Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 176 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2022

Functionality Status:  Low/No Water or Mechanical Breakdown

Last Checkup: 07/11/2024

Project Features

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Kasongha OIC Vocational School is growing rapidly. It started in 2004 with 35 students. The school recently moved to its current location along Gbonko Road due to the popularity and ever-increasing student population.

The school's founder was Dr. Sam Maligie, a parent and teacher who saw the need for growth and personal development for some members of the community. The school has grown to 176 with added areas of study that were not available in the past. This is a vocational school made up of young adults from all over the country. Most of the vocational school students have been another opportunity to gain knowledge because either they had left the conventional school system because of a lack of resources or due to pregnancy.

But now, the 176 students do not have access to water on the school grounds. The school commissioned a well a few years ago, but it was built poorly. The walls continue to collapse due to the sub-standard work - rendering the well useless.

The nearest water point is located half a mile away from the school compound. Day in and day out, the students are asked to go to the well to fetch water for the school. The well is a popular community well, which means that the students have to wait to fill up their containers with water - depriving them of valuable class time.

"Having to fetch water is not something I look forward to doing. Most times during the school day, I cut corners on the amount of water that I use to avoid having to make more trips to the well," said Cecilia S, a student at the school.

"I pay a lot of money to attend the school, and I definitely would have expected them to have a functioning water source at the school compound."

The proposed project is going to eliminate the daily visits by the students to the community well. They will now have a constant supply of clean and safe water all year round. The good thing is that the proposed site is inside the compound next to the home of the facility manager.

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

Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul is broken down 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, 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.

"The hygiene and sanitation in this community have been steadily improving even though we have a long ways to go," said Mammy Kamara.

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

January, 2022: Kasongha OIC Vocational School Well Rehab Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at Kasongha OIC Vocational School 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.

Teachers and students celebrate the new water point.

51-year-old training manager and teacher Ibrahim Lukally explained why the new water point meant so much to the school and its students. "A good percentage of these people cannot afford to provide themselves with much-needed water, since [the] majority are coming from [a] poor background. It was a difficult situation for [the school] to depend on other people. The water crisis we have gone through as [an] institution resulted in some of [the] learners to abandon [their] classes."

"The impact of The Water Project and Mariatu’s Hope water source project will have a long positive effect," Ibrahim continued. "I believe our constraints will be forgotten. The learners themselves who are direct beneficiaries are in [a] celebrating mood, because [you have] salvaged this situation. On behalf of the management, staff, and students, I want to thank everyone for providing us [with a] reliable, safe, and pure water source [for] our noble institution and the community at large. This water source will help us achieve all our operations."

"Now, all our activities will be simple because [the] water source project has come to liberate our suffering," said Esther Kanneh, 21, a student at Kasongha. "I do hope that the water source will now turn things round for better. I am happy today that the water source has been dedicated to us and it will help us reduce the contracting of water sicknesses."

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to the community members. As Ibrahim noted, the staff and students were in a jubilant mood, singing and dancing.

The ceremony was attended by several local dignitaries from the Port Loko District Council and the Ministry of Water Resources. Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the water project. Then, Ibrahim and another student, Foday Turay (23), made statements on their community's behalf.

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 20 meters with water at 16 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!

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 school's conference hall to hold the meeting. Attendance at the school was excellent for both teachers and students.

"The new knowledge learned will help me to protect myself and those around me," said 20-year-old student Mariama Kamara. "I will take all these new ideas to those who were not around during the training, and I strongly believe that all this new knowledge is very beneficial to everybody that 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.

"During the training, we learned a lot on how to protect ourselves from the spread of diseases in our environment," said Ibrahim. "We learned the various types of hygiene and sanitation, such as personal environmental and food hygiene. [Without] this training, it would be difficult for some of us to properly take care of ourselves."

"The new hygiene and sanitation steps we will take is continuous cleaning of our school environment and frequent handwashing practice," Mariama added. "Also, we will construct tippy-taps at every corner of the school compound."

When an issue arises concerning the well, community members are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure the water point works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our field officers to assist them. Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our ongoing monitoring and maintenance program.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

December, 2021: Kasongha OIC Vocational School Well Rehab Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kasongha OIC Vocational 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: More time in class for learning!

January, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Kasongha OIC Vocational School in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Isatu. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Kasongha OIC Vocational School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kasongha OIC Vocational 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 students who attended Kasongha OIC Vocational School in Sierra Leone struggled to find enough water to meet their daily needs, missing valuable time in class learning.

"Actually, before this time, we usually [had] a lot of constraints in this institution because of the lack of water facilities. Also, when [went] outside the school compound to fetch water, it [was] hard for [us] to fetch water due to the distance," said 20-year-old Isatu.

But once we rehabilitated the well on their campus, things changed, making water easily accessible anytime they needed it.

"Now we are so happy about the completion of this well because, since the time when [you rehabilitated the well], we now have enough water to do our training and the practical works," said Isatu. "We now stay in the school compound because there is pure water and safe drinking water closer to us."

With water available anytime they need it, students are now able to reserve their time and energy for learning, which hopefully will lead to brighter futures.

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 Kasongha OIC Vocational 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 Kasongha OIC Vocational 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.


Project Sponsor - StossWater