Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 780 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/23/2024

Project Features

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Lungi Government Hospital was constructed in 1954. It is intended to serve as the main hospital for the Lungi, Lokomasama, and Kamasondo communities. New buildings are being built daily to increase capacity to serve the number of patients admitted daily.

The hospital administration has seen great improvements in the area of equipment, medication, and lab testing over the last ten years, thanks to the efforts of doctors and staff.  Services that used to be carried out in Freetown are now completed at the hospital with ease and doctors from other hospitals come to perform very delicate surgical procedures.

The well used for the hospital is located next to the generator area in an isolated part of the hospital compound. It is sealed off from hospital traffic to avoid anyone tampering with the well and is not used by the outside population but reserved only for patients, staff, and patient helpers. The submersible pump in the well supplies water into tanks in various areas of the hospital. Since electricity is not steadily available, water has to be pumped when it comes on during the night. The water that is pumped into tanks is often not enough because the well runs low at times. If the tank water runs out, patients and their helpers are then allowed to try and fetch water from the well one bucket at a time.

"We try always to have sufficient water in the tanks to prevent too many people from walking back to the location of the pump. Limiting access to plenty of people assures that the water and well areas stay free from contamination. That is why the first thing to do is check the amount of water in each of the tanks because it will be very unfortunate for water to run out during a surgical procedure or a baby delivery," said Osman Conteh, a human resources staff member at the hospital.

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 hospital 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 hospital 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

January, 2022: Lungi Government Hospital Well Rehabilitation Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at Lungi Government Hospital in Sierra Leone is now providing clean water to patients, staff, and neighboring community members! We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training, which focused on healthy practices such as handwashing and using latrines.

Dr. Allusine Yillah, a surgeon, commented, "The rehabilitation of the hospital water well is good work and very timely as the hospital needs enough water to perform all its functions. The water well will help to provide clean and adequate water for the entire hospital especially the surgical room and maternity ward."

Dr. Yillah celebrates clean water with the nurses.

Dr. Yillah continued, "Personally, this water well will make my job very easy and effective. I can get access to enough water in the surgical room to provide my service easily."

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

The Community Health Officer and Nurse Pyne, on the right, celebrate clean water.

Nurse Patricia Pyne, Head of the Maternity Unit, said the members of her unit are happy with the well because they use the most water. The well will make their jobs easier. Dr. Yillah also made a statement on the hospital's behalf thanking us for the project. The celebration was kept short because the hospital staff had to return to work and care for patients.

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 21 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!

John S., 14, said, "The water well at the hospital is now good. Everyone can now be happy to fetch water from the well. Before, it was not easy to fetch enough water from the hospital pump because the amount of water from the well was not enough and a lot of people needed the water."

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.

Participants learn about disease transmission.

Victoria Tucker, a 31-year-old health worker said, "This training is valuable to me because it has added more knowledge to my medical career. With this new knowledge that I have gained from this training, I will continue to sensitize patients especially lactating mothers to practice good hygiene in their various communities to save themselves from disease. I am very much delighted for the hygiene and sanitation training I have received. I will make sure that I also put them into practice."

A topic the medical personnel was especially curious about during the training was comparing healthy vs. unhealthy communities. The facilitator showed them how to identify which communities are healthier to live in. Everyone was surprised that the cleaning person of the hospital easily identified the unclean community. He even named a local community that is not healthy and said most times this community is facing problems with diseases like diarrhea and skin diseases.

Demonstrating proper handwashing techniques.

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!

October, 2021: Lungi Government Hospital Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Lungi Government Hospital 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: Water is the Universal Solvent!

January, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Lungi Government Hospital in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Fatmata. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Lungi Government Hospital 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Lungi Government Hospital 2 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 at Lungi Government Hospital, the nurses, doctors, and hospital staff struggled with their jobs without sufficient water to perform procedures and keep the facility clean. The well would dry out entirely from April to June, and the nurses would have to leave the hospital compound in search of water, when their time would be much better spent with their patients.

"It was really difficult to clean the hospital and toilets," said Fatmata, a staff member at the hospital. "And the nurses were finding it very hard to do their work, as water is the universal solvent: no human being can go without it."

But now that the well has sufficient water for the needs of both the hospital and the surrounding community, things are running much more smoothly.

"The nurses easily take care of the domestic [work] quickly," Fatmata explained. "Because of the availability of enough water, the hospital toilets are now clean always."

Clean sanitation facilities are always critical, but at a hospital where patients' health may already be compromised, the importance of clean toilets cannot be overstated.

"[We have our] water supply all over the hospital building," Fatmata said. "[We always have] easy access to get pure and safe drinking water for the patients."

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 Lungi Government Hospital 2 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 Lungi Government Hospital 2 – 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.


3 individual donor(s)