Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 700 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/12/2024

Project Features

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Eighteen years ago, the main well on Kamara Street in Masoila, Sierra Leone broke down. The community did not fix it due to a lack of financial support and access to repair services. But the community continued to grow. Today, the 700 people here do not have a safe and reliable source of water. The main well sits unused.

Throughout the day, children and women wander around the community looking for a source of water that is both suitable for drinking and can be sufficient for other household chores such as cooking. People end up using one of the three open wells in the community.

All three wells are open to contamination and prone to running dry at various times during the year. The water table in the region is declining due to climate change, so hand-dug wells that once provided water are experiencing dry periods or running dry entirely. And, because these sources are not protected, people are prone to contract water-borne diseases such as cholera, dysentery, and typhoid. These illnesses can be deadly to young children and the elderly, and at the least, time is lost at school for ill children and the inability to work for ill adults.

The best time for school-going children to fetch water is very early in the morning and immediately after school. Amara Bureh Kamara, the Vice Principal, told us that children are often late to school because of the time lost trying to fetch water from one or more of the various open sources.

"Having a shortage of water is something that we have practically gotten used to after undergoing such inconveniences for 18 years. It has become part of our daily lives," he said.

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. We 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, which we know will also improve water quality.

Once this plan is implemented, everyone within the community will have access to safe drinking water in both quality and quantity, 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 teach 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 help solving a serious problem, like a pump breakdown.

Project Updates

December, 2021: Masoila, 38 Kamara Street Well Rehab Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at 38 Kamara Street in Masoila, 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 grateful for the good water source we have gotten in this community," said 30-year-old trader, Isatu Bangura. "The whole community had no safe water source, but today, it is a good thing that we are here to receive a good drinking water source. Today, I am happy."

Isatu, in the red hat, demonstrates clean water from the rehabilitated well.

Isatu went on to explain how life was for her before we rehabilitated Masoila's well. "I used to fetch water from private water sources in this community that are not safe for drinking, but they were the only sources I had. Water from some of those sources could easily get dark in color, which would not be good for drinking. It was hard to fetch good water in this whole community."

"Thank God I can now fetch enough water at this well to cook, launder, clean the toilet, and bathe regularly," Isatu concluded. "I will now have more time to do other things."

Salaimatu K., 17, could hardly contain her excitement for having reliable, safe water in her community. "I used to fetch water far away from my house. It was a burden on me because I could only fetch little water that would not be enough to serve my family. I [was] tired after fetching water at the end of a day. I would not do any work, not even to read my lesson notes. I am happy for the good water source we now have, where I can fetch safe water to drink. My burden has greatly been reduced."

Community members celebrating at the dedication ceremony. Salaimatu is in the red plaid shirt with the purple bucket.

Salaimatu also predicted how her life will be easier and more fulfilling in the future. "Before, I could not launder all my clothes at the same time because there was not enough water to do all the laundering. But now, I can launder any bale of clothes using enough water from this well. I like bathing regularly, but because of [the] water shortage in this community, I had to reduce [my] rate of [bathing]. It is now good for me, because I can have enough water from this well to bathe anytime I need to. This will be a big improvement to my hygiene and to my life."

Salaimatu making her statement at the dedication. Her speech earned a lot of cheers!

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to Masoila community members. Several local dignitaries visited from the Port Loko District Council, the Ministry of Water Resources, and the Ward Council and gave speeches thanking everyone who participated in the well's rehabilitation. Isatu and Salaimatu both made statements as well on behalf of the women and children in the community, who often bear the brunt of water-fetching duties.

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.

Raising the tripod.

Finally, we lined up the drill rods and started to drill! We reached a final depth of 16 meters with water at nine 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 each of the three days of training, all 95 households within Masoila community were represented, which shows an excellent commitment from the people here to start fresh with better hygiene. Not only did they show up, but they were excited to learn!

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.

Local Chief Ya Alimammy Kamara shared how the training affected herself and will affect the community moving forward. "During the training, I learned about the various hygiene and sanitation methods. All these new pieces of knowledge I have learned, I will put into practice by enforcing them in this community, which is beneficial to everybody living in the community, and if anyone fails to implement [the] proper hygiene practice, there will be [a] definite sum levied on that person. By so doing, I believe we will not contract any illness relating to the transmission of diseases."

"The training is essential," said 39-year-old Amara Kamara, who is a porter at the local airport. "[It] has added more value to me by preventing and protecting me from the spread of the virus. During the training, I learned new knowledge like the tippy tap construction, which is used for proper handwashing. This method is affordable and every member in the community can construct the tippy tap and it can minimize water wastage."

For Masoila, the topic that caused the most discussion was worms and parasites. Hookworm infections have been a recurring issue within their community, but people thought infection spread through ingesting fish, meat, and palm nut. The facilitators explained that walking around barefoot is how worms and parasites spread, which the community members agreed to no longer do.

When an issue arises concerning the well, the 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!

November, 2021: 38 Kamara St. Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Masoila 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: "It has helped me to achieve."

February, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Masoila Community 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 Masoila Community 5.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Masoila Community 5 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 Masoila, the community had survived 18 years without a reliable water source. The three open wells in the community provided water of questionable quality that often made people sick.

"Before, the distance to the water sources [was] so far, and the water not pure," said 30-year-old trader Isatu Bangura. "[The] majority of us were bathing and laundering around the water source environment. Before the end of March, the water source [would] get dry. But with the [new] water point, this [has] never happened."

As Isatu said, the newly rehabilitated well has been able to reliably provide water to everyone in Masoila, banishing the problems that plagued the community for so long.

"Now, it is easy to fetch water because the water point is closer to my doorstep," Isatu said.

"I fetch water on time and have enough to use. The water point is safe and pure to drink. Also, I have enough time now to do other domestic activities on time. This water point has helped me to prepare food on time for my family members. Also, it has helped to achieve on my trading time and to launder two times a week."

The community of Masoila is so grateful to have a dependable source of water.

"I must say thanks to [you] for giving us [a] protected and safe drinking water point," Isatu concluded.

Isatu, left, stands with fellow community member, Saffiatu, at 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 Masoila Community 5 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 Masoila Community 5 – 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 Underwriter - Wakillah
ChangeBox Foundation
Arabel Lebrusan
Dzhiyan's Campaign for Water
ACS's Campaign for Water

And 1 other fundraising page(s)
12 individual donor(s)