This project is being implemented by our partner African Sand Dam Foundation, and includes the construction of a sand dam, a hand dug shallow well as well as agriculural activities including terracing, tree planting and the creation of a tree nursery and seed bank.
Below is unedited project information direct from our partner:
MUNYUNI SELF HELP GROUP BASELINE INFORMATION
The group was formed in September 2011.It has a membership of 38 members 20 male and 18 females. The group is found in Methovini village, Ivinganzia sub location, Kanthuni location, Kanthuni division and Kathonzweni District.
The reasons behind the formation of the group were:
The main water sources in the area are in Rivers Kanyonga and Athi. Kanyonga River is situated 5 kilometres away from the community while River Athi is 8 kilometres away. It takes three hours to fetch water from River Kanyonga and 5 hours to get water from river Athi.
In order to access water from River Kanyonga one has to dig deep scoop holes of more than three feet deep. This is why it takes long. The water at this water point turns saline during the dry period. The main use of water from river Kanyonga is for livestock. Water is however available during the rainy season. Immediately after the rains end the water dries up leaving the community to fetch water from River Athi.
Women and children bear the burden of fetching water. In the dry seasons of the year that is from August to October school going children have to miss school in order to offer support in the fetching of water. At the school the children are forced to come with water that is meant to cook for them. In most occasions the water brought to schools is not clean and thus there is a number of water borne diseases experienced in the schools.
Due to the lack of water in the area;
The main crops that the farmers grow include maize, cowpeas, sorghum, pigeon peas and green grams.
The main challenges to improved farming include:
The group is currently doing a tree planting program. They however lack enough skills and knowledge to plant the trees. The lack of water in the area has also reduced the number of trees that the community can plant in a season. Termite infestation is also a big challenge to the tree planting program.
The community seeks to create water security through the building of sand dams. The aim of having the sand dam is to improve the availability of water for farming and improved incomes for the community. The community’s objective is to engage in commercial farming where they will have pieces of farms where they can grow crops for sale and for consumption.
The community also seeks to have knowledge and skills that can empower them so as to be able to have resilience against the changing weather patterns in the area.
04/03/2013: All According To Plan
We just posted the latest pictures from Munyuni, Kenya, showing the space behind their new sand dam completely filled with sand. This might look like a problem if you don't understand how sand dams work. But see the paragraph below from our partners in the field explaining how this is all according to plan:
When sand dams are filled with sand evaporation is reduced to a minimum with the water stored below the sand. The sand filters the water clean and protects the water from parasite carriers such as mosquitoes and snails reducing the incidence of the worlds’ two biggest killers of children under five years; malaria and diarrhea. Farmers are using water in the sand dams for domestic purpose, cooking, washing irrigated agriculture, and watering their livestock. By helping the communities to have less time spent in fetching water, more farmers have increased time to practise or engage in other activities that help in improving their social economic lifestyles.
Safer water, less disease, healthier crops. That sounds like a good plan to us! Thank you for your help!
07/05/2012: Munyuni Sand Dam complete
ASDF and the community at Munyuni have completed the sand dam! This is fantastic news. Direct from our partner, African Sand Dam Foundation:
"Work at Munyuni Self Help Group sponsored by our partners-The Water Project is now complete. Members of this group are elated that come the next rain season, water that has for years been running through the river closest to their village will be trapped where it’s needed most, rather than letting it flow to the ocean, then spend 10 hours later walking to the next nearest source, River Athi which is over 15 Kms away!"
Charles Kithisya Ngundo, the chairman says:
“We mostly fetch water from scoop holes which we fence around after use and at times people trespass and allow their livestock to drink from the same holes. Other times the scoop holes dry up posing a great challenge. That will however stop once this sand dam traps water"
06/12/2012: Progress update on Munyuni Self Help Group
We've got a quick update from ASDF on this project - construction is about to start, as the community has everything in place. This from ASDF:
Munyuni Self Help Group
Work at this site is at the preparatory stage though nearly all of the required local materials are ready. What’s currently happening is excavation of the foundation and wing walls. Members are determined to fully participate in the project so as to solve their main problem which is water and utilize it fully once it’s harnessed.
We'll have more on this exciting phase of the project in the coming weeks.
05/08/2012: Munyuni construction scheduled to start
African Sand Dam Foundation are satisfied that the community at Munyuni are now in a position to begin construction of the sand dam. Expect more info soon as things really get moving! The photo accompanying this update shows what we can expect to see at Munyuni in the coming days and weeks.
ASDF are a Kenyan NGO that helps farmers in arid and semi arid lands gain access to clean water as well as improve their income and food security. Their mission is to enable communities to conserve soil and water by building sand dams, digging terraces, planting trees, and developing farms.
The African Sand Dam Foundation helps farmers in arid and semi arid lands gain access to clean water.
Clean water changes lives. Girls return to school. Women begin small businesses. Men are no longer too sick to work. Fields are watered and food supply becomes more reliable. Health returns and children grow up to be productive members of their community. The cycle of poverty is broken. Lives change.
"When water comes...everything changes." That's what our driver told us as we drove from town to town in Kenya. And we see the change every time a new well brings clean water.
New Sand Dam and Well Projects in Kenya
Project Type: Sand Dam and Shallow Well
Location: Central Kenya