Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 384 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 06/10/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

The Church of God (COD) Primary School in Rosint, Sierra Leone, was once an isolated school, but homes now surround it. The field that was reserved for the students is now used daily by two communities. The school is located on the main highway, making it easy to access, which reduces concerns for parents about their children's safety. It was originally on a three-acre piece of land, today reduced to two and a half acres due to encroachment over the years.

The school was built in 1969 by the Church of God missionaries. It was the third school in the entire chiefdom and began with just 50 students. During the 1960s, education in Sierra Leone was reserved for boys, and so there were very few girls in the beginning years. The school later expanded to include girls and now has a student population of 384 students.

The main water well at the school is facing a lot of challenges. First and foremost, it is increasingly unreliable due to a steady drop in the water table as a result of climate change. Over the years, the reduced water table has disrupted water availability, sending the community people and the students to other communities to fetch water. The nearest well to the school is owned by the parents of one of the teachers.

"We employ the help of class prefects to report any trouble makers or assign water duty to them. I dread it whenever the pump is broken because that means we have to go to the community to fetch water," explained Fatama, a student at the school.

The alternate well is located on privately owned land. It is not fenced in and is accessed any time of day by stray animals looking for a puddle of settled water to drink. The settled water creates a breeding atmosphere for mosquitoes and other insects. The well water is only chlorinated when it starts to smell bad, which is typically the smell of a rotting dead animal that fell into the well. It is often weeks or longer, however, before the water is treated and it is safe to drink again. This leaves the well unusable and the students without water in the interim.

There is also a pig pen within sight, which may contribute to further contamination of the water in the well. The numerous contaminants in the well's vicinity increase the chances that anyone who uses this source will eventually become sick from one or more waterborne or water-related illnesses.

What We Can Do:

The proposed project will increase the volume of water in the well and increase the quality. It is going to be converted from a hand-dug well to a borehole. The conversion will deepen the well an additional 20 feet or more, depending on the soil sample.

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 school 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

August, 2021: Rosint Church of God Prophecy Primary School Project Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at Church of God (COG) Prophecy Primary School in Rosint, 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.

"Before, water was the biggest constraint in our school," said one of the school's students, Rugiatu K. "Most times, we were usually late when we went out during lunch break to fetch drinking water. We are happy that we now have reliable and safe pure drinking water in our school."

Yvonne and students at the well.

It was an unfortunate incident that spurred Yvonne Lewis, one of the teachers at the school, to apply for a new well: a young boy was killed by a car while crossing the street to fetch water from a neighboring well.

"My conscience will not serve me well if I fail to be grateful," said Yvonne on the day of the well's dedication. "It is widely acknowledged that water is an essential component of life. Therefore, the water point in our school has created a positive impact on me personally."

"We were always worried in school about the risk involved in fetching water at neighboring houses. Most of us were regularly absent from school due to the cause of water-borne diseases," Rugiatu continued. "Having this safe water now will help reduce contracting illness. Today, we are grateful."

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 23 meters with water at 17 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!

Next, it was time to dedicate the well to the school. Students, teachers, community members, and local dignitaries arrived to commemorate the event.

The headteacher at COG Primary School, Mr. Wilson, welcomed and thanked the team of builders and the invited stakeholders. He expressed his gratitude for the new source of safe and reliable drinking water for their school and the community. Mr. Wilson added that this day will be a remarkable day for the school and the community people.

Teachers, children, and stakeholders rejoiced. After a while, everyone began playing with the water.

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 head of COG Prophecy Primary School had warned community members that they would not be allowed to fetch water at the school pump if they did not attend the training. Because of this, turnout was high among teachers, students, and community members alike.

Alpha Kanu, a teacher at the school and a parent of one of its students, said, "This training was valuable to me, my fellow teachers, pupils, and community members. I will never regret being a part of this training because I have got the privilege to learn new things. I strongly believe that this knowledge will be of great help to us if only we put them into positive practices."

"As soon as the pupils went inside the perimeter fence of the well, they immediately started washing their hands," said one of our field officers. "This was a clear manifestation of what they have learned from the hygiene and sanitation training about handwashing."

One of the most impactful topics for one of the students, Fatmata K. (13), was COVID-19 prevention. "This training was very essential to us as a school," she said, "because it has helped us with significant information that will empower us to build a strong defense against the COVID-19 virus. I believe if we sincerely start following all that we have learned about the disease, and take the message home to our relatives, we will contribute greatly to the fight against this deadly disease."

Another highlight for this community was the cause of malaria. No one, including the head of the school, had known that infected mosquito bites were the cause. Some people within the community had been using mosquito nets to cover their crops at night. They came away from the training empowered to prevent malaria.

Yvonne finished her interview with a vow to take care of the gift the school and the surrounding community have been given. "We will keep the water point environment clean. We will maintain the water point. Any time [monitoring staff] visit the school, they will meet the water point in good working order."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2021: Lungi, Rosint, COG Prophecy Primary School Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Lungi, Rosint, COG Prophecy Primary School drains students’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this school 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 is a blessing"

January, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped COG Prophecy Primary School in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Yvonne. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Church of God Prophecy Primary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Church of God Prophecy 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!

Last year, before the well was rehabilitated at COG Prophecy Primary School, students spent far too much time outside of class crossing a dangerous road to collect water.

"The children sometimes had to go across the road to fetch drinking water, which [was] very risky because the school is located on the highway to [the] ferry terminal, and [it] is very busy," said 48-year-old teacher Yvonne Lewis.

But now things are different since the school has its own reliable, safe water solution on campus, and students no longer have to trek across the road.

"It [is] good for drinking now, and the children are no longer going across to the next well to fetch water," said Yvonne.

She continued: "For a school to have clean and safe drinking water is a great achievement as it is the requirement from [the] government that all schools should provide safe drinking water for the pupils in the school compound. This is a blessing for me, my school, and [the] community by extension."

Yvonne outside the rehabilitated 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 Church of God Prophecy 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 Church of God Prophecy 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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