Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 262 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 03/04/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

Rogberay Community once had its own well to serve all 262 people in the community. But for the past three years, the well has failed to provide any water. This means that, for years, Rogberay's people have had to use swamp water for all their uses—but now, following long periods of drought, hotter weather, and overuse, the swamp itself often turns to mud during the dry seasons.

In 2021, the swamp dried out for over a month during a drought. This leaves Rogberay's people worrying about what they will do if their backup water source dwindles away entirely.

"The well is not functioning, so I must fetch water from the swamp," said 26-year-old trader Yakonnie (shown below carrying water). "Fetching water from the swamp is very time-consuming, especially for a trader like me. The road to the source can be very slippery, which can cause me [to] fall, break my rubber bucket or bowl, destroy my slippers (shoes), or even get injured."

While the rainy season replenishes the water supply, it poses its own problems for the swamp, as 15-year-old Fatmata explained.

"During the rainy season, when the water gets full and dirty, I fetch water with leeches, tadpoles, and even frogs [in it]," Fatmata (in the below photo) said. "Sometimes, before I get to the stream, other children have [gotten] there already and fetched the clean water. By the time I will get there, the water will be dirty, and I have no option but to wait until it is clear or fetch the dirty water."

"During the rainy season, the constraints become more eminent," Yakonnie said. "At this time, the water itself is very scarce to drink because when [the] rain comes, all the dirt from the surrounding [area] will be discharged into the swamp, which [makes] the water very dirty and muddy."

The water is already not fit for consumption, but it becomes even more contaminated when it is mistreated.

"People go to the stream to launder or bathe in the water," Fatmata explained. "If they are adults, especially men, I must wait until they are done bathing before I fetch water. And the water will have soap lather all over [it]. I will be carrying soap-lathered water home for drinking or for other house needs. Sometimes dogs, goats, and sheep at the community will drink [or] bathe at the water source."

The difficulty in fetching water means that none of the households in Rogberay are getting enough of it to accomplish everything they need to. People we spoke to said they forego tasks like bathing, cleaning, and laundry for extended periods of time to stretch out their water supply. For people who use water for their livelihoods, which is almost everyone, this means reduced profits.

Yakonnie struggles to get water each morning, which means she is often delayed in cooking the food she offers for trade. By the time she is on the road selling her wares, many of her customers will have bought their meals elsewhere.

Yakonnie explained: "I usually do not get enough sales, which affects me to get less profit, because by the time I start selling, other traders with the same business items will first go to those communities where I usually do trade, so all my customers will not be fortunate to buy my own goods. I even attempt to eat my capital because trading less causes me to get less profit. This is the source of my livelihood."

Without a steady profit, Rogberay's people struggle to afford basic necessities. So when they inevitably get ill from drinking the unsafe water (typhoid and skin rashes were the most commonly reported issues here), they cannot get the required treatment and medication.

When we rehabilitate the broken well in Rogberay, people's health and quality of life should improve drastically.

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

June, 2023: Rogberay Community Well Rehabilitation Complete!

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

"This water point is a blessing for me as a school-going girl. I used to go to school late because of a water problem. Every morning I [had to] go to the stream to fetch water before going to school. I always faced punishment in school because of my lateness," said 15-year-old Fatmata K.

Fatmata drinking clean water!

"But now that we have this water point in our community, I will no longer go to school late. With this water point in my community, I believe my educational goal will now come to pass. Some of the odd things I used to face before are now over, like going to school later, being absent from school, and waking up very early in the morning to go in search of water at the stream. [They] are all ended. Thank you for this goodness in my community," said Fatmata.

"I’m very much happy for this water point in my community because we have suffered for so long in terms of safe drinking water in our community. The water we used to drink before is not good for our health," said 28-year-old trader Ya Konnie Kamara.

Ya Konnie splashes clean water.

"I’m now free from water-borne sicknesses like cholera, diarrhea, and typhoid. I will now complete my domestic activities daily and go to the market to sell my goods. This water point has also impacted me always to observe the proper hygiene practices you taught us to do, especially washing our hands after using the toilet. I want to thank the entire team for giving us this safe water in our community," concluded Ya Konnie.

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, Fatmata and Ya Konnie made statements on their community's behalf. The ceremony concluded with celebration, singing, and dancing.

Port Loko District Council Representative Mr. Bangura.

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 20 meters with water at 15 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.

The completed well.

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.

Learning about disease transmission.

Training topics covered included handwashing and tippy taps, good and bad hygiene habits, teen pregnancy, worms and parasites, proper dental hygiene, menstrual hygiene, proper care of the well's pump, keeping the water clean, the cost recovery system, the importance of using dish racks and clotheslines, the importance of toilets, keeping latrines clean, balanced diets, the diarrhea doll, and disease transmission and prevention, COVID-19, Ebola, Hepatitis, HIV and AIDS.

"Yes, the training was very much valuable to me because I learned a lot about hygiene. Certain things that I took for granted will now be handled with seriousness. Initially, my son normally defecates around the house. Although we bought him a stool, he still defecates on the ground. I was able to learn from the disease transmission stories the dangers of such actions. That is why I will never allow such things to happen again," said Ya Konnie.

The Water User Committee with their training certificates.

She continued, "I was enlightened [about] the importance of washing our hands after using the toilet and when and how we should take care of our environment. From this training, I was able to get a better understanding of taking our children to the hospital when they are sick. This training has impacted me to avoid all the bad hygiene practices that I have been doing. I will also use this training to tell others that we should take care of ourselves and our environment if we want to be healthy and happy."


This project required a substantial collaboration between our staff, our in-country teams, and the community members. 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 Kenya, Uganda, and Sierra Leone, we’re working toward complete coverage. That means 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!

May, 2023: Rogberay Community Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Rogberay 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!


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