Grading system for analysing technical failure in hand-dug water supplies in rural Sierra Leone

As the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the number of people without access to sustainable source of drinking water was reportedly reached in 2012 the long term sustainability of these water supplies can be questioned. This paper investigates the success and failure of water supply systems of the district of Tonkolili, Sierra Leone. The primary focus of this research is on rural hand-dug wells that have been provided by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). To fully appreciate the current condition of the water supply systems a grading system, based on quantitative measurements, was developed. This system allowed comparisons between NGO provided water points and highlighted current successes and failures of the water supplies. The grading system suggests that the water supply sector in Tonkolili is in an exceptionally poor condition. This undermines the valuation of the success in water supply coverage statistics monitored by the Millennium Development Goals in Sierra Leone.