Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 1,000 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/31/2023

Project Features

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The Tintafor community comprises only twenty-two houses but is home to schools that dramatically increase the area's population during the week.

Mother Teresa's Pre-Primary and Saint Augustines Primary School share a compound that sits on a large piece of land with a Catholic Church on the far end. In the surrounding area, within walking distance from the school, there are soldier barracks and a Pentecostal Church. The school compound includes areas where the children can play football and other sporting activities during their breaks, but it's hard for children to find relief from the heat with no trees.

The hand-dug well on the campus is currently shared by the nursery school and the primary school, even though it is located within the nursery school gated area. Because of the young children at the nursery school, security is of great importance. The entrance is gated and locked,  restricted to only teachers once the bell rings.

The well has provided the primary school on campus with water for drinking, cleaning, latrines, and handwashing stations. Normally, the primary school students flood through the nursery school gate in the morning before the bell to collect water. The overcrowding when the gate is open creates a safety risk for the nursery school children. As well, the strain on the well to provide enough water for both schools, nearly one thousand people every day, has been too much, especially during the dry season, causing the well to run low.

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 that will 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 both 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.

These trainings 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

December, 2021: Mother Teresa's Pre-Primary School Well Rehabilitation Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at Mother Teresa's Pre-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.

Councilor Fatmata Aka, Osman Fofanah, Ministry of Water Resources, and Headteacher Francess Conteh (far right).

"A few months back, the water point was having a problem in pumping out water. It was not easy for us to fetch water, looking at the population of one hundred and forty-seven (147) users, and dealing with kids to maintain hygiene. We need water for the school feeding program and cleaning our toilets, including the entire school building. The water point gate was also broken. I was trying to rebuild the gate, but school subsidies were not coming in on time. Today the school has been totally freed from water shortages and frequent pump breakdowns. Having this water point rehabilitated will solve all our water needs in the school," said Francess Conteh, headmistress, 56.

Teachers and students sang, rejoiced, and played with the water as they expressed their profound gratitude for reliable, safe, pure drinking water at Mother Teresa Pre-School. The celebration of the new water point was attended by many local government representatives, the local priest, and school officials from nearby Saint Augustine Junior Secondary School.

Children celebrating clean water.

Fatoma F., a young student of the school, said, "Every day I can drink enough water after eating my food during lunch. My aunty (teacher/caregiver) uses water to clean me when I fall on the ground while playing during lunch. Thank you for painting our school well and making the water clean."

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 19.3 meters with water at 12.2 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!

"Now that this water point is converted to a borehole, it is very, very reliable.  [We have] safe, and pure [water] to drink, cook, and for cleaning. This water point will help us to achieve proper handwashing and prepare food on time for the kids and clean the toilets daily to avoid contamination. We're so thankful," said Francess Conteh.

New Knowledge

Before conducting any hygiene training, we made 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.

After this preparatory period, we scheduled a time for the teachers who were going to be using the water point to attend a multi-day hygiene and sanitation training along with another separate training for their young students. 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.

Agnes Jabba.

Agnes Jabba, a 43-year-old teacher, said, "The training was valuable because I learned good healthy habits. [For] example, how to keep my toothbrush in a safe rubber (container) that cannot allow cockroaches to enter in there. I also learned that worms can be carried by people, more especially, children through bare feet. I will try to wear slippers or shoes anytime I am in my garden."

A popular training session with the teachers and students was dental hygiene practices. Some participants laughed out loud, while others pointed fingers at their colleagues as they confessed to one another they were in the habit of scrubbing their teeth only once a day without toothpaste and brushes but their bare fingers instead. The participants committed to one another to try brushing with toothpaste and a brush in the future.

6-year-old Michael K. commented, "I learned during the training how to take in balanced diets, and all these diets are food that is very nutritious to my health. I will tell my mother to give me a well-balanced diet every day."


Thank you for making all of this possible!

November, 2021: Lungi, Tintafor, Mother Teresa's Pre-Primary School Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Mother Teresa's Pre-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: Building Made Easy!

February, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Mother Teresa’s Pre-Primary School in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Frances. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Tintafor Mother Teresa's Pre-Primary School.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Tintafor Mother Teresa's Pre-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, Mother Teresa's Pre-Primary School had to share one seasonal well with the primary school next door. The well would dry out periodically, leaving both schools without a source of water. When this happened, the students would have to bring water from home, which would be difficult for such small children.

"Before, we were struggling to get pure and clean water for the children attending this school," said Headteacher Frances Conteh, to whom we spoke when we last visited the school upon completion of the project.

With a well right within the school grounds, the students don't have to bring water from home, and the school has been kept clean, unlike before when there was a water shortage.

"Now, we have pure and safe drinking water," Frances said. "The children stay in the school compound. Before this time, the children normally brought water from their homes, but now they get water from the pump in the compound. The hygiene aspect of the school is now good."

The water from the well has also provided the school with opportunities to build and repair some much-needed development projects to improve security and the students' quality of life.

"[Our new] building project was easy for the school," Frances said. "[We also completed] the construction of the school fence."

"Before this time, we struggled to get pure and safe water," said five-year-old student, Nanette. "We [would] have to go all the way to the neighbor school. No more struggling for pure and safe water. We don't go out for water anymore."

Frances and Nanette 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 Tintafor Mother Teresa's Pre-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 Tintafor Mother Teresa's Pre-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 - Amado Family Gift
2 individual donor(s)