Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 121 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/23/2024

Project Features

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The well at 32 Gbainty Bunlor is situated between the villages of Yongoroo and Gbainty Bunlor. The area is a little less developed than other villages with more patches of bushes than buildings. The most common livelihoods for the 112 people living here are fishing, farming, gardening, and petty trading. All types of vegetables and fruits are planted at the swamps that practically surround the community, so there are always different fruits and vegetables to be harvested throughout the year.

The main water source here is a hand-dug well that is slowly falling victim to global warming. The reduction in water level during the dry season each year is affecting water availability and creating long lines with arguments. This is the time of year that people all over the country are scrambling for access to safe water. People that lack an adequate water supply in their communities make their way to other communities to fetch clean water. Their intrusion causes arguments and adds to the shortage of water for other members of the more local community.

"Children suffer the most whenever there is a water crisis in any community. I find myself making more trips to the swamp than ever before, especially since it is the beginning of the dry season. The water we fetch from the stream and swamp is not clean at all," said teenager Fatmata.

The lack of sufficient water is sending community members like Fatama into the swamp to do laundry, bathe, and fetch water for cooking. Fetching water from the swamp is done early in the morning to ensure the cleanest water possible is fetched. Some people will choose to reserve the water from their turn at the hand-dug well for drinking purposes only since it is safer than the swamp water. Still, the water demand is increasing day by day, and the well water is insufficient.

"My children are all in the city attending school. The responsibility of fetching water for the home lies solely on my wife and me. Having a water well that is functioning would be a big help," said Mohamed Kamara, a local farmer.

Here’s what we’re going to do about it:

Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul 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: Lungi, Yongoroo, 32 Gbainty Bunlor Project Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at 32 Gbainty Bunlor Street in Yongoroo, 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.

"Now that this water source has been rehabilitated and is fully functional, my children will easily fetch water from the well in our community. They will no longer go to school late, and I will not be receiving complaints of the lateness of my children by their teachers. Also, they will now be using clean water to launder their uniforms and I will not be forced to be changing them frequently as before," said Ya Alimamy Kamara, a mother.

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 24 meters with water at 19 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.

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!

"We were really suffering for water in this community. One of my friends almost fell into an open well at one time in our neighboring community because she was in a hurry to fetch water in order for her not to be late for school. Now that this facility has been rehabilitated and is easily accessible, we will no longer be faced with the so many challenges we were facing. We will now have clean water to especially launder our uniforms after school and have more energy to focus on our studies," said 15 year old female student Hawanatu.

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.

"The knowledge gathered from this training is very important to me and my fellow community members because through this training we have learned facts about COVID-19, which has helped in answering the many questions we once had about its mode of transmission, signs and symptoms, and preventive measures. The new knowledge and skills obtained from this training is very essential to us as a community. And I believe that, if we put to positive use all that we have learned about COVID-19, and follow all its guidelines, we will prevent the virus from spreading and we will live disease-free lives in this community," said Salamatu Dumbuya. a female trader.

"The knowledge acquired from this training is very important to me and my fellow community members because we have learned more about personal and environmental hygiene. It has helped us with the skills in caring for ourselves, families, and our community," commented a 17 year old girl, Nthuma.

The councilor, men, women, and children of the community were in attendance. The well was dedicated with prayers to God Almighty for his provision of the funds used in rehabilitating the well. The councilor was very happy with the finished project. He joined everyone in the celebration by singing and dancing to express the joy felt in their hearts.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2021: Lungi, Yongoroo, 32 Gbainty Bunlor project underway!

Dirty and unreliable water is making people in Yongoroo, Sierra Leone sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this community 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

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: Improved hygiene and sanitation!

January, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Yongoroo Community 3.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Yongoroo Community 3 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 the well was rehabilitated in Yongoroo last year, community members spent too much time and energy collecting their water from the local swamp.

"Before, the pump that was installed was too heavy for [us] to pump, especially for an old woman like me and [the] children who were accessing this facility," said 55-year-old Ya Alimammy Kamara, the well caretaker. "The pump was frequently breaking down to the point that every community member was frustrated in giving contributions towards the repairs of the pump. It was a difficult moment for everyone living in this community."

But things are different now, and improvements have been made in the community, making life better for everyone and water easier to access.

"Now the pump is working fine. And most importantly, it is fenced, disallowing animals from having access to the well, improving on our hygiene and sanitation. And as a trader, I am able to do my business without having any worries about coming to this pump. The pump is easy to pump, and there is enough water to serve me at all times," concluded Ya Alimammy.

Ya Alimammy with a community member 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 Yongoroo Community 3 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 Yongoroo Community 3 – 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.


Potomac Heights Baptist Church
State Farm Companies Foundation Employee Match
Hamilton Lane Advisors Employee Match
Numined Diamonds
North Dunedin Baptist Church
Cardinal Health Employee Match
9 individual donor(s)