Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 10/18/2023

Project Features

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Community Profile

Masoila Community's main well had been drying more and more recently until its pump recently broke. Now, no one can fetch water there.

Instead, a community member has graciously allowed others to fetch water from their private well. But unfortunately, the water quality from this source is poor, with a bad taste and odor. People do their laundry and bathe at the well, which contaminates the water. Nothing keeps the environment safe from wandering animals, and stagnant water has made a breeding ground for flies and mosquitos.

Every morning, community members go to fetch water for their daily needs and find the well crowded with dozens of others trying to do the same thing. Consequently, no one can accomplish their tasks or arrive where they're needed on time.

Abdul Mattia, a local teacher, has been reprimanded at the school where he works for his tardiness. But without elbowing to the front of the line, there is nothing he can do. "Every morning I need water to bathe and prepare myself for work, but [the] water shortage has always been the reason for going to work late," he said. "Failing to bathe, wash [my] clothes, and clean my house [has] caused sickness. Hygiene practice is important to a healthy life."

"Every early morning, I wake up and search for water to prepare for school, and because of overcrowding at the well, I spend much time fetching water," said 15-year-old Aminata B. "This caused me to always [be] late for school. Most times I even [miss] lessons. This negatively affects my academic performance in the school examinations."

But academic performance isn't the only problem water scarcity has caused for Aminata. "I cannot get enough water to bathe, drink, or clean the house toilet. It is not hygienic to live in a filthy environment."

With a ready source of safe water, life in Masoila will immediately improve.

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, 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

February, 2022: Masoila, 28 Conteh Street Well Rehab Complete!

We are excited to share a safe, reliable water point at Masoila 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.

Masiray, in the red shirt, cups water in her hands.

"I am a food vendor," said Masiray Sankoh, 23. "I prepare banana bread and [a] local ice drink to sell in schools. It was difficult for me to do all this, because of [the] safe and pure water challenge in our community. Having this water point at my doorstep, it is very easy for me now to prepare my food on time and make quick sales."

"Another impact is that the disabled in our community can [use the] water point ramp and fetch water easily," Masiray continued. "This water point can serve us throughout the year, and I think if we follow the hygiene and sanitation training, we cannot contract waterborne diseases like typhoid, diarrhea, and dysentery."

Mabinty uses the new pump.

"As a student, it was difficult for me to launder my uniforms and clothes two times a week because of the water shortage from our community water source," said 18-year-old Mabinty M. "With this blessing, I can now launder my uniforms and clothes two times a week and I will bathe on time before going to school. Having this water now will help us to practice better personal hygiene and to hold ablutions for prayer."

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

Celebrations for the new water point.

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 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.

Community members assisted by providing containers for the well yield test.

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 local elder Mammy Haja Bangura's house to hold the meeting. Haja also helped facilitators to recruit community members to attend the training, which accounts for the high turnout!

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.

"The knowledge I have gathered from this hygiene and sanitation training is so important to me," said Haja Bangura, 70. "At my age, it's necessary for me to know how to care for myself since we aged people are very prone to diseases related to poor hygiene practices."

The most memorable topic in Masoila was dental hygiene. One boy in the audience said his grandmother's teeth look awful and pointed at her, which made everyone (including his grandmother) laugh. She explained that she has chewed kola nut and tobacco all her life and has not kept up with toothbrushing. One community member, a nurse, told everyone to keep their toothbrushes in a clean place and to brush twice a day.

"I am pleading with my fellow community members to put effort into practicing all that we have gained from this training, as it is for the good of everyone," said Haja.

"As a community member, I will follow all the rules and regulations set up by the Water User Committee, not to launder or bathe around the water point surroundings," concluded Masiray.

Mabinty is motivated to spread the news about water point maintenance to her peers. "I will take a leadership role to advise my peer group to use the newly reconstructed water source with proper care and always keep the water source environment clean. We the school children will help the Water Users Committee to clean the water source every Sunday."

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: Masoila, 28 Conteh Street Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Masoila, 28 Conteh 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: "We have time for reading our notes."

February, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Masoila Community in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Rashidiatu. 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 7.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Masoila Community 7 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!

The community members in Masoila used to face a daily water crisis before the well in their community was rehabilitated last year. People had to rely on the local swamp as their primary water source, which brought many problems.

"It was really difficult for [us] the children because we have to go all the way to the swamp in the morning hours to fetch water. We were having a lot of challenges to get to the swamp because the road was hilly and slippery. Sometimes our rubber bucket got damaged when we fell to the ground," said 12-year-old Rashidiatu M.

But since their well was rehabilitated last year, things have been different. Water is now easily accessible without the risk of drinking dirty water, allowing everyone more time to focus on important things.

"Now we, the school-going children, have ample time to take care of our yourselves before going to school. We have time for reading our notes. We don't worry about getting [up] very early just to fetch water from the swamp," Rashidiatu concluded.

Rashidiatu outside 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 7 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 7 – 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.


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