Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 360 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/04/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

The Rotifunk community is growing in infrastructure and population, with modern houses being built. The most common livelihoods are petty trading and motorbike transportation. There are mosques and churches, with people of different faiths living amicably, schools, and a government electricity supply. Yet, the community still doesn't have a piped water supply or paved roads.

"We normally wake up very early in the morning to go and fetch water before going to school because if we delay reaching the well, we may not have water for us to return home and do the other house chores, wash, and go to school. This makes us have very little time to sleep because some of us who are in the public examination classes right now spend a lot of time studying at night and have a few hours to sleep before going to the well to fetch water. This repeated activity gives us fatigue causing us not to reach school early and also not to concentrate in class," said Aminata, a 17-year-old female student.

Due to the rising population and the present poor condition of the current water source, a hand-dug well, fetching water for drinking, and other domestic uses have been a problem for many, especially for the people who are not very close to the well. School children and workers often arrive late to school and work because of the delays in the morning.

"The well is not producing enough water for the growing population in the community. This causes people to come here and form a queue very early waiting for the time which the well is opened in the morning. I am living very close to the well, and the noise of the people very early in the morning gives my family and me less time to sleep. I have a very large family, and we use a large amount of water daily. At first, we were not having any water shortages, but now the water we have the opportunity to fetch daily has not been enough for our daily use," said Jaria Bah, a housewife.

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

February, 2022: #4 Abidjan Street Well Rehabilitation Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at #4 Abidjan Street 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.

The community celebrating clean water.

"This water well is a good help to me because I suffered to fetch pure water. Most of the water sources in this community are not good for drinking. Some of them are not sustainable. I used to go far to fetch drinking water. Water from this water well used to sometimes get filthy and low in quantity. Now, I can get access to pure and adequate water from this well. It is safe to drink and enough to do all domestic activities," said Tenneh S., 16.

Tenneh pumping clean water!

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to the community members. The ceremony was attended by several local dignitaries from the Ministry of Water Resources and the Port Loko District Council. Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the water project. Then, Tenneh and Jarai made statements on their community's behalf. The ceremony concluded with celebration, singing, and dancing.

Jarai gives her speech.

"Today, it is good that this well is now providing safe and enough water to always drink. Before, this well used to give out filthy water. Life was not good to live, especially without enough pure water to drink. I used to spend more time to go in search of drinking water because I did not want my family to drink contaminated water that would cause them sickness. Now it is easy to fetch water at the newly completed well for drinking and other daily activities," said Jarai Buh, a 3o-year-old trader.

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 23 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!

Tenneh commented, "Every morning, I must fetch water to bathe and for other domestic activities before going to school. This was never easy, and it delayed my time for going to school. Sometimes, I would return to the house without getting the chance to fetch water. At that moment, I would go to school without taking [a] bath. I felt uncomfortable in class until I returned to the house and [would] go in search of water to bathe before I could feel better. This new well will provide enough water for me and [take] less time to bathe and do other domestic works."

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.

Learning about disease transmission routes.

"This training is valuable to me because I have gained more knowledge on how to prevent myself from [contracting the] COVID-19 virus. Before, I was careless on preventing [it for] myself, especially when it comes to the wearing of face masks and frequent hand washing. But the new knowledge has impacted my life, and I now have the awareness on the virus and how to prevent myself from contracting it," said Fatmata Bangura, 27.

One of the memorable topics during the hygiene training was the session on disease transmission. The community members found it remarkably interesting. As soon as the facilitator presented the poster of a child defecating behind a house, and a fowl stepping in the feces, then stepping in uncovered food sitting on the ground, participants began talking amongst themselves, admitting they had been allowing this unhealthy practice. They clapped as the facilitator continued to present the information. A participant expressed her gratitude for the training and the new knowledge that will help change the community's health.

Jarai, the newly elected treasurer of the water committee, shared her opinion on the training. "I believe this training will not help me alone, but the community at large on the health and reduction on the death rate, mostly of children in the community. But now, with this new knowledge and ideas I have gained from this training, I strongly believe that I can be able to prevent myself from most of these deadly diseases. I will serve as an agent of change and practice all the new ideas."

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!

January, 2022: Rotifunk, #4 Abidjan Street Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Rotifunk, #4 Abidjan Street 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 can now serve the entire community"

February, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Rotifunk Community 5.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rotifunk 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 Rotifunk last year, students used to rise ridiculously early to try and collect water from the dysfunctional hand-dug well before the water diminished each day.

"The old water source was a [dug well with a] hand pump, but the water was not pure to drink. It was difficult to fetch enough water. During the dry season, the water point went dry," said 17-year-old Tenney S.

But since the well rehabilitation, plenty of safe water has been available to all of the community members, and students can reserve their time and energy for other things.

"The water point [is more] safe and pure to drink than before. Also, it is available at all times, and it can now serve the entire community," said Tenney.

"The water point has helped me to have enough water at home. The impact is that I can fetch more than five jerrycan containers a day. Now, I can launder twice a week and go to school on time," concluded Tenney.

Tenney collecting water.

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 Rotifunk 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 Rotifunk 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.


The Derek and Diane Charitable Fund
38 individual donor(s)