are specified for certain purposes. For example, select big cotton trees that are close to the riverside are adorned with red and white clothes for their god's existence by the name of Pa Komrabai. They believe Pa Komrabai protects the village and helps them to have higher yields in farming. Any specific vegetation for their protector should not be used for any other purposes.

Most buildings in this community are made of mud blocks with zinc roofs, though there are a few thatch roof houses as well. The majority of homes are not plastered with cement. The most common livelihood in this community is selling their own farm produce in nearby markets. Some people also fish to earn a living.

Despite the surrounding greenery, the 317 people of Masone Village face daily challenges accessing enough clean, safe, and reliable water for their needs. What is meant to be the main well in the village is not working correctly and has not for more than a decade. Furthermore, in such poor shape, our teams were not aware that they were at the water point until someone told them! It is that hidden and inaccessible.

"The entrance to the current water source was very bushy to the point that any attack or accident would take time to be discovered," said one of our team members after visiting the well, referring to the dangers both humans and wild animals can pose.

Because there is no reliable water source here, people turn to open water points that cause waterborne diseases. Cases of dysentery, diarrhea, and cholera are frequently reported among families as a result.

"The only protected water well in my village was constructed here in 1986. This well has been broken for over ten years now. Since then, my community has been using the alternate water source, which is the stream. The stream water source is hazardous for school-going kids," explained Pa Umaro Conteh, the village Headman.

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, 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

July, 2021: Masome Village Project Complete!

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

"This water source is a great help to me as a student because I used to walk a far distance to the stream to fetch water. Now I can access quality water to drink with no fear of getting sick from contaminated water," said 16-year-old Abdulai K. "I can now get enough water on time for my mother to cook early and perform other domestic activities."

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, which we use to hold and maneuver each drilling tool. 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 19.7 meters with water at 16.7 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.

We installed screening and a filter pack to keep out debris when the water is pumped with drilling complete. 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.

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 helped redirect runoff and spilled water to help avoid standing water at the well, which can be uncomfortable and 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!

A good number of community people were in a jubilant mood to mark the dedication of the well. People came out with empty five-gallon containers beating them as musical instruments and singing in their local language, Temne, praising the opportunity to access quality water in their community.

They also expressed in songs their gratitude to our team for such a great gift given to them. As they arrived at the well, the team assembled them in the best position to maintain physical distancing during their singing and dancing. The community people and a representative from the Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR) for Port Loko district were all in attendance for the dedication ceremony.

The community headman made a statement of appreciation for allowing them to access quality water in the community. A student from the community also made a statement highlighting the previous water challenges they had before getting the new well. The MOWR representative made the last statement expressing gratitude for helping the community and the district at large. He urged Masome Community members to use and protect the facility carefully. The whole ceremony ended with more celebration.

Mr. Osman Fofanah, a representative from the Ministry of Water Resources

"I am very overwhelmed by this great opportunity we have from Mariatu’s Hope and The Water Project. This water will not only impact my life alone but the entire Masome Community. This has laid to rest my worries about children who used to go through the bush to fetch water from the swamp being afraid of poisonous animals in the bush. This well will help to reduce the rate of sickness in this community as a result of drinking contaminated water," shared Umaru Conteh after the dedication.

New Knowledge

Before conducting any hygiene training, we made repeated phone calls and visits to the local water user committee to understand better 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.

Every household was represented at the training. The training took place in a compound located on the right side of the main road at the center of the community. The space was large enough for everyone, under a big mango tree that provided shade, ventilation, and proper physical distancing.

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.

A community member expressed how happy he was about the training since he believed the knowledge gained from the training would help shape the lives of everyone in the community and change them for the better. Different views were given, and many questions were answered. They promised to keep their community clean, deviate from all practices that will endanger their health safety, and practice their knowledge from the training to give them a healthy community.

"The knowledge gathered from the three-day training is very important to us because we were able to learn new skills in taking care of ourselves, children, and the community at large. The training has given us in-depth knowledge on preventing sicknesses and how to keep our community healthy. The awareness from this training will help shape our lives and improve the hygiene and sanitation level of this community," said Fatama K.

"I strongly believe that we can be able to prevent ourselves from most of these diseases. I will now serve as an agent of change to let my community members adhere to all the advice given to us by the team."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2021: Masome Village project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Masome Village 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: Chores Done Faster!

August, 2022

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Masome 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 we rehabilitated the well in Masome last year, every day involved grueling trips to the local stream.

"It was not easy for us in this community," said 30-year-old farmer Mabinty Sesay. "It was like hell for me considering the distance I used to cover every day to go to the stream to fetch water. From my house to the stream is very far, and most of the time I did not have enough water in my house to drink or to do all my domestic work. I have more [than one] dozen people living under my roof, and fetching water for them all was a tedious job for me and [the] other girls living with me. My children below six years [old] had to come on board to help with fetching water because it was not easy for me."

But with a rehabilitated well close by, Mabinty told us she is now able to accomplish much more throughout the day. "It is much better for me, and, I believe, the community as [a] whole. The distance has reduced and we have full access to this water facility, even though it is not providing enough water for the whole community."

Although the well has been rehabilitated to our standards, unfortunately, a regional drought has caused it to become dry during two short periods in the past year. Our field technicians answered the community's service calls on both occurrences only to find water was available within 24 hours.

"It is much more better," Mabinty said. "We are happier having this well than nothing. ...Now the number of buckets are increasing before it dries up."

Mabinty's observation lines up with our estimations, given that at the time of this reporting (August 2022), Sierra Leone's rainiest month is currently underway. With an abundance of rain incoming and The Water Project building more wells in Mabinty's area than ever before, life in Masoma should continue to get easier.

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 Masome 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 Masome 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 Sponsor - StossWater