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DEC Mahera Primary School

DEC Mahera Primary School


8°36'04.3"N 13°11'57.4"W

8°36'04.3"N 13°11'57.4"W

Borehole Well

People walk long distances for water when safe water is very often right under their feet! Underground rivers, called aquifers, often contain a constant supply of safe water – but you have to get to it. No matter what machine or piece of equipment is used, all drilling is aiming for a borehole that reaches into an aquifer. If the aquifer has water - and after the well is developed - water is pulled to the surface utilizing a hand-pump. The community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around 5 gallons of water a minute through a hand-pump.

Borehole Well
Facts & Stats

Facts & Stats


Lives Empowered


Avana's Contribution


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“The water that is required for use at the school for the day far exceeds [the] 2 drums we can collect each day. We do not want to put the children through the agony of fetching water and crossing the heavily trafficked road,” – said Alimamy Kamara, one of the school’s head teachers.

Project Details

The Community

The District Educational Council (DEC) Mahera Primary School was established on April 17th, 1947. Being the second oldest school in the chiefdom has its perks and benefits. One is that all the parents would like to have their children attend the same school. The school has produced the likes of members of parliament, paramount chiefs, teachers, professors, and the armed forces to name but a few.

The well that provides water to the school and the local community members is located on school property and monitored with members of the school teachers as part of the water user committee. It is at the doorstep of the school, making fetching water very convenient for the pupils. Except it already does not work.

The pressure on the well and a drop in the water table mean that it often will run dry for periods until it recharges with water. The sheer size of the school population requires this school to always have a clean supply of water day in and day out. But this well is unable to meet that demand.

The nursery students are always in need of water either to drink or to use after using the latrine. The headmistress, Madam Haja Kamara, takes all the necessary steps needed to provide a safe and learning-friendly environment. Without the provision of safe water at the school, however, the negative consequences will be astronomical. The young children are susceptible to contracting typhoid, dysentery, and diarrhea.

The Solution

Well Rehabilitation
The well marked for this overhaul 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 combination 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 3 days in a row.

The hygiene and sanitation trainer decided it would be best to teach community members how to build a tippy tap (a hands-free handwashing 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 dishracks and the importance of properly penning in animals to keep them away from people’s food and water.

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The information regarding this project was provided to Avana® by The Water Project. While the information contained within this website is periodically updated, no guarantee is given that the information provided in this website is correct, complete, and up-to-date. Due to the nature of the project, stage of completion and privacy concerns for project recipients, some photographs, diagrams and other depictions on this site may be illustrative and not representative of the actual project.