Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 450 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/28/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

The community of Limena-Sam Road has a problem: even together, neither of its current water sources can serve the entire population. The issues currently facing both wells are seasonality (the wells sometimes dry up December through April) and low quantity/quality of water.

The community people used to fetch adequate water from these sources. However, due to an increase in population and the local water table lowering from climate change, the wells do not have enough water to serve 450 people.

Not enough water impacts daily life in various ways. Food vendors can't prepare food on time, which costs them money. Most of the school children do not bathe or launder their uniforms before going to school. The wells are often overcrowded because of high demand. Women and children, the community's most vulnerable, are responsible for fetching water.

"If my children are not around to help me fetch water, it is very difficult for me to prepare my cassava and beans to sell and earn money for my living," said Kadiatu Kamara, 55. "Sometimes, [it] is difficult to get water to drink, launder, and bathe. Occasionally, I must hire a motorbike to accompany me to the alternate source to fetch water and it involves a cost for me."

Recently, Kadiatu's son was hurt by a motorcyclist while crossing the road to fetch water. She got a call while attending a village meeting and had to leave to tend to him.

"His arm was badly scarred after the accident," Kadiatu said.

"Every morning I need water to bathe and prepare myself to attend school, but the water shortage has been the reason for me to never access the school on time," said Lamin, a 14-year-old student (pictured, above, at the well).

"I used to take my bath with a full bucket of water, but [now] I cannot," Lamin continued. "Also, my mother cannot prepare food on time for us because of [the] shortage [of] water in the house."

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

May, 2022: Limena-Sam Road Community Well Rehabilitation Complete!

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

Community members celebrate the presence of clean water.

"It was not easy to get good water in this community," explained 17-year-old Abibatu K.

"Sometimes there had been an enormous number of people at the water well waiting to fetch water. The water wells dried during the dry season. The only sustainable one would be highly [in-]demand. Sometimes people quarrel[ed] at the water well because of getting the front space in line to fetch water."

Abibatu drinks from the newly rehabilitated well while community members celebrate.

"I am happy because of the renewal of this water well today," Abibatu said. "It is now easy for me to get enough water at any time of the day. It is now good that this water well is working well and providing enough water that I can easily get to do all my daily activities on time."

"Today, the challenge is over because this water well is good to use and there is enough water coming out," said 55-year-old trader, Kadiatu Kamara. "I can now see it has a new pump, the well is fence and the area is decent."

Kadiatu cups her hands beneath the well's spout.

"My children used to go across the highway [to fetch water] where vehicles flow at speed every minute," Kadiatu continued.

"Getting access to this water well that will not get dry is a safety measure that will prevent my children from getting into [a] vehicle accident. It is good today I can now get pure drinking water from this water well at any time of the day. I can now fetch water, do all my morning activities, and go out to trade on time."

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to the community members. Several local dignitaries attended the ceremony, including representatives from the Ministry of Water Resources, the Port Loko District Council, and the Ward Council.

Abibatu's speech.

Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the water project and reminding everyone to take good care of it. Then, Abibatu and Kadiatu 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 their tools and supplies to prepare for drilling the next day. The community provided space for the team to store their belongings and 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 drilling tool. 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 16 meters. The hand-drill method allowed the team to install the cylinder far below the aquifer so that the community has excellent 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 provided containers for the yield test.

As the project neared completion, we built a new 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 be uncomfortable and 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 called and visited the local water user committee to 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.

Each household was represented during the training for all three days, with a few households even sending more than one person.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps, good and bad hygiene habits, disease transmission and prevention, COVID-19, 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 training facilitator uses a diarrhea doll to explain diarrhea.

The most engaging topic for the people of Limena-Sam Road Community was diarrhea, which many testified to be the leading cause of death in the community, especially for children. Mr. Mahmoud Kargbo, a Community Health Worker who attended the training, helped ensure the community understood the different causes of diarrhea and ways of counteracting them.

Another particularly illuminating discussion concerned malaria. Community members had attributed all sorts of things to causing malaria, including eating too many oranges or vegetable oil. We told them that malaria is caused by an infected mosquito bite. Another health worker in the community, Madam Aminata Barrie, advised her peers to rely on a community health center rather than traditional herbs when they suspect someone has malaria. We advised everyone to eliminate stagnant water where mosquitos can breed and to sleep within a mosquito net.

"I am happy that I participated in this training because I have gained lot of knowledge on handwashing, proper care of the toilet, and how to prepare ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) at home using our own local materials like salt, sugar, and water," said 22-year-old trader Ramatu Kamara.

"I have also learned about the dangers of malaria, its causes, and the preventive measures. The local tippy tap construction is also another new idea to me and my fellow community members. I believe if I follow all those procedures correctly, everything will be fine for me."

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!

March, 2022: Limena-Sam Road Well Rehab Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Limena-Sam Road 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: Time for Studying and Water for Hygiene!

May, 2023

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

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Limena-Sam Road Community.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Limena-Sam Road Community 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!

Hawa B., 17, recounted what life was like in Limena-Sam Community before her community’s well was rehabilitated last year.

"Before, it was difficult to get water. If I could recall, mostly every two to three weeks, the well was faulty. Even when [it] was working, [it] was most times overcrowded. This caused more burden for [me] to fetch water from other sources, [for] which I [had to] walk close to 200 meters just to fetch a single container of water. To make a round trip was difficult for me," Hawa said.

But life is much more productive for Hawa and the other community members in Limena-Sam now.

"Before, water was not enough for me to launder and even to bathe twice a day. Now, there is enough water to use to bathe and launder. I can bathe more than two times a day now," said Hawa.

She continued, "It was not easy for me to have enough time and read my school notes. This water point has helped me to have enough time [to] read my school notes."

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Hawa, even in her ability to focus on learning.

"Thank you for providing safe and pure drinking water. My plans are to help clean the water point and strictly practice the bylaws set up by the water user committee in order to maintain the water point," concluded Hawa.

Thank you for helping Hawa access clean water and have the time and energy to focus on other important things like school.

Right now, there are others just like Hawa in neighboring communities that desperately need safe water access. Your support will immediately go to work to provide a clean water project - and we can’t wait to introduce you to the next person you’ll help.

Hawa collecting water to take home from the rehabilitated 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 Limena-Sam Road Community 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 Limena-Sam Road Community – 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 - Wakillah
16 individual donor(s)