Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 687 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/17/2024

Project Features

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This part of Masoila is locally known as Lion Rock Community. It is found near the major airport for Sierra Leone. The proximity of this community to the main Airport Ferry Road has attracted trading and social services.

Lion Rock Community is home to some 687 people. The population is predominantly made up of people who earn a living through petty trading. There are shops, mechanic centers, entertainment centers, and other institutions where people trade and work to make money. Masoila community stakeholders own a large chunk of the airport land, and many people have benefitted from employment quotas specifically for the children of the landowners. Some of the people here are involved in subsistence farming.

The primary well in Lion Rock does not produce enough water.

Our organization has monitored this well over the years, keeping a close eye on its functionality and the effects of global warming on the water supply. Hand-dug wells in the region, like this one, are experiencing challenges due to increasing seasonal drops in the water table. The seasonal changes have brought about many repairs, some minor, and some major. They also lead to inconsistent water access since it takes longer to fetch water when the water table is lower. That puts more pressure on the water point leading to more breakdowns as a result of the constant use.

"I feel sad. My children suffer a lot to bring water to the house every morning before leaving for school. This mostly leads them to be late for school. They cover a long distance to go in search of water, especially drinking water. They also go a long way to fetch from the open well water for domestic uses," said Town Chief Alimamy Shebora Yom Kamara.

The unreliable water source leads people to turn to the three open and unprotected hand-dug wells in the community. However, since they are not sealed, the open wells are all unsafe for drinking. People have to drop a dirty bucket into the open hole to collect the water. All sorts of contaminants can fall into the well when it is open, and the re-used buckets are not clean. This increases the risk of people contracting waterborne diseases after drinking water from one of the open wells.

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 reliable 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: #1023 Airport Ferry Road, Lion Rock Rehabilitated Well Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at #1023 Airport Ferry Road, Lion Rock 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.

"Before, I spent most of my time searching for water, which resulted in me being late for school," said Daniel K., a local student. "The water source helps me to attend to my full lessons in class and I will not be punished for going to school late."

One of the community members, a businesswoman named Fatmata Conteh, shared how the newly rehabilitated well will reinvigorate her business. "Before, I used to collect water from a far source, but now it is easy to collect water from this water point to cook, launder, bathe, and drink. My line of business is stew and bread. This needs water to be prepared. This water point has made it very easy for me."

Fatmata speaking at the well dedication ceremony.

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!

Once the well was complete, the time came to hand it over to the community members. Representatives from the Ministry of Water, the Port Loko District Council, and the town council attended and made remarks.

All the speakers expressed their appreciation for the newly reliable water source and cautioned the beneficiaries to utilize the water source with proper care. The community members were playing with water, singing, and dancing to show their joy and gratitude.

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, which was the nearby Community Center.

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.

Some training attendees confessed that they themselves had performed many of the examples of bad hygiene shown in the training posters.

Fatu Conteh, an elderly woman of the community present at the training, explained that she had been working to spread the message of good hygiene in the community, but without much success. She expressed her happiness because now the people who would quarrel with her when she advised them to change their ways would now hear the same message from another source.

"During this training, I have come to realize the value of having and using a latrine and regular and proper handwashing," Fatmata said. "The construction of the tippy taps that I have learned will make it easy for me to establish my own handwashing station."

Daniel left the training with resolve to prevent the spread of COVID-19. "My feelings about the COVID-19 virus were not good, because of the different information we were receiving. But through this training, I have received facts. I will be washing my hands frequently and properly with soap and clean water from the constructed tippy taps, and wearing a facemask in public places. I will always observe physical distance, practice contactless greeting, and cough and sneeze using my elbows. I am pleading with my fellow community members to do the same."

Thank you for making all of this possible!

July, 2021: Masoila, #1023 Airport Ferry Road, Lion Rock

A severe clean water shortage in Masoila 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: "We are very happy for this goodness."

January, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Masoila Community in Kenya access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Mary. 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 3.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Masoila Community 3 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 community members of Masoila struggled to find enough water to meet their needs every day. The community had a well, but it had dried up, so people resorted to collecting water from other unprotected sources in the community, putting their health at risk.

"We were finding it very difficult because most times, we [had to] go outside [the community] to fetch water for our homes. We were finding it very difficult to meet our hygiene practice as girls. We were prone to road accidents, as the place where we used to go and fetch water is located over the highway road. We spent [most of our] time in fetching water, which disturbed our school activities sometimes." said 17-year-old Mary C.

But things are different for people since we rehabilitated their well last year, making water readily available throughout the entire year.

"Now we are safe from road accidents, and we are not spending [most of our] time in fetching water. Plenty of safe water is at home for drinking and hygiene practices [and] we are not going to school late. We are very happy for this goodness," concluded Mary.

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 3 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 3 – 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 - Texas Instruments Foundation Matching Gift/Hermosillo
HM Hadden Family Living Trust
11 individual donor(s)