Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 745 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/12/2024

Project Features

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Kulafai Rashideen Primary School is neatly located in the middle of the Royeama community, with houses surrounding the school compound. Two buildings form the trademark L-shape that most builders have become accustomed to making. The empty land in the front of the school building is used for the agricultural program that the school has embarked on, and also for the school assembly.

The school was built in 1994 by the late father of the current Paramount Chief, Pa Abdulahi Kamara. He was a man that believed in the power of education. He came together with some stakeholders, and an acre of land was given for the school's construction. The school began with just 75 pupils and grew to the current population of 745 students today.

The well at the school was constructed in 2012 by the stakeholders of the community. The collaborative efforts were to improve the availability of clean and safe water for the students and the community. A few years later, the well started experiencing the effects of global warming. With a rapidly reducing water table, the well ceased to produce any more water, and the students were left scrambling for water wherever they could get it. Most turn to a well located outside the school grounds that is often restricted from student use.

"As the head of the school, it is my responsibility to make sure that water, hygiene, and sanitation facilities are within reach of all students and staff. I live a few houses away from the school compound. Having this many children with no adequate water supply is simply disturbing and endangers their lives," said Head Mistress Frances Kanu.

"The situation was so bad that we had to employ the assistance of the parents to limit the time students spend out of the school to fetch water."

The school's large population requires a continuous and safe supply of water that the well cannot provide. To reduce the time spent by students fetching water for their respective classrooms, parents have taken that role and have assured the school administration that they will help provide water every day. This initiative is a temporary solution that still leaves some areas of the compound without adequate water. Due to the lack of water, the school is filthy, and the latrines are littered with feces, our teams found.

"We are not only deprived of clean and safe water, but we are also risking our lives because there are no handwashing stations to reduce our chances of contracting the greatest pandemic that has ever gripped the entire world," added Kadiatu, a student at the school.

"It is more a responsibility of the teachers, school board, and parents to hold them accountable for not providing a safe learning environment for us. I hate having to choose anyone to go for water anywhere in the community. Instead, I put pressure on my parents, and they, in turn, pressure the school teachers and other parents for water at the school."

There is only one tree in the entire school compound. Children are left with no choice but to sit and play under the hot and humid sun. The lack of shade and sufficient water supply adds to students' already terrible situation wandering from house to house for water to drink and a place to pass the time during the lunch break.

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

March, 2022: Kulafai Rashideen Primary School Well Rehab Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at Kulafai Rashideen Primary 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.

"The struggles are finally over!" said school Principal Francess Kanu, 45. "Now classes start on time and end on time. In the past, the number of students that started the day was never the same at the end of the day. Most students were always looking for ways to leave the school grounds, and going to [get] water was the quickest and easiest way to go without any questions. I know the school's overall attendance record is going to increase."

Francess celebrates with students.

"I used to suffer trying to get water early in the morning before school starts," said nine-year-old Awayu B. "Now, I only have to make sure I get to school early to fetch water for my classroom. The completion of this water well has had a positive impact on my life."

We asked Awayu if the newly rehabilitated well will help her achieve anything she had been hoping to accomplish.

"Some of my goals now that this water well is completed are to make sure I improve my grades and keep my uniform and shoes clean," Awayu said.

Then she explained how this well will solve another problem for her: "My mother spends a lot of time braiding my hair, and most times the reason it gets messed up is because I carry [water] containers on my head throughout the week at home and at school. Now that carrying water on my head for the school is no longer, I will only be braiding my hair once a week instead of the usual twice a week."

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to the community members. The ceremony was attended by several local dignitaries from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Water Resources, and the Port Loko District Council. Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the water project.

Awayu speaks at the dedication ceremony.

Then, Francess and Awayu made statements on their community's behalf.

"I was selected out of all the other young girls in the entire school to speak at the dedication ceremony because I take my time to study and have been practicing at home," Awayu said. "I like to always come to school early so I can get an early start with my studies."

The ceremony concluded with celebration, singing, and dancing.

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 18 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.

Yield test in progress.

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 agreed-upon location to hold the meeting.

"As a Head Teacher, there are things I learned that I have overlooked in the past," said Francess. "The first embarrassing moment came when I was told to clean up my office by the hygiene team. My students and I came out thirty minutes later with dirt that filled a small bucket. The dust had settled on books as well as on furniture. [The training] has greatly improved my knowledge of safe hygiene practices."

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.

Students watch a handwashing lesson.

Francess added: "This new knowledge is going to help me keep handwashing [a] daily activity within the school ground, and also to make sure all [our] food sellers take proper care of [their] food before they are allowed to sell in the school ground."

"I am very happy to be asked to be part of the hygiene training," Awayu said. "I have learned a lot about handwashing and taking care of my teeth."

"The school now has drinking buckets, and one is placed inside every class with one cup," Awayu continued. "I prefer to use a plastic water bottle by myself [rather] than sharing a cup with all the other students so I will prevent disease transmission. Disease transmission was one of the lessons taught in the hygiene training and I am going to make sure I follow most of the lessons. I have learned a lot from the training and those lessons will be shared with others."

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!

February, 2022: Kulafai Rashideen Primary School Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Kulafai Rashideen 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: No longer leaving school to fetch water!

March, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Kulafai Rashideen 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 we installed a well at Kulafai Rashideen Primary School, students used to go door to door in the community to beg for water.

"We have been suffering for quite a long time. We had to go to the nearby houses during lunchtime to fetch water for cleaning the school toilets," said 8-year-old Awayu B.

But since the well was installed, things have improved for students, and they are safely within the school during the daytime with plenty of water at their disposal.

"But now, we are happy because, since you helped us with this well, we are no longer going out of the school compound again to fetch [water]," said Awayu.

"Our biggest goal was to have good drinking water in the school compound, which [we] have now by help," concluded Awayu.

With water whenever she needs it now, Awayu will hopefully have more time and energy to dream about other great things for her future.

Awayu in front of 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 Kulafai Rashideen 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 Kulafai Rashideen 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.


52 individual donor(s)