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The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Singing And Dancing
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Big Smiles
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Cheering
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Everyone Happy
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Happy Kids
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Relieved Faces
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Smiles All Around
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Smiling Women
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Aminata At The Well
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Aminata With Councilor
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Celebrations
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Celebrations
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Celebrations
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Celebrations
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Celebrations
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Celebrations
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Community Elders
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Filling A Jug
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Happy Women
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Kids At Pump
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Ladies With Mapping Officer
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Mariama Collecting Water
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Men At Well
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Mariama Kamara
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Morlai Kamara
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Bad Hygiene
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Bad Hygiene
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Bad Hygiene
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Bad Hygiene
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Constructing Tippy Tap
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Dental Hygiene
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Diarrhea
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Disease Transmission
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Disease Transmission
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Disease Transmission
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Disease Transmission
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Handwashing Demonstration
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Handwashing Result
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Handwashing Technique
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Healthy And Unhealthy Community
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Importance Of Bathing
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Importance Of Clotheslines
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Importance Of Mosquito Nets
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Oral Hygiene
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Water User Committee
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Worms And Parasites
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Drilling
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Chlorination
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Bailing
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Bailing
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Bailing
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Checking Water Level
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Pump Installation
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Yield Test
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Yield Test
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Yield Test
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Finished Water Point
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Finished Water Point
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Water Flowing
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Before And After Fr Template
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Water Source
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Farming
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Girl Carrying Water
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Woman Collecting Water
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Woman Collecting Water
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Woman Carrying Water
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Garbage
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Garbage
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Aminatu
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Aminatu Carrying Water
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Aminatu Collecting Water
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Woman Collecting Water
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Girl Collecting Water
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Community Landscape
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Clotheline
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Household
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Community Landscape
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Household
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Community Kids Playing Local Game
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Animal House
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Smoking Fish
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Laundering Clothes
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Inside A Kitchen
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Yourika Community -  Water Source

Project Status



Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 449 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Yourika village has a well, but it’s dry from April to July each year. When the well does work without drying, its product is still questionable since the water was last tested and treated in 2015.

During the dry season, the 449 people of Yourika get water from the only source available to them, which is a nearby swamp. Even then, the water they’re able to scoop up is often cloudy and muddy even after hours of sieving.

With such limited water options, waterborne illness is a given for everyone in Yourika, though the people most affected are children and the elderly, whose immune systems are weaker. The complaints were varied and widespread: typhoid, dysentery, cholera, worms/parasites, and even skin rashes.

But the community members are used to constant illness. So what they told us most about was the perilous journey to the swamp.

“The bushy footpath scares everyone and reduces the amount of people that go down there,” said 13-year-old Aminatu K (pictured above). “It is difficult to explain, but I can assure you that anyone that goes there never comes back without breaking into a heavy sweat. Not only is the road bad, but it is also far. Imagine balancing a heavy container on your head while trying to look at the road ahead and paying attention to every bird or sound you hear. I once saw a snake on my way back from the swamp which made me very afraid.”

“Growing up in the village has taught me to recognize sounds of distress or danger made by birds and other animals,” Aminatu explained. “My favorite is the noises made by monkeys. The loud aggressive sounds tell you there is danger ahead. [This] will be immediately followed with loud singing by us to also let the person or danger know we are plenty and not afraid.”

“As a woman, my use for water exceeds the need by a man,” said Mariama Kamara, a 27-year-old trader. “I am responsible for making sure there is enough water at the home before I leave to sell my business.”

“I bathe at the swamp to avoid using water brought back at the home,” Mariama continued. “It is a risky behavior which my husband has warned against. I clearly see his point, because there are always different men that come to our village for one thing or another and a naked woman to some is an invitation for unwanted sexual advances. To avoid putting myself in danger, I always look for a group of women that come along with me to the swamp to prevent any chances of being attacked.”

With a reliable well within the community itself, Aminatu and Mariama won’t have to worry about being attacked while accomplishing their daily tasks. They and their loved ones will live easier, healthier lives drinking water free from waterborne diseases.

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


06/14/2022: Yourika Community Well Rehabilitation Complete!

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

"I am happy for this pump because I will no longer go to the stream again to fetch water," said 13-year-old Aminatu K., who we spoke to when we first visited Yourika. "The stream is far, and the road is not good."

Aminatu splashes water at the well with District Councilor Abu Bakarr Bangura.

"The stream water is also not [as] clean as this pump water," Aminatu continued. "I could not go to the stream alone to fetch water because the area is not safe. There are snakes and other dangerous animals in the bush where the stream is located. I will no longer be afraid of fetching water because [the pump] is located at the middle of this village."

"I got tired after I had finished fetching water from the stream, but I can fetch more water from the pump than the stream," Aminata concluded. "I will now fetch enough water from the pump to help my mother to prepare food and to do other activities at the house. There will now be enough drinking water at the house."

"I am happy today for the good condition of this pump," said Mariama Kamara, 27, who we also interviewed during our first visit to Yourika.

Mariama collects water from the rehabilitated pump.

"[The pump] was not in good working condition," Mariama continued. "It was difficult to fetch water from this pump because the water was not enough to serve everyone in this village. This pump would get dry during a moment like this."

"It was from the stream I fetched water regularly and it was not good for drinking, but I had to drink from it because it was always the only water available. Activities like laundering and bathing were completed at the stream by people in this village. Those activities caused the water [to be] filthy and not good for drinking," said Mariama.

Mariama concluded, "I believe that this pump will help to save me from drinking impure water from the stream. I am confident of the purity of the water from the pump because just after the construction, the water was given a treatment, which I believe will kill everything that would cause me to [be] sick after drinking water from the pump."

Community members celebrate water.

"My business was delayed because of the time I spent to fetch water from [the] stream. Sometimes the stream water level would be low after people had fetched water. I would wait until the water [would] get [to] the level I could fetch [from] and return to my house. This wasted the time I had to get other activities completed," said Mariama.

"Doing all that every day was a huge task and that affected my health. I am happy because of the pump that is now giving me the opportunity to fetch enough water on time. This will make all my duties at home easy," she concluded.

Mariama gives a speech at the pump's dedication ceremony.

We held a dedication ceremony to officially hand over the well to the community members. The community women gathered around the fence of the newly completed well, singing in their local Susu language welcoming the visitors to the community and thanking God for the provision of water. Most of the community members here are Muslim, and according to the community elders, this well will solve the problem of getting access to water in their religious practice and give them the opportunity to pray on time.

Several local dignitaries attended the ceremony, including representatives from the Port Loko District Council, the Ministry of Water Resources, and the Ward Council. 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, Aminatu and Mariama made statements on their community's behalf. The ceremony concluded with more 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 19 meters with water at 14 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 assist with 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 pump and conducted a water quality test. The test results showed that this is clean water fit for drinking!

Finished well with handwashing station nearby.

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 three-day hygiene and sanitation training. We then dispatched our teams to the agreed-upon location to hold the meeting.

On each day of training, we asked for one participant to attend from each of Yourika's households. We were pleasantly surprised to find more than one person per household attended each of the three days, which demonstrates Yourika's commitment to change.

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 shows an illustration of a clothesline in use.

When we discussed using clotheslines to dry clothes, one participant, Foday, told a story of his neighbor, whose family always dries their clothes on the ground. The neighbor picked his shirt up from the ground in the morning and went about his business, not realizing a scorpion had attached itself to his shirt. Needless to say, the man ended up stung by the scorpion, and at the time of the training, he was in the hospital receiving treatment. Other participants clapped for Foday's contribution to the training when he finished. (We hope his neighbor is doing better now!)

Community members discuss posters that show the steps of disease transmission, trying to put them in order.

Another topic that caused a stir was when we covered examples of poor hygiene. One woman, N'mah, told a personal story when we spoke about proper hygiene before and after using the latrine.

"I remember when I was going to the toilet without wearing slippers (shoes) and failing to clean the drainages that are near my house," N'mah said. "As a result, I suffered from terrible sicknesses such as having sores on my feet, terrible stomach pain, etc. Thank God for the hygiene and sanitation training. I believe, if I adhere to [these] health precautionary measures, I will not get sick."

The training facilitator shows examples of poor hygiene.

Morlai Kamara, who was elected as the chairperson of the Water User Committee, was particularly affected by the section where we discussed feeding everyone—especially children—a balanced diet.

"The training was valuable to me because I am now able to understand how important it is to eat food such as chicken, fish, [and] beans that will help me to grow," Morlai said.

"Initially, when my wife prepared a meal, she always gave me everything. The children [would] only receive [a] little. All this has affected them, making my children suffer [from] hunger due to low food intake. Honestly, this training has changed my mentality. The children need protein for them to grow strong and healthy."

A participant demonstrates proper handwashing technique.

"Secondly, the training has helped me understand how important handwashing is," Morlai continued. "As a photographer, when I am going for programs, I always must interact with different people by shaking their hands or touching them. I have ignored handwashing, and this made me have frequent stooling, especially on occasions where I used my hands to eat. Therefore, [the] new knowledge [I] received will help me to practice the act of handwashing."

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!


The Water Project : sierraleone22644-1-1-happy-kids-00011


04/29/2022: Yourika Community Well Rehabilitation Complete!

A severe clean water shortage in Yourika 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!


The Water Project : sierraleone22644-clotheline-4


Project Photos


Project Type

Borehole and Hand Pump

Girls and women walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - we are able to pull water to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.


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