Project Status

Project Type:  Well Rehab

Program: Water for Sierra Leone

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Decommissioned

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Mariatu's Hope. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Community Details

"The well was dry." This was devastating—but not unfamiliar—news for the 266 boys and 268 girls of DEC Kamasondo Primary School and surrounding families in Benke community who relied on this hand-pump for their safe water source. Because of this, students and families were forced to use unprotected dug wells, surface water, and rainwater collection for all of their water needs. When Mariatu's Hope received the request to rehabilitate this hand-pump, they assessed the situation and realized that the lining of the borehole had separated, allowing sand to enter in. The team was able to repair the lining with plaster. Leaving the old casing inside the well, four new casings were constructed outside of the well and installed. As the team prepared to install a new India Mark II hand pump, they found that the couplings on the rising main were welded upside down. Challenged but determined, they took the rising main to a local welder so the old couplings could be removed and re-welded the correct way. This was extremely time consuming and by the time the pump was installed, the children had gone home due to the need to help prepare food and to attend Ramadan prayers. Nonetheless, the former dry well flowed water again! As part of the community engagement strategy and transferring ownership of the water project to the users, a water committee was established which consisted of four men and one woman; this water committee will be in charge of keeping the well clean and informing Mariatu's Hope if the issues with the well arise in the future. Other NGOs such as the Catholic Mission, Lungi Sierra Leone and the Arab Hospital are also working in the area, providing services such as infant nutrition, education for the reduction of teenage pregnancies, medical assistance, and more.

Hygiene Promotion

Prior to the completion of the well rehabilitation, a barrier analysis was performed and hygiene education was given to the students in the school. During the hygiene education, a local child health club from another school came and conducted participatory lessons such as disease transmission, proper hand-washing, water-saving methods, and how to construct a Tippy Tap hand-washing station. The students were fully engaged and participated well. One community was even inspired to build a household latrine. There are latrines at the school, but the ratio is so poor (1 latrine per every 133 students) that the school is currently raising money for new toilets.

Community Member Interview

The team had the opportunity to speak to 65-year-old teacher, Michael Sylvanus, who stated: "It has taken some time to get this well fixed. It has spoiled many times. Hopefully now we will have a good water source that will last."

Project Updates

December, 2018: Work at DEC Kamasondo School

The initial project at this school (seen in the reporting found on this page) is a display of our shared commitment to helping this community with first time water access.  Equally as important to the community and The Water Project is ongoing support to make sure that water is reliable, day after day, year after year. This is why we monitor all our projects.  Over time we’ve found that the water table has dropped in this area, limiting the intended benefit of this well. Though not common, this does happen from time to time.

Because of our commitment to students and people in this community (and the lasting impact that our supporters want to make), we’ve drilled this well deeper in order to access a deeper, higher yield aquifer. This work will ensure that clean water is accessible here year round.  To see that work, click here.

Project Photos

Project Type

Well rehabilitation is one of the most cost effective ways to bring clean, safe water to a community.  Sometimes it involves fixing a broken hand pump, other times it means sealing a hand dug well to prevent it from being contaminated.  These repairs, and often time total replacements, coupled with sanitation and hygiene training make a huge impact in communities.

"It has taken some time to get this well fixed. It has spoiled many times. Hopefully now we will have a good water source that will last."

Michael S - Teacher