Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 182 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2024

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features

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Community Profile

Water in this section of Masoila is both contaminated and difficult to obtain, which makes life hard for the 182 people who live here.

"The water situation in my community is really affecting me," said 30-year-old trader Aminata Kamara (pictured below leaving the well).

"I find it hard to fetch water from the open well because a lot of energy is required," she continued. "I must bend down and dip the gallon [jug] into the well. To pull the [jug] from the well using the rope becomes difficult for me. Most times, I would not be able to do many trips. I experience back pain and joint pain because of this reason."

But the well in Masoila is also overcrowded, with people from several different communities all coming to fetch water here. Because of this, getting water, especially during busy times like early morning and evening, eats up a lot of time and energy.

"Another challenge I face when fetching water at this source is the high number of water users that normally visit the water point," Fatmata explained.

"Fetching water from this source becomes difficult since I spend a lot of time waiting for my turn to fetch water," Fatmata continued. "The thing that pains me more is when the people that I normally meet at the water point delay me from fetching water. They would not allow me to fetch water until they are through. Even if I plead with them, they still would not allow me [to fetch water]. This prolongs the waiting time at the water point. As a result, I would end up returning home with empty containers."

Unfortunately, this series of problems isn't unique to Fatmata. Everyone in Masoila is struggling to get enough water, as 15-year-old Abu (pictured below) explained.

"I find it very hard to fetch water for my parents, especially in the morning hours," Abu said. For me to fetch water, I must walk a far distance to the water source. I must wake up early in the morning to access the water point. Fetching water from this source is hard because the water point gets overcrowded. I usually [take a lot of time] at the water well because of the method of fetching water from the well, and it is time-consuming. It would be very hard for me to make many trips because I would be very exhausted. Therefore, I only do [a] few trips."

There are a few factors worsening the situation beyond the long wait time and the labor-intensive fetching process. The well in Masoila is hand-dug and unprotected, so it's not very deep. Not only does the well dry up during seasons when there isn't much rain, but the water is open to surface runoff, which contaminates the water with pollutants from households, farms, and latrines. Our field officer also observed trash and leaves in the water, which is hardly ideal for drinking.

"It is really frustrating for this community to drink such water," said our field officer, Alie. "The community members use a rope and then tie it to the container. They dip the container into the well to pull [out] some water. The rope they use to draw the container from the well is very dirty and it is always on the well. Most of the time, the thread from the rope can be seen inside the water, but people still use this water to drink. Drinking this water will lead to contact with waterborne diseases. I really pity them because using such water to drink or cook is not safe."

But contaminated water is better than no water at all. And when the well dries up, Abu has to beg his neighbors, who have private wells, for water.

"I must go in search of water from other sources, but [they are] private water wells," Abu said. "It is not easy for me, and there are times I would not be fortunate to fetch water from these sources because their water points always get locked."

All this time spent worrying, waiting, and walking for a meager amount of water means that even the most basic household tasks become nearly impossible.

"It would be very difficult for this community to prepare food on time, bathe, launder clothes and get access to clean and safe water to drink," Alie said. "Sometimes, these activities hardly [get completed], which affects them greatly."

"By the time I eventually fetch water, I would get limited time to cook, and it is really affecting me not to get food on time," Fatmata said. "I find it hard to launder my dirty clothes."

"During the weekend I have to launder my clothes as well as [my school] uniform. Since the well is seasonal, fetching water to this community becomes extremely difficult for me. Sometimes, I hardly complete this task."

We're also working to install functioning wells throughout all the sections of Masoila community. Once we rehabilitate this well, community members here will hopefully find shorter lines, cleaner water, as well as more time and energy to complete all the essential household tasks that give people dignity and comfort.

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. 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 a new pump, a construction that 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, 2024: Masoila Community Well Rehabilitation Complete!

We are excited to share that a safe, reliable water point at Masoila Community in Sierra Leone is now providing clean water to community members! We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training, focusing on healthy practices such as handwashing and latrines.

Excited for clean water!

Sixteen-year-old Abubakarr overflowed with joy as he shared how this waterpoint would change his life. "Today, I am no longer suffering for water as before. All I need to do is to pump water from the well. Before, I used to use [a] rope to fetch water. It was not easy for me to do that. The water was dirty because the rope was always on the ground, so fetching drinking water for my parent was hard. But now, I can fetch clean water to drink [that] will not make us sick."

Abubakarr joyously drinks safe water!

"The well will prevent me from walking far distances to fetch water from other sources. I used to fetch water from other sources when this well ran dry or the water became dirty. Now, this will not happen. I believe this well will never run dry. Water will be available anytime for me to fetch [and] do the necessary work at home. Today, with this water well, I will be able to launder my school uniforms after school. They will have enough time to dry. All this is an advantage to me," continued Abubakarr.

Adults were just as excited as the children!

"Now all my suffering for water is over. I remember when this was an open well. Even to fetch two buckets of water was not easy. I had [to] bend down and dip the gallon [bucket] into the well. Pulling the gallon [bucket up] using the rope [was] a challenge. I used to experience severe back pain. But now, I can fetch enough water by using less energy. Since the well has a pump and is closer to our house, I have enough water that I can use for the day to cook, bathe, and launder," expressed 31-year-old trader Aminata Kamara.

Aminata celebrates the well!

"Having this well gives me access to fetch enough water [for] us for a couple of days at home. This prevents me from fetching water every day. As a result, I have enough time to concentrate on my trade and to do other things at home," Aminata continued.

Time to celebrate!

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 Assistant Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. Each official gave a short speech thanking everyone who contributed to the rehabilitation of the water project, reminding everyone to take good care of it. Then, Abubakarr and Aminata made statements on their community's behalf. The ceremony concluded with celebration, singing, and dancing. There was a spirit of unity, and with access to clean water, the Masoila Community is now empowered to thrive!

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.

Installing the casing.

Finally, we lined up the drill rods and started to drill! We reached a final depth of 12 meters with water at 3.6 meters. The hand-drill method allowed the team to install the cylinder 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.

Learning how to make a tippy tap (handwash station).

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.

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, 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.

Learning how to wash their hands properly.

One topic that struck a chord with the community was handwashing. They knew how to treat adverse reactions such as diarrhea but were unsure of the cause. Through this lesson and a community member's anecdote, the community learned how crucial it is to wash their hands, especially after utilizing the restroom, to stop the spread of germs.

When asked if this new knowledge would impact her life, Aminata enthusiastically said, "Yes!" She continued, "This training was valuable because it was a great opportunity. Learning the different aspects of hygiene and sanitation is good. I believe the other members in the community have benefited from this training. Now, with the knowledge I have received from this training, I will be able to take care of myself and the place I live."


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!

January, 2024: Masoila Community Well Rehabilitation Underway!

The lack of adequate water in Masoila Community costs people time, energy, and health every single day. Clean water scarcity contributes to community instability and diminishes individuals’ personal progress.

But thanks to your recent generosity, things will soon improve here. We are now working to install a reliable water point and improve hygiene standards. We look forward to sharing inspiring news in the near future!

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!


48 individual donor(s)