Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 350 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/02/2022

Project Features

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Ma-king village is located close to the Rokel River. Most inhabitants living here depend on fishing, farming, and mining granite for their living. In fact, Ma-king village has one of the largest deposits of granite in the country. As a result, many mining companies come to this community to mine these stones.

Community members started St. Peter Roman Catholic Primary School in Ma-king village so that their children would no longer need to walk a very long distance to neighboring villages for schooling. Mr. Ibrahim S. Bangura, a teacher in the community, was one of the founding members of this school. He said the main idea behind the school's formation was based on several incidents that led to children being harmed as they walked to schools farther off. The community people summoned a meeting in 2001 to discuss the importance of having a primary school in their village, which they began soon after.

The community youth and other stakeholders started building a mud-block house for a school at the village entrance. The school was first roofed with thatch and later upgraded to a zinc roof. The school population increased over the years until 2004, when Miss Kargbo asked the community to allow the Catholic Mission to take over the school to help handle the increasing number of students with new facilities. They all agreed at her point, and she spoke to the Catholic Mission at Port Loko to take over their Village School.

It was at that time that Father Peter A. Mansaray took over and started the construction process of the new school facilities. Upon the school's completion, the community and the Catholic mission agreed to name the school in Father Peter's name as he was a hard-working missionary who supervised the entire construction process.

Today, the school serves 261 students, but their protected well is no longer able to keep up with the school's water needs. The well has an insufficient quantity of water and runs dry at certain times of the year. The school's rainwater source is seasonal and so not available at all times. To get enough water, students and staff must then turn to the nearest stream - an open source that is unsafe for drinking and off the school grounds. Community members also use the stream to meet their water needs, which leads to overcrowding along the banks at the best access points.

"Throughout​ these years, when our school well gets dry, we choose some school kids every morning to search for clean drinking water for the school. This makes them miss some classes," explained teacher Ibrahim Bangura.

"Also, the school administration finds it difficult sometimes to care for the school toilet facility. Sometimes, when the water is finished, we send any school kid who wants to drink water to the stream. School kids who get sick and need immediate attention with water have to be sent to their parents because of our lack of safe drinking water."

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

07/30/2021: St. Peter Roman Catholic Primary School Project Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at St. Peter Roman Catholic Primary School in Sierra Leone, 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.

"I am overwhelmed today for the dedication of our newly rehabilitated water point," said student Saffie K.

"Having this water point now at easy access will help to protect me from stomachaches. Before, I was always absent from school classes due to the causes of drinking contaminated water. Now, with this safe and pure drinking water in the school compound, I will always be on time for classes in 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 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 11.8 meters with water at 7.4 meters. The hand-drill method allowed the team to install the cylinder far below the aquifer so that the community has excellent 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.

Nearing 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 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!

Our team and a representative from the Port Loko District Council arrived at Saint Peter RC Primary School grounds at about 11:04 am to dedicate the well. On our arrival, we met the students sitting under a big mango tree close to the water point, waiting to receive the dedicated team. They were excited when they saw the entourage arrive at the school grounds. They started singing and swinging their hands all around. The children were arranged to observe physical distance while singing and celebrating. After a while, they played with the water from the well.

Leaders, teachers, students, and community members made statements to grace the dedication ceremony. Mr. Abubakar Bangura, the district council representative, commended our team for providing safe drinking water for Saint Peter Roman Catholic Primary School. He emphasized that our work is boosting the government effort in the WASH sector by providing safe drinking water in the district. It helps reduce the outbreak of cholera and diarrheal diseases.

Osman A. Kamara said that for a long time, the school was facing a water crisis that was difficult to solve by the community and the school management. Mr. Kamara stressed that it is a blessing to have safe drinking water to sustain the school and its environment.

"Today, I am grateful to you for rehabilitating this water point for us in our school compound because it was over three years when the pump was not functioning. We have been facing a safe and pure water crisis in the school. The school was in bad shape, practicing bad hygiene behavior," said teacher Ramatu M. Bangura.

"The water point will create an impact on me. It will reduce costs for me. Before, I usually spent half of my salary on medications due to contaminated water causes. Now that I have safe and pure water available throughout the year and easily accessible, this will help reduce the waterborne diseases in our community. My worries are over about the students that used to go far away to fetch water from the swamp with fear of wild animals attacking them."

New Knowledge

Two days before the training, members from the hygiene and sanitation team had set up a meeting with the school’s water user committee and stakeholders of the community to inform them about the proposed hygiene and sanitation training that will last for five days.

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 join the students and attend a multi-day hygiene and sanitation training. We then dispatched our teams to the agreed-upon location to hold the meeting.

The pupils were divided into two sets. We trained each group on separate days to observe physical distance and enable every pupil to listen and understand the message from the training well because, if clustered, they will not pay attention to the training.

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.

Disease Transmission Stories was the most memorable topic during the training that captured the teachers, pupils, and community members through a very interactive session. Everyone was asking questions and gave their views about the topic, which portrays their behaviors in the school and community.

"The training was important to me and my fellow schoolmates because it has helped us learn more about Covid-19 and has also helped us with all the necessary information like signs and symptoms, its transmission route, and its preventive methods to help us prevent ourselves and families from meeting this dreadful disease," said student Eddie S.

Teachers at the training

Eddie went on to say, "The knowledge from this training which I know is an especially important piece, will serve as a guide to us only if we take it with all seriousness. And I strongly believe that we as a school will not disappoint you or waste your efforts but rather put to practice all that we have learned from this training for our betterment."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

06/07/2021: St. Peter Roman Catholic Primary School project underway!

Dirty and unreliable water is making students in St. Peter Roman Catholic Primary School sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school 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

Borehole and Hand Pump

Girls and women walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - we are able to pull water to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.

A Year Later: No more spiders!

January, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped St. Peter Roman Catholic Primary School in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Kadiatu. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in St. Peter Roman Catholic Primary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help St. Peter Roman Catholic Primary School 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!

"Things had not been easy for me growing up in this community and attending school in the same community that had no access to clean and safe drinking water," said 13-year-old Kadiatu S.

"Every morning, our teachers would send us to go and fetch water in the bush down the swamp. It was very difficult for me in the rainy season because the road will be very slippery and bushy too," said Kadiatu. "I had to remove my uniform and put on other clothes so that my uniform will not [be] soaked on the way to the swamp. There were a lot of spiders on the road to the swamp, which was very scary. And we had toilet facilities in the school, but we were not using them because there was no water in the school to take care of that; instead, we had to use the bush."

But last year, when the well on Kadiatu's school campus was rehabilitated, things changed for her. She is now able to stay at school without worrying about leaving during the day.

"I am very happy now because water is very close to me and it is easy to access. I do not have to come with water from home again because we have it in school. It has impacted so much on my life because I am no longer going in the bush to toilet, but I am comfortably using my school toilet facility at any given time."

Finally, Kadiatu remarked, "I just want to say bye-bye to my spiders on the way to the swamp."

Kadiatu 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 St. Peter Roman Catholic Primary School 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 St. Peter Roman Catholic Primary School – 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!


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