Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 150 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/07/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

The 150 people of Wasaya have given up on their once-crowded community well. The well wouldn't yield enough water for everyone in the community and was slow to recharge, and the pump broke down so many times that it was finally removed. Now, all the women and girls in the community must walk a further 30 minutes to fetch water for all their needs, and this far distance is weighing on them.

"After the pump breakdown, water problems became a big challenge for me," said 15-year-old Monica K, in the photo below.

"I have to go [an] extra mile to fetch water before going to school. Because of this condition, I am late for school. After I return home from school, I must fetch water to prepare food for us, assisted [by] my mother. Sometimes my younger sister helps me [with] fetching water, or both of us go to the pump to fetch water. The [alternative] well is in good order, but it is far away from my house. Every morning and evening, I must walk [a] far distance to the pump to fetch water. If I meet people, I must wait for [a] few minutes before I fetch water. This situation causes me not to complete my housework."

Although the well they are currently using is protected and monitored, it is so far away that fetching water there disrupts the water users' lives in more ways than one. Not only is walking long distances for water inconvenient, but ultimately, it affects their health, hygiene, livelihoods, and more.

“Households with travel times greater than 30 minutes have been shown to collect progressively less water. Limited water availability may also reduce the amount of water that is used for hygiene in the household.” (The Relationship between Distance to Water Source and Moderate-to-Severe Diarrhea in the Global Enterics Multi-Center Study in Kenya, 2008–2011)

"I am a businesswoman and gardener," said 38-year-old Elizabeth Samura (fetching water in the below photo).

"I embark on my business daily. But before going [to] trade, I have to do my housework, like fetching drinking water, preparing my kids for school, etc. I also planted different crops at my backyard for living. The water well I used to fetch water from had a breakdown. This situation caused me to find another water source. Due to [the] water problem in my community, I [am] hardly done [with] my activities on time. I will be very much happy if this water well gets renewed."

As Elizabeth said, the people of Wasaya will be so relieved if their own community well can be rehabilitated to serve its people once again, with added protection and monitoring. A reliable source of water will give these people the freedom to accomplish everything they need to each day without worrying about walking long distances.

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

March, 2023: Wasaya Community Well Rehabilitation Complete!

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

"I want to say my cry for sufficient, pure, and safe drinking water is over," said 38-year-old Elizabeth Samara. "A persistent crisis of water affects my business and as a result, hinders its growth. I will be able to go to my shop on time, and my business will increase within the shortest possible time."

Elizabeth continued, "I will now be able to prepare food for my family on time and clean the environment and the sanitation facilities every morning. There will be sufficient, safe, and pure water in the community, and I will no longer buy water for drinking purposes because the water well will provide safe and pure drinking water."

"Today is a joyful day for me and my family. I want to thank [you] for the water well you have constructed in my community," said 14-year-old Monica K.

"I will be able to go to school on time [and] launder my uniform when I am off from school. I will no longer walk a long distance to fetch water because there is a water well in my community. There is pure and safe drinking water in the community."

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 and 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, Elizabeth and Monica 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 21 meters with water at 12 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, 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.

We also invited a nurse from the local clinic to help explain some topics and spread awareness about Sierra Leone's free vaccinations for children under five. She was instrumental in reinforcing each lesson.

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 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.

"Yes, this training is valuable to me because it has helped me to gain new knowledge concerning health issues. Before this day, I had been doing things that are contrary to the knowledge - you have impacted in my life. Especially in the area of healthy and unhealthy communities, but with the three days of hygiene and sanitation training, I have now been able to know the importance of taking care of our communities," said Elizabeth (quoted earlier).

The sessions on diarrhea and hand washing were both important during the training. Community members recalled several stories of people suffering from diarrheal illnesses due to improper handwashing and hygiene. They were happy to be equipped with information that would make a difference in their lives going forward.


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!

January, 2023: Wasaya Community Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Wasaya 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!

No More Water Constraints for Bennisha!

May, 2024

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

Keeping The Water Promise

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

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Wasaya 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!

Last year, your gift unlocked the potential for a brighter future for Bennisha. Since then, she and the Wasaya Community of 150 residents have had clean, reliable water. Your contribution has made a significant impact. Thank you for making a difference!

Fifteen-year-old Bennisha recalled what life was like in the Wasaya Community before the community well was rehabilitated last year.

“Before, to access water in my community was not easy. I found it very difficult, and the water point we had did not provide enough water. And this would cause me to go and search for water from different sources,” said Bennisha.

Collecting water is now simpler and less time-consuming for Bennisha and the other community members in Wasaya.

“I feel good when I get access to water easily. It's impacting my life. Before I walked a long distance to access water but now, I am not walking a long distance to fetch water. Waiting for [a] long time at the water point is over. Before, I spent much time at the water point,” continued Bennisha.

Happy for clean water!

Having ready access to water from the well has made a difference for Bennisha, allowing her to have sufficient clean water whenever she needs it and to reserve her time and energy for other things.

"Now, I do not [have] constraints to fetch water and this water point has helped me to achieve some things that I have never done before. For example, [I] fetch enough water at home to launder my clothes, drink water, go to school on time, [and] have enough time to study, etc. I want to say plenty [of] thanks for providing this water well," concluded Bennisha.

At The Water Project, we value sustainability and want to ensure that people continue to thrive. We commit to monitoring this well to ensure the water is always flowing and safe to consume. We inspect the system hardware, track water availability, conduct sanitary inspections, and collect water quality samples to identify risks. We work with our team on the ground to resolve them.

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 Wasaya 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 Wasaya 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.


21 individual donor(s)