Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 230 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Apr 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/29/2024

Project Features

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Anyone in business knows that time is money. This is why the water crisis is so devastating to the traders at Petifu Junction.

"Since the market well became nonfunctional, it is exceedingly difficult to access safe water in this community and the market," said Yasinnah Sesay, 62, a local trader shown above. "Most of the wells in the community are not sustainable. They cannot supply water for us in the community and marketplace throughout the year. They get dry during the dry season. This has been a great challenge for my business at the market and at home."

Both wells in this community that serve the 230 community members run out of water during the dry season (and break down mechanically year-round). By the time the food vendors are able to cook or the agricultural traders are able to wash their product, they've already lost out on a lot of business. Yasinnah told us that she often returns home with the food she was hoping to sell.

"I could not prepare food on time because my children had to fetch water after school in the afternoon, but the well is only opened early in the evening," Yasinnah continued. "I have to wait until they fetch water before I start cooking. Some of the agricultural products that I sell mostly get perished because there is not enough water to preserve them. This is a loss on my business."

"Accessing water in this community is a difficult task," said 16-year-old Mabinty in the photo above. "I have to wake up early in the morning to fetch water before going to school. The well is mostly overcrowded."

When both wells are inaccessible, the community members' only option is the swamp. "Sometimes it is difficult to access water to launder my school uniforms and other clothes, so I have to go out to the community at the far swamp area to launder when it is difficult to access water at the community well," Mabinty continued.

The water crisis also affects Mabinty's schoolwork as well as her daily schedule. She is out late into the night waiting in lines at the community's wells, which prevents her from studying.

"It has been a big struggle for me when I am in class," Mabinty explained. "I easily fall asleep while a lesson is in progress. I have been punished a lot by my teacher, but it is difficult for me to stop sleeping in class because I always have to sleep late at night and wake up early in the morning to fetch water and do other domestic works. I am not happy with this condition because it is difficult for me."

A reliable source of water will do so much to help the people of this community in school, in business, and at home.

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

April, 2022: Petifu Junction Community 2 Well Rehabilitation Complete!

We are excited to share that a safe, reliable water point at Petifu Junction 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.

"Before, the water situation was a big challenge for me," said 13-year-old Adamsay S. "I was always compelled to fetch water for domestic activities and my personal use, like when I want to take my bath, launder clothes, and when my mother needs water to prepare food and wash [things she sells] such as fish and vegetables."

Adamsay fills a container at the new well.

"I say a big thank you for providing this safe and pure water well," Adamsay continued. "The new water point will make me be punctual in school and I will now have enough time to rest and read my school notebooks. The new water point will save my time and energy, and this will reduce the chance to contract water sicknesses such as diarrhea, cholera, and typhoid."

"Before, I used to walk about 200 meters away from my house to fetch water for domestic purposes," said 55-year-old trader, Yasinnah Sesay. "But now with the new water point, all [that] is over. Also, the new waterpoint will reduce the difficulties I used to face with my trade. Before, I had limited water to wash my selling items like potatoes, leaves, and fish, but with the new borehole, all these obstacles [are] over."

Yasinnah, with the megaphone, sings and dances with other community women.

"The money I use to spend on medication will be used for other purposes," Yasinnah continued. "The availability of water will make it easier for me to clean the market table where I normally do my trade. All this will reduce the chances of disease transmission."

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

The Ward Secretary and the community headman splash water at the pump.

Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the water project and reminding the staff and students to take good care of it. Then, Yasinnah and Adamsay 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 22 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.

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. 16 people - more than one person per household - attended the training, which we held in the market building.

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 topic that participants discussed most was the implementation of dish racks in every household. In most kitchens of Sierra Leone, food is cooked using three stones and a fire on the ground. Placing food on a dish rack will keep it away from domestic animals and other contaminants that may enter the food close to the ground. Some community members accused others of not using their dish racks properly. However, by the end of the session, everyone agreed that dish racks should be installed and used at every household.

Trader Aminata Kamara, 56, shared what she learned during the course of the three-day training. "This training is so valuable to me because it has helped me learn so many things about personal hygiene, food hygiene, environmental hygiene, and how to take proper care of our drinking water source. As we all know, health is wealth, that is why is important to prevent and protect ourselves from things that link diseases to us."

Aminata cups her hands beneath the spout of the well.

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!

April, 2022: Petifu Junction Community Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Petifu Junction 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: "There's No More Struggle for Water!"

August, 2023

A year ago, your generous donation helped Petifu Junction Community 2 in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Ya Sinneh Sesay. Thank you!

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Petifu Junction Community 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Petifu Junction Community 2 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!

Trader Ya Sinneh Sesay, 55, recalled what life was like in Petifu Junction Community 2 before her community’s well was rehabilitated last year.

"Before, I used to walk [a] long distance away from my house to fetch water for domestic activities. At my age, I feel pain all over my body, and this causes [me] to spend [a] lot [of] money on medications," She shared.

But life is much less painful for Ya Sinneh Sesay and the other community members in Petifu Junction now.

"This water point has helped me not to walk long distances again to fetch water, and I have more time to concentrate on my trade. I will now spend less money on medications," She continued.

Having ready access to water from the rehabilitated well has made a difference for Ya Sinneh Sesay, allowing her to focus her energy on building her trade.

"Thank you for safe and pure drinking water. [There's] no more struggle for water," Ya Sinneh Sesay concluded.

Thank you for helping Ya Sinneh Sesay access clean water and no longer painfully struggle to collect water. She can now prioritize her resources for enhancing her future.

Right now, there are others just like her 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.

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 Petifu Junction Community 2 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 Petifu Junction Community 2 – 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 - Potomac Heights Baptist Church
Get Auto Group Dallas, TX
30 individual donor(s)