Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 348 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/02/2024

Project Features

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Tardi is a community located along the highway to the ferry terminal from Lungi. It is pretty easy to locate this community because of its proximity to the main ferry terminal. Main Motor Road divides the community into two opposite parts. On the other side of the community, people cultivate crops. Large mango trees once surrounded the area, but most trees have been cut down to make room for more buildings due to the ever-increasing population.

On the day of our most recent visit, the entire community was so busy. People were entirely engaged in their domestic duties, especially fish and other sea product processing. Some people were also busy cultivating their crops in their various backyard gardens.

The everyday livelihoods of people in this community include fishing, farming, and gardening. Almost every day, men in this community spend their whole day in the sea fishing to make money and support their families. Women sell fish caught by their husbands to generate income for their households. Some people depend on gardening to grow vegetables and fruits such as corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, and cassava to sell for their livelihoods.

The main well is one of the oldest sources of water in the community, but it has begun to show the effects of global warming from its reducing water volume. Each year, there has been a slight drop in the amount of water in the well. With the reduction in the volume of water also comes frequent breakdowns.

Every day, the community is getting bigger and bigger with increasing water demand. The main well is not a reliable source for the 348 people living here.

"I have seen my share of problems in the community. I hear all complaints about not having enough water in the community, and also when there is a pump breakdown. All the people in the community prefer the use of this water point to other wells in the community. Making it functional all year round is of the utmost importance," said Headman Adikalie Kamara.

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. Our 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

We 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

August, 2021: Tardi, #195 Airport Ferry Road Project Complete!

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

"This water point has added life to us, because I believe that clean and pure water is life," said Abdulrahman Fofanah, a 52-year-old local farmer. "The water from this water point is safe and therefore will help to prevent water-borne diseases. The demand for this water point is going to be high, because it is now the safest and [most] reliable water point in this entire community." Abdulrahman was appointed by the other members of the Water Users Committee as the pump's caretaker.

Abdulrahman's neighbor, Maferreh S., a 16-year-old student, said, "I am a person with a disability. I cannot walk except in a wheelchair. I suffered a lot to get access to safe water in this community, but now I can see the water point from my house. It is now easy for me to access safe water to drink. I really appreciate this waterpoint."

Abdulrahman and Maferreh both expressed excitement at no longer needing to cross the busy Airport Ferry Road to fetch water, which is often the site of accidents.

"The Airport Ferry Road is a terribly busy road where vehicles drive by every minute at a high speed," said one of our field officers.

"My wife had to fetch water from across the main Airport Ferry Road to cook for the family and it was a risk, because people have lost their lives in car accidents trying to cross the road," Abdulrahman said. "Now, it is easy and risk-free to access safe water to cook."

"It was a challenge for my mother to prepare food for us to eat on time," Maferrah added. "The shortage in water at home always delayed her time in cooking. She could not allow her children to go across the Main Airport Ferry Road to fetch water because of the risk of accidents by vehicles on the road. She did it by herself, and because of that, she used to finish cooking late in the evening and sometimes at night. It was extremely hard to spend the whole day in hunger. It is a joy that we now have the privilege to access water quickly to cook early and eat on time."

The new well was presented to the community during a dedication ceremony, which included singing and dancing as well as the presence of a few local dignitaries from the Port Loko District Council and the Ministry of Water.

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 15 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 agreed-upon location to hold the meeting.

"During the training, I learned a lot of new ideas and skills, especially in handwashing systems," said M'balu Koroma, a 46-year-old local housewife. "Before, I used to apply just water without soap to wash my hands, but today, I have learned that a person can get infected by a virus or bacteria from the hand."

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.

"It is through this training I have known that the way we used to live in this community was not good for our health," Mbalu continued. "Now, if only we practice all the requirements we have learned from the hygiene and sanitation training, we would live a healthy life in this community. This training will also help us as a way of protecting our children from harm and sickness."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

June, 2021: Tardi Community Well Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Tardi Community 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! Learn more here!

A Year Later: "I am feeling good!"

January, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Tardi 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!

Before we rehabilitated the well in Tardi, the well would dry out for multiple months a year, and the pump would regularly break whether there was water or not.

"It was not really easy for me and my community people before this project was completed in my community," said farmer Abdul Rahman Fofanah, who serves as the well's caretaker. We spoke with him last year when the pump was first completed.

"The pump was in existence, but it was giving us a lot of challenges when it comes to functionality issues," Abdul Rahman continued. "The whole community got tired of contributing money for the maintenance of this facility because, after we did maintenance on it, it would not serve us for a week, and it [would] break down again. The most painful part of it was in the dry season during [the] Ramadan period when water was needed most."

"As a disabled person, I was feeling very bad coming here to fetch water," said 17-year-old Maferreh S, whom we also interviewed last year. "The facility was not disabled-friendly, and above all, this facility was not sustainable for us in the community. It always had breakdown issues, which was a major challenge for, not only me, but the community as a whole. Considering my condition, I had to go in search of water anywhere I could find [it] because water is life, and if anyone needs water, it's me."

But now that the well has been rehabilitated, life has improved for everyone in Tardi.

"I am feeling good because I can easily come here at any time and fetch water," said Maferreh. "As you can see for yourself, I am fetching comfortably with little or no challenge. It has impacted on my life because I have access to clean and safe drinking water in my community."

Maferreh and Abdul Rahman at 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 Tardi 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 Tardi 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.


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