Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 327 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/27/2023

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

The primary water source for the 327 people in Bofi Village is located at the village entrance, making it also accessible to the village school and community members. Unfortunately, the well does not provide enough water for the entire population, causing significant community constraints. The months of March to May are when the well is completely dry, and the community and the school rely on a hole dug in the ground for their source of water.

"Water is life, and It is the best thing that as the headman of the village, I can provide for my family. For over five years, we have started to see the effects of climate change and water quality and quantity. I have asked for help from several people, including the Councilor, and no answer," said Alimamy Conteh.

Three months out of the year is a long time to be without adequate and clean water. People who are not fortunate to afford to buy containers have to settle for drinking water from the scoop hole. The first sign of low water recharge will suddenly start the frenzy of people stockpiling and will immediately erupt into arguments and fights. Seasonal water well never provides sufficient water to the entire community. Furthermore, whenever a water point is seasonal, there is bound to be contamination. The community mentioned that when the water table is low, the water's color changes and brings out a lot of mud.

The community is located approximately 2 miles from the main road leading to the center of business. Upon entering the village, there are bushels of rice scattered on the road to dry. The women and children are responsible for the process of preparing the rice to be cleaned by hand. Walking down the road, we passed men and young boys on the way coming from the woods with a machete in one hand and some fruit in the other.

The most common livelihood is farming. Produce such as pepper, cucumbers, garden eggs, rice, potatoes, and cassava are a few of the items planted throughout the year.

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 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 handwashing 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: Bofi Village Project Complete!

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

"I am happy that we have got a safe water source in our community. This can help to minimize my struggle for water to drink," said 15-year-old student Allie B.

Allie described how difficult it was to get water before the new waterpoint. "I used to go a long distance to fetch water, but now I can fetch water at the new well not far from my house. It was sometimes challenging to access water from our usual source in the dry season because of the low water level. It sometimes dried and ceased to supply water for the community."

He went on to say, "The water source we used to fetch from is not pure. We had no option but to drink from it. A situation like this was exceedingly difficult for me as a student, because I needed water to prepare for school. This water source will also help to reduce the rate of sicknesses we had in this community because of poor water conditions."

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 12 meters with water at 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.

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!

Ward Councilor, Paul Dickson, Celebrating

Once completed, it was time for the team to make their way to Bonfi village to dedicate the newly completed water source to the community. The ceremony included plenty of singing and dancing. There were also statements made by the Ward Councilor from the local government, a representative of the women in the community, and a student from the community. They expressed profound gratitude for the waterpoint and encouraged community members to see the water source as a solution and an end to their past challenges.

Dancing and Celebrating (some in masquerade)

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 team of trainers, Paul Bangura, Fatmata Kalokoh, and Rosaline Ngekia, to the agreed-upon location to hold the meeting.

The training was held close to the center of the community, opposite the mosque, because the area was spacious and shaded by trees. Eighty adults and community leaders attended 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.

"Generally, the training is very essential to me because it has given me a wider knowledge on how to live a healthy life in the community. Now, I have realized that most of the sicknesses we had in the community were because of improper hygiene and sanitation. I consider handwashing as the most helpful part of the training. We must wash hands before touching food to eat and also after using the toilet or working. We also need handwashing to prevent us from sicknesses," said Fatmata Bangura, a 30-year-old trader.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

July, 2021: Lokomasama, Bofi Village project underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Bofi 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!

A Year Later: "It serves the community well"

January, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Bofi 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!

Alie B., a 15-year-old from Bofi, described what life was like before the well in his community was rehabilitated last year.

"Before this project was completed in my community, it was a great challenge for me as a child living in a community without [a] sustainable drinking water facility," said Alie.

"This water point was functional, but it [ran] dry in the dry season, and that is the point I use to feel the pinch as a child," said Alie. "In the dry season, I [found] it difficult to go down [to] the swamp to fetch [water], bathe, and come back before going to school. Sometimes I [would] go to school very late, and sometimes I [didn't] go to school if I looked at the time because the distance from my village to my school is more than five miles away."

But things are different now for Alie since he can rely on the well and no longer has to make the long, exhausting trek to the swamp.

"I am happy now that this water point is functional at all times, and it serves the community well," said Alie. "Having access to clean and safe drinking water that is reliable all year round is a great achievement."

Alie standing 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 Bofi 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 Bofi 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