Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 200 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Feb 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 01/03/2024

Project Features

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The hand-dug well on the Cassava Farm serves the Makuta Oil Palm Garden community, including farmworkers and their families, local residents, and the local school with water. It is located in the middle of the garden, with most homes being at least 1/2 km away. Because the entire region is suffering from a water scarcity crisis, more and more people have been making a pilgrimage to the Cassava Farm in search of water. So although only 150 people live on the farm grounds, the need for its water is increasing day by day.

"I get daily complaints from my farm helpers that the number of people coming to the farm has greatly increased," said Martha Campbell, a local teacher and farm owner.

Additional water is used during the harvesting and processing of palm oil. The palm trees are neatly arranged in rows with enough space to maximize the yield during harvest. The well is pushed to the limit, especially during the harvest season when drums upon drums of water are needed daily. Each drum of palm kernel ready to be boiled uses an average of 6-7 twenty-liter rubber buckets.

The current water crisis has brought a need for more hand-dug wells to be converted to boreholes. This well is one of a few that was a lifesaver for the people in the community. The issue was not that the well was unable to serve its beneficiaries. The real issue is people coming from neighboring communities when their hand-dug wells fail them. A scoop hole at the nearby swamp has become imperative for watering the plants in the garden and meeting other household needs when the demand is too high at the well.

"As a student, my responsibility is making sure there is enough water at home for drinking and cooking. The well is practically on our doorsteps with no interference until it is during January, February, and March. These are the driest months, and some changes can definitely be seen with the water table in the garden," said Alie, a 17-year-old young man.

The conversion of the hand-dug well to a borehole will ensure a plentiful, continuous flow of water all year round without the well running low during the dry season.

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: Rosint, Cassava Farm Well Rehabilitation Complete!

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

Elizabeth is on the left in the orange patterned shirt.

"We were suffering for pure water to drink, bathe, and do other domestic purposes," said Elizabeth Campbell, a 50-year-old teacher. "But water is not a problem for us anymore. So, we appreciate this project so much. Drinking from this water source will reduce the spread of sickness."

"[The well] will help us teachers and school-going children to go to school on time because [there are] no more constraints in going out to find water," Elizabeth continued. "It makes us parents prepare food on time for our family."

"Before, we had water constraints to drink, cook, and do other domestic work," said 16-year-old Salaimatu K. "But today, we now have enough water. We [children] will bathe on time before going to school. Now that this water well is fenced, animals will not contaminate the water well anymore."

Salaimatu, center, pours clean water from the newly rehabbed well.

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 Port Loko District Council, the Ward Council, and the Ministry of Water Resources. Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the water project. Then, Elizabeth and Salaimatu made statements on their community's behalf. The ceremony concluded with celebration, singing, and dancing.

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 12 meters with water at six 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!

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.

We had extremely high attendance from the Rosint community, with more than one attendee from each household for all three days of the training. This demonstrates this community's commitment to better hygiene moving forward.

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 most notable topic in Rosint was disease transmission, which served to open several community members' eyes to how they were unknowingly spreading disease. A few young mothers had been letting their little ones defecate anywhere, which meant that bacteria was often transferred from children and animals to food (which is often prepared outdoors). Everyone in the community promised to put forth an effort to change this behavior.

Elizabeth said: "I believe if every member of this community start implementing all the positive knowledge gathered from this training [it] will help us improve our health standards in this community."

"Before this time, we community members were doing handwashing, but we were not washing our hands properly," said 28-year-old Alusine Sumah.

"I will make sure that if any problem occurs, I will call the office immediately," Elizabeth concluded. "I will make sure that the water source is secure and always clean. I will be sure that the water source will be opened and closed at the correct time for everyone to fetch on time to go to workplaces or schools."

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: Makuta Oil Palm Garden Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Makuta Oil Palm Garden 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: Protected water and healthy hygiene practices!

February, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Rosint 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!

Last year the hand-dug well serving this area of the community of Rosint could not provide enough water to meet everyone's needs. Not only that, but the well was also prone to contamination from multiple sources, making its water unsafe to consume.

"Before, the old water point was a hand pump, but it was not [protected], and animals like sheep, goat, and chicken feces were [al]most everywhere on the well pad. The water point was not in control, and we were bathing and laundering around the water point surroundings," said 17-year-old Salumatu K.

But when we helped to rehabilitate the well last year and held our community hygiene training, things started turning around for the community, and safer water became a reality.

"The water point is more protected, safe, and pure to drink," said Salumatu. "The water point is fenced, it has a gate, [and] animals [can]not access inside the perimeter of the fence anymore. We are no longer bathing or laundering around the water point environment anymore."

"Through the water point construction, [we] learned about good hygiene practices. We plan to take good care of the water point and to ensure that [the] water point is clean. We have achieved [having] a Water User Committee that is key [and] responsible to look after the water point," said Salumatu.

With access to safer water whenever they need it, the future looks much brighter for those living in Rosint.

Salamatu (in pink) with community member Elizabeth 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 Rosint 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 Rosint 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.


First Congregational Church of Chatham
27 individual donor(s)