Watch the new water drilling rig in action. (35-second video)

New Water Drilling Rig Arrives in Sierra Leone

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Clean Water and Energy, Sierra Leone

Thanks to generous sponsors, World Hope International’s newest, fastest and most rugged water drilling rig — a PAT-Drill model 501 and V900 Atlas Copco Compressor mounted on a Mercedes-Benz Zetros 2236 4×4 chassis— recently arrived in Sierra Leone. It means more vulnerable children and their families in the West African nation will gain access to clean water.

Since 2004, World Hope has moved communities in Sierra Leone and other countries from hand-dug wells that quickly run dry to borehole wells drilled by mechanized equipment. The result is nearly 1.3 million more people now have access to clean water.

Watch the team erupt in a song of thanksgiving as they gather to drill the first borehole at Masanga Hospital. (1-minute video)

In 2023, World Hope International celebrated drilling more than 1,000 borehole wells across Sierra Leone and Liberia.  WHI’s new drilling equipment will make possible the organization’s plan to install water systems in Sierra Leone during the next five years that will provide 500,000 more people with access to clean water.

“The new equipment will help us increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness to serve more beneficiaries with safe, clean drinking water,” said Elijah Kihara, a WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) specialist with World Hope in Sierra Leone.

Saidu Kanu, global ambassador and advisor with WHI, will be responsible for WASH plans in West Africa and for developing and implementing global fundraising and awareness strategies that support the organization’s sustainable clean water initiatives in other parts of the world, including Cambodia.

New Water Rig - Sierra Leone

WHI’s water drilling team will be able to drill 1,000 more borehole wells in Sierra Leone in the next five years, thanks to generous sponsors who made possible the purchase of new drilling equipment: a PAT-Drill model 501 and V900 Atlas Copco Compressor mounted on a Mercedes-Benz Zetros 2236 4×4 chassis.

New Equipment Arrival, Training

Before WHI could begin using its new water drilling equipment in Sierra Leone, the organization’s drilling team had to learn how to use it. 

An assembly and training team from PAT-Drill arrived in Makeni, the largest city in the Northern Province of Sierra Leone. They assembled the drilling equipment, and two days later, the WHI drilling team learned how to operate the equipment at the inaugural borehole drilling site: Masanga Hospital in the Tonkolili District of the Northern Province.

The 120-bed rural hospital treats some 12,000 patients a year. About 440,000 people in the area depend on the hospital for their health care. The boreholes at the hospital alone will improve the lives of everyone who visits the hospital. Multiply that reach by 1,000 more boreholes in the next five years, and one can imagine the lifesaving changes.

During technical drilling training at Masanga, drilling operators learned safe methods of borehole drilling in mud, loose formations and along the coastline. They also learned how to operate the equipment in a way that is environmentally and fiscally responsible, Kihara said.

The PAT 501 drill kit completed borehole drilling at Masanga Hospital in one day. The process included crushing through 32 meters of solid granite, evidence of the new equipment’s increased speed, power and efficiency.

Several boreholes, a water treatment plant, tanks, pumps and remote monitoring will serve the hospital, plus a nursing and physiotherapy school, and international staff, according to World Hope.

Watch the WHI local drilling team learn to use the new drilling equipment. (1-minute 30 seconds video)

What’s Next

As part of WHI’s WASH vision in West Africa that leaves no one behind, the organization during the next five years will ramp up support in more than 15 subnational districts in Sierra Leone and Liberia. 

In addition, WHI will expand WASH investments, including in 77 more health care facilities and 149 more schools. These investments will accommodate the needs of the most vulnerable, including people with disabilities, the poorest households and women and girls.

Kanu called the current water crisis in West Africa “dire.”

“From my many years of work in the water sector, I am looking forward to leading the campaign that will bring clean water to 1 million people in West Africa in five years,” Kanu said. “I can’t wait to see this campaign take off.”

Learn More

Kristen Wright

Kristen Wright

Special Guest Contributor

Kristen Wright is a journalist with more than 20 years’ experience covering global issues. She is chief strategist and editor at Kristen Wright Strategic Communications. Reach her at and wrightkristenm on LinkedIn.

Together, let’s help HOPE flourish around the world.