Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2022

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/01/2024

Project Features

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The Petifu Junction Health Post serves a large community of 500, but the health post's current dug well is in a weakened state. Because of the water shortage, the healthcare services offered are severely limited.

The center is marked for expansion with the help of another organization, but without water, the buildings will sit empty, and new vital health services like surgeries will not be able to happen.

Overuse of the current well (shown below) causes frequent pump breakdowns and slows the discharge rate causing long lines and delays. When seasonal dryness occurs, the issue is further compounded. The well is in need of rehabilitation and, without repairs, will continue to only provide menial amounts of water and leave people needlessly suffering.

40-year-old midwife Christiana Jillo Will (shown below) finds delivering babies, especially during nighttime emergencies, challenging without sufficient water.

"There is a need for water to ensure proper hygiene and sanitation at the health center," said Christiana. "It is not easy to provide good health service without the use of clean and adequate water.

"The water well at this health center is not strong [enough] to provide enough water for us throughout the year. This well gets low water during the dry season, and the pump frequently breaks down."

But taking the extra time to travel to the community well is not feasible for Christiana when she is trying to deliver vital health services, so she often must rely on what water patients' families can collect, or do without - a problem that could have fatal consequences for weakened patients.

The staff and patients are not the only ones suffering due to the well's inability to provide sufficient water year-round. Local community members like 13-year-old Aminata depend on the well to meet their daily water needs, and when the well is not functioning, they are forced to search for water from other sources, too.

"I help my mother to fetch water for the house every day," said Aminata. "In the morning, I fetch water from the well at the health center to wash dishes and to bathe before going to school. Sometimes it [is] not easy to fetch a single bucket of water to my house when the well is not working."

When Aminata (collecting water at the community well in the photo above) is unable to collect water from the health post well, she must go in search of water elsewhere. "When the well is not providing water, I would go to the others far away from the health center to fetch water."

The faraway wells are overcrowded, so Aminata wastes time waiting in long lines and is inevitably late for school.

"There was a time I stayed long at the well waiting to fetch water in the evening," said Aminata. "I returned to the house very fatigued and could not read my school notes when I had to write an examination the following day. I struggled on writing the exam on that day, [and] at the end of it I could not meet the average score."

A rehabilitated well will strengthen health services and improve the daily lives of the community members living in Petifu Junction and hopefully give them healthier, happier futures.

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

December, 2022: Petifu Junction Health Post Well Rehabilitation Complete!

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

"Today, I am happy because this well is renewed, and enough water is coming out. It is clean and safe to drink. Previously, it [was] difficult to complete my duties because of limited access to water at the health facility. Now all [the] constraints [we] faced in this facility are over. I will carry out my duties easily and complete [them] on time," said 32-year-old nurse Fatmata Sesay.

"Before, fetching water in the community was not easy. I live very close to the health facility, [and] I usually fetched water [for] the health facility, but this well was not enough [since] it produced [a] low quantity of water. But today, this well is functioning well and provides enough water," said 13-year-old Isatu T. "Drinking safe and pure water contributes to good health, and with this well in my community [it] will contribute to my health. I will not drink contaminated water anymore, thanks to you."

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 Port Loko District 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, Fatmata and Isatu made statements on their community's behalf.

Healthcare workers, together with the community people, gathered at the water point, singing and dancing to express their joy and happiness for the well's rehabilitation.

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.


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

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 session on worms and parasites was one of the most memorable topics during the training. The dangers of worms were described, and a participant spoke up to share her experience with her three-year-old grandson.

She said he was always complaining of stomachaches, had a distended belly, and refused to eat. He was very sick, but she did not believe the problem was worms, so instead of taking him to the health facility, she used herbs to treat him without success. One day some nurses came to the community to give worm medication to children, but she was afraid to go with her grandson for the medication. A neighbor volunteered to take him instead.

After two days, the child defecated a bunch of worms, which surprised his grandmother. She shared the news with the neighbor, who told her the child could have died if she did not insist on taking him for treatment. The grandmother thanked her neighbor for saving her grandson's life, and since then, her grandchildren get worm medicine every three months.

"This training is valuable to me as a nurse because what I have learned here has added more value [to] my career even though [I] am a nurse," said 31-year-old nurse and secretary of the water user committee Fatmata Kamara. "Some of these things are new to me, like tippy-tap construction. So, I have gained new knowledge from this training, and I will continue to pass on this new knowledge to my patients. I am so grateful for this hygiene and sanitation training I received."


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members themselves. 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 their local field officers to assist them.

Also, we will continue to offer them unmatchable support as a part of our monitoring and maintenance program. We walk with each community, problem-solving together when they face challenges with functionality, seasonality, or water quality. Together, all these components help us strive for enduring access to reliable, clean, and safe water for this community.

With your contribution, one more piece has been added to a large puzzle of water projects. In our target areas, we’re working toward complete coverage of reliable, maintained water sources within a 30-minute round trip for each community, household, school, and health center. With this in mind, search through our upcoming projects to see which community you can help next!

Thank you for making all of this possible!

October, 2022: Petifu Junction Health Post Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Petifu Junction Health Post 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 health post 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: Water for a Health Center and the Community!

February, 2024

A year ago, your generous donation helped the Petifu Junction Health Post in Sierra Leone access clean water – creating a life-changing moment for Marvelous and his community. 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 Health Post 2.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Petifu Junction Health Post 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!

Marvelous Tucker, 41, recalled what life was like as the Director of Petifu Junction Health Post before his community health post's (CHP) well was rehabilitated last year.

"Running the health facility was difficult as a result of the water constraints. The health facility did not have an existing well (that was operational). So, we used to fetch water from a community well. The sad thing is that the well was not always at our disposal. This situation made us suffer as the administration of certain drugs and even cleaning of the CHP was hard to do," said Marvelous.

Collecting water is now much simpler and more efficient for Marvelous.

"Now that the project is completed, I'm able to carry out my work as a community health officer. Rendering treatment to patients is not difficult to do as water is now available for use," said Marvelous.

Marvelous pumping water from the well.

"I can now practice hand washing due to [the] availability of water. Especially after giving treatment to patients. This alone will prevent me from getting diseases that can easily be transmitted from person to person," continued Marvelous.

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Marvelous personally as well. He lives in staff quarters on the health center grounds, so now he has sufficient water to care for his daily needs, too.

"Similarly, we now have enough water to use daily in the health facility quarters. I count this as a blessing to me. Since I'm able to address a lot of things at home (my quarters). Also, the well has helped me to save money. Because I am no longer buying bundles of packet water for drinking," concluded Marvelous.

Community members who use the health center's well are also grateful!

"Now that the project is completed, I am no longer standing in queues to fetch water. Neither do I have difficulties to fetch water during the dry season as the well at the health facility is not seasonal. [It] always has water for us to fetch," shared 14-year-old Isatu T.

"I now have enough time to fetch water and do my household chores before going to school. Also, I am now able to help my mum when she is cooking because water [is] available at home since the water I had fetched in the morning will serve us for [the] day," Isatu said.

Isatu fills a hand washing station at the clinic.


Right now, there are others 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 Health Post 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 Health Post 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.


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