Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Regional Program: Port Loko, Sierra Leone WaSH Program

Impact: 220 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2023

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/26/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

It's been over a year since the well at Evans Medical Center in Kirma worked. Since then, the nurses and surrounding community members have been forced to collect water from a nearby stream across a busy road.

This situation hurts not only the patients of the center, who sometimes cannot be treated properly, but also the nurses, who spend a good portion of each day running to and from the stream to collect unsafe water that then needs to be boiled.

"During the time the well at the health facility was functioning, it was better," said 34-year-old nurse Isatu Mansaray (shown above carrying water). "It was not a problem because the water was available. From the time the well [became] faulty until now, it has greatly affected the running of the health facility. I am not an exception to this suffering because I am unable to execute my job well. Even having enough water for the use of the clinic is difficult. I tell you the truth: I find it hard to do my work well because of the present water situation here."

"The unit in the health facility that suffers the most is the labor room," explained our field officer, Julius Sesay. "Water is highly needed in this area from labor to delivery. Unfortunately for the nurses, they will not be able to fetch water during delivery cases because they will be busy. This makes them suffer because water will not be available to wash the instruments they used in the labor room. Even washing their hands after [a] delivery will be hard. This can be risky because diseases can easily be transmitted through that."

Not only is it difficult to make so many trips to the stream, but the stream itself doesn't yield a lot of water - especially not for a health center that serves nine villages and about 70 patients per day.

"The water I fetch from that source will not even fill two jerrycans," Isatu said. "As a result, the water will not be enough to even clean the maternity ward, let alone the instruments. Fetching water for drinking is also a daunting task because the water from the alternate source easily becomes dirty. The color alone from the water makes you feel discouraged to use it for drinking. Most times, I would buy bundles of water so that I will be able to drink. Apart from that, I will not have any choice but to use [the stream's] water for drinking."

And it was not only the clinic staff who used the now-broken well. The people living in the surrounding area are also negatively impacted by its closure.

"Now that the water point is no longer functioning, I have been fetching water from the stream," said ten-year-old Fatmata B., shown above crossing the busy road on her way home from the stream. "It is hard to fetch water from this source because of the distance. It is hard to do a lot of trips. Also, I find it hard to cross the highway unless I wait patiently for the vehicles and bikes to pass. I was nearly hit by a motorbike when crossing the road. It is risky for me to cross this road due to my age."

"This situation affects me, especially when I will be having a lot of water containers to fetch," Fatmata continued. "I will only be able to fill some of my water containers. This disturbs me, especially when I need water to perform my work at home before heading to school. The water I had fetched will not even be enough to do the necessary work at home."

To help with the water shortage, the nurses sometimes commission water from a local water vendor, but the prices are expensive, the deliveries are often delayed, and each delivery is only a temporary reprieve from the continuous cycle of water scarcity.

"This is very expensive to do because the quantity of water they need is immense," said Julius. "Even after paying [for] water, they must wait for days before their request is granted. Meanwhile, they will not be able to administer certain drugs to patients, such as Panadol, Artemether Lumefantrine, Sudrex, and Oral Rehydration Salts. Since water is not available, these drugs cannot be given orally."

"I will be happy if the well in this healthy facility has been rehabilitated," Isatu concluded. "This will not only be beneficial to me but to the other medical personnel and the patients as well. Even the District Health Management Team in Port Loko will be happy with this since the water point will help to save lives."

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

May, 2023: Evans Medical Center Well Rehabilitation Complete!

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

"Today, I am extremely happy about the rehabilitation of our new water point in the CHC (community health center). Honestly, words cannot express the way I feel. In times past, I was finding it hard to do my job as [I was] supposed [to]. This was due to the water situation in the health facility," said 35-year-old nurse Isatu Mansaray, whom we spoke to when we first visited the health center.

Nurse Mansaray (in pink) celebrates clean water with other nurses and community members.

"When this well was faulty, I would go to the stream to fetch water. Imagine the risk that involves when doing that. If there were an emergency labor delivery case, it would be difficult to address, especially when I am not around. Some of the other nurses would be occupied to do their own work. By the time I would return to the CHC, it would have been too late," said Nurse Mansaray.

"Now that we have a functional well that produces clean water, it will help me fetch enough water for use at the health facility. This will make our work in the CHC much easier than before," she concluded.

Fatmata playing with water.

"The water point will help me to fetch water on time before going to school. I usually went to school late because of the water situation in the community. Ever since the well got faulty, I was fetching water across the street. This was dangerous because motorbikes and vehicles used this road every day. Now that we have this well, I will no longer be prone to accidents like before," said 10-year-old Fatmata B., whom we also spoke to when we first visited the clinic.

Nurses celebrate clean water with community members.

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, Nurse Mansaray and Fatmata 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 22 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.

Testing the yield of the well.

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.

Installing the pump.

At last, we installed the pump and conducted a water quality test. The test results showed that this was clean water fit for drinking!

Clean water!

New Knowledge

Before conducting any hygiene training, we called and visited the clinic and 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 the clinic staff and 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.

Discussing disease transmission routes.

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.

Nurse Mansaray demonstrated how to use a tippy tap handwashing station.

"I am happy about this hygiene training that took place in the health center. I have learned a lot from this training. Therefore, I would use the various lessons that I have learned to continue to sensitize our patients and community members to practice good hygiene. This will aid in promoting their health," said Nurse Mansaray.

"Likewise, I admired the construction of the tippy tap as a handwashing station. This is convenient and easily affordable, unlike the Veronica bucket, which is expensive. Finally, the disease transmission story made me understand why typhoid, diarrhea, and other diseases are easily transmitted. An entire family and even a community can suffer from these diseases due to poor hygiene practices," Nurse Mansaray concluded.

The Water User Committee.


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!

April, 2023: Evans Medical Center Well Rehabilitation Underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Evans Medical Center drains staff and patients' 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 center 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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