Cost-effective boreholes in Sierra Leone

Management of a project to support the Ministry of Water Resources to improve national capacity to manage, supervise and undertake borehole drilling. The project included the development of a national code of practice for cost-effective borehole drilling. Management of three short courses covering on basic hydrogeology and siting; procurement and contract management and drilling supervision.


Sierra Leone

Project Period:

Aug 2012 to Feb 2014

Name of Staff involved and functions performed:

Project Manager: Dr Kerstin Danert

Name of Client:

DFID/Wash Facility Sierra Leone/Adam Smith International

Name of Partner Organisation(s):

Ministry of Water Resources

Description of the Project:

Borehole drilling is relatively underdeveloped in Sierra Leone compared to other countries in West Africa despite its potential. An eight-month project “Tapping Treasure: Cost-effective boreholes in Sierra Leone supports: (i) government and NGOs to develop their capacity to manage borehole drilling and (ii) drillers to manage risks. The project contributes to increasing the demand for boreholes, reducing the cost of drilling and improving construction quality using a three-pronged approach:

  • Raise awareness and understanding of groundwater of senior government and opinion leaders through sensitisation, discussions and exposure and liaison with drilling projects to build synergies.
  • Ministry of Water Resources supported to develop a code of practice, or equivalent for boreholes. It will clearly specify how the drilling process from site selection, through tendering, contract award, supervision, payment and post-construction monitoring is to be carried out. It is foreseen that ultimately, this will be applied to all new drilling projects with steps taken to embed it in water resources regulations.
  • Capacity of stakeholders from the Ministry of Water Resources, SALWACO, Guma Valley, district councils, the private sector and NGOs in borehole drilling developed through classroom and practical training in the key aspects of the code of practice i.e:
      1. Basic Hydrogeology and Siting
      2. Procurement and Contract Administration and the Costing and Pricing of Borholes
      3. Drilling Supervision
      4. Drilling Construction

    Details of the project are available on: