Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 180 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/30/2022

Project Features

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Movement of Faith Islamic Primary School is located in the village of Robay, four miles away from Borope village. Located on the main Port Loko Highway, it is far away from other villages making it nearly impossible for people to fetch water from the neighboring villages. All of the large trees in the area have been cut down to process charcoal.

The school was established in 1987 by the Movement of Faith Islamic Mission to improve the educational aspiration of children who would otherwise be left out of the educational system. Today, the school population of 175 students is made up of children from the surrounding villages. The school consists of a single building, two latrines, and a well, all within the school compound.

Unfortunately, the hand-dug well at the school is no longer functional. The main source was constructed and completed in 2013. Even though the project was completed, the school and community stakeholders were skeptical about the project's sustainability, so they continued to use the open swamp scoop hole to get water. Two years ago, the well stopped working entirely. Today, the school relies entirely on the open swamp for water.

The water crisis is one of the major contributing factors of primary school dropouts. The school children travel a distance of more than a mile to fetch water from a hole dug in the swamp. The round trip takes up to 40 minutes depending on how many people are fetching water there already. For students, it can take up to an hour to fetch enough water to fill a single 20-liter container.

"Every day, children are taken out of their classrooms to fetch water. Since the distance is far from the school, it is in the best interest of the students and staff to avoid repeat visits by making sure a large number of students go at a time to bring back sufficient water that can last for the entire school day," explained Head Teacher Hassan Dumbuya.

According to the interviewees and looking at the water from the alternate source, there is a likely chance that typhoid, malaria, cholera, diarrhea, and dysentery are prevalent in this community. A quick look at the water shows a dark brown color with traces of clay and worms.

"Fetching water is a major issue for the school and community. I cannot remember a day I have had access to clean and safe water," said Ramatu K, a student at the school.

Ramatu expressed her commitment to going to school, but she listed the lack of access to water as one of the main obstacles to staying in school.

"Throughout the day, either by my parents or teachers, I find myself and other children in the community traveling the road more than anything else. Little time do we have for ourselves. As a young girl, I spend most of my days either fetching water for the school or my parents, and the other half of the week is spent doing laundry and helping to prepare a full course meal," she said.

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

Well Rehabilitation

The well marked for this overhaul is currently dry and needs major work to supply adequate, clean water to the community year-round. The team will remove the pump, 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, even through the dry months.

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

Our team will offer hygiene and sanitation training sessions 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

08/18/2021: Movement of Faith Islamic Primary School Project Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at Movement of Faith Islamic 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.

"I am a pupil of Movement of Faith Islamic Primary School and a resident of Robay Village. The water well at the school ground will help to reduce the burden of going a far distance to fetch water from the swamp before going to school. This will help me to go to school earlier. The water source provided to us in the school is pure and safe to drink. I believe I cannot be infected with a stomachache as a result of drinking from it," said Ramatu C., age 9.

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 19 meters with water at 13 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!

"The availability of safe and reliable drinking water at Robay Movement of Faith Islamic Primary School is a call for celebration. We have struggled a lot to access this great opportunity, but have finally succeeded. With sufficient water on the school grounds, I believe we can properly practice hygiene and sanitation in the school. We can also have enough water to drink with no hesitation or fear of contracting water-borne diseases because we believe the water is pure and safe to drink," said teacher Hassan Dumbuya.

The dedication ceremony was a remarkable event that expressed gratitude by the school staff, pupils, and community members, especially women, for the newly completed water facility. The event took place at the newly completed water point on the school grounds in an open area at the side of the school field. There was plenty of singing and dancing at the dedication ground.

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.

Using a Tippy Tap

"The training is valuable because it has broadened my knowledge on the safe way to live in school and the community. It has also given me knowledge on washing my hands before touching any food to eat and after using the latrine. I believe that if I practice the precautionary measures properly, I will not easily get sick and be absent from school as before," said Ramatu K.

Thank you for making all of this possible!

07/09/2021: Movement of Faith Islamic Primary School project underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Movement of Faith Islamic 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

Borehole and Hand Pump

Girls and women walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - we are able to pull water to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.

A Year Later: "Goodbye to deadly cholera."

January, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Movement of Faith Islamic Primary School in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Adamsay. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Movement of Faith Islamic 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!

Life for students who attend Movement of Faith Islamic Primary School used to revolve around finding and collecting enough water from the local swamp to meet their daily needs since the hand-dug well on their school campus was not reliable. The responsibility left them exhausted, sick, and consistently missing valuable learning time.

"Before this water project was completed, the issue of water in this community was very difficult. We had to walk 1.5 miles to fetch water, and sometimes it [caused] us to [be] late for school. Life was like hell for us here in this part of the country. During the rainy season, people suffered from waterborne diseases like cholera, and even I got sick [with] cholera many times in my life. It was really painful for me in those dark days," said 13-year-old Adamsay B.

But since the school well was rehabilitated last year, things have greatly improved, and students can now quickly collect water from the school's well right outside their classrooms.

"It has helped [us] achieve safe drinking water and helped our community gain hygiene training, [and] personal [and] environmental sanitation," said Adamsay.

With safe drinking water nearby, the energy they wasted collecting water has been restored, and the waterborne illnesses that used to plague them are no longer a constant threat, so they can spend more time in class learning.

"We no longer walk a long distance to fetch water, and I am very happy that I do not come to school late because of water. And above all, goodbye to deadly cholera in our school and community," concluded Adamsay.

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 Movement of Faith Islamic 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 Movement of Faith Islamic 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!


Project Sponsor - Estate of Diana Lawler
3 individual donor(s)