A Year Later: Itatini Sand Dam

November, 2017

This has transformed our environment and our children never lack food or even basic needs because we sell the farm products and get money.

A Year Later: Itatini Sand Dam

A year ago, generous donors helped build a sand dam for the Itatini Self-Help Group in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from partners Mutheu Mutune, Joe Kioko and Titus Mbithi with you.

This sand dam has supported the community with water that has transformed the environment. Most of the community members living in this area have planted trees, which further conserve the environment. Time that was initially wasted looking for water is now used for income-generating activities. Livestock no longer lack drinking water and die during the dry months. Washing clothes is made easy due to the soft water from the project.

And thanks to the surplus of water this sand dam provides, the adjacent well is able to pump clean, safe water from the catchment area. Community members were trained on how to take care of their drinking water, and since then, minimal cases of waterborne diseases have been reported. The land is truly changing from brown to green.

Justina and her husband pumping water at the well adjacent to the oasis this sand dam has created.

Justina Pius, the chairwoman overseeing this water project, had a lot to say. “The project has supported us through growing vegetables, and even the non self-help group members use the flowing water to irrigate their farms. This has transformed our environment and our children never lack food or even basic needs because we sell the farm products and get money. Our vegetables survive for long, unlike before. This project has enlightened us on income-generating activities… I had planted kales, spinach, pumpkins, onions and maize and income from these crop sales have enabled me to clear the school fee balance for my children! My family never lacks food to eat and we take three meals a day, unlike before when food was very scarce due to erratic rainfall. The environment has also changed and we hope to see it change [more] in the next few years.”

Justina Pius proudly stands amidst all of the vegetables she’s planted since the sand dam’s completion.

Her daughter Mwongeli told us, “I have become more clean and healthier because of the water available for washing my clothes and bathing. Before we used to be dirty because we could skip days without even taking a bath due to lack of water but now the water is usually available all year long. My self-esteem has improved because I am usually clean. Even my school uniform is usually clean!”

The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to four times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.

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