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The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -
The Water Project: Kakima B Community -

Project Status

Project Type:  Sand Dam

Program: Sand Dams in Kenya

Impact: 1,000 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2013

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/26/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

This project is being implemented by our partner African Sand Dam Foundation, and includes the construction of a sand dam.

Below is unedited project information direct from our partner:

Background information

The group was formed in May 2009. The main reason for the formation of the group were water problem and soil conservation as a result came together to find ways to alleviate this problems. The group had a merry go round which helped them in improving their socio-welfare affairs.

Economic activities

  • Poultry keeping
  • Farming
  • Goat keeping

Challenges to development

Water insecurity

The main water sources in the area are River Kanyonga and River Thwake. River Kanyonga has water during the rainy seasons. The river has continued to be erode away and this has made the time that the water is available in the river channel to reduce from 6 months to less than 2 months. The alternative source of water is River Thwake which is 9kilometres away.

Women spend 5 hours to fetch water during the dry season.

Due to the lack of water in the area:

  • More time is spent in fetching water. Women spent most of their time fetching water in the dry season due long distance travelled.
  • During the dry period of the year most of the farmers experience severe loss of livestock animals. This is because the animals lack water for drinking thus even they may go some days without water.
  • Tree planting. The lack of water has led to drying up of trees that the farmers plant.
  • Poor farming methods. Much of the time is spent in fetching water thus making them to neglect their farms because one is tired and cannot engage in any other productive role.

Crop Production

The area depends on rain fed agriculture. In the last four the area has not received rains thus leading to severe famine and food insecurity.

Other reasons to food insecurity:

  • Poor fertile soils. The area has degraded soils due to erosion. Due to lack of terraces the crops do not yield well. Soil erosion has been attributed to overstocking and over grazing.
  • Poor seed quality. They plant seeds that are not able to with stand the climate hence yield poorly hence less harvest. This because of unscrupulous dealers selling uncertified seeds.
  • Poor farming practices. Their farms have not been terraced and when it rains there is usually soil erosion leaving the land bear.
  • Pests and diseases. They affect their crops due to lack of knowledge controlling them and pesticides for spraying the crops.
  • Late planting. Due to seed unavailability, because of prolonged famine and drought farmers do not have seeds to plant.

Main crops grown in the area

  • Maize
  • Cowpeas
  • Green grams
  • Sorghum
  • Pigeon peas.

Environmental conservation

Water shortage in the area has led to the farmers not being to grow trees. Termite infestation is another challenge to tree growing in the area. Other challenges to tree planting are lack of knowledge limiting them to grow the trees successfully and harsh weather conditions continue to lower their survival rates. Lack of trees has lead to shortage of firewood which is the main source of firewood for most households. Women spent 2 hours in collecting firewood. The lack of trees has increased environmental degradation and lack of fodder for livestock.

By coming together they are hopeful that through sand dams and shallow wells they will be able to create water security in the area. Sand dams will improve the availability of water for farming and improve incomes.

The community plans to conserve soil through digging of terraces in areas affected by soil erosion

With water availability:

  • The group income levels will increase. Through planting of vegetables and they will sell them and be able to get income.
  • Tree program will not be a challenge as before due to sufficient water to water them.
  • Water availability for our livestock. Our livestock will have enough water throughout the year and will no longer walk long distances thus improving their health and improving their milk production

Project Updates

07/26/2013: Unlocking Potential in Kakima B

We are excited to fill you in on progress that is already happening at Kakima B in Kenya.  The work to construct a sand dam and shallow well are almost complete, and are already having an effect on the community.  The following comes straight from ASDF, our partner in the field working in Kakima B:

Water from the sand dam and shallow well supports a population of 2615 people. River Kanyonga is the main source of water for this population. The river has been eroded and it can longer provide reliable water supply for the community. During the dry season the communities walk for more 3 kilometres spending an average of 4-5 hours a day in search of water. They carry the water using donkeys and bicycles and for those households that cannot afford either of the two have to carry 20 litre Jerrican on their backs.

The group recently constructed their second sand dam and one shallow well which will provide water for farming, domestic use and tree planting. With the shallow well the community can now access to clean water. ASDF staff will conduct water and sanitation teaching to provide the community with skills on how to treat and manage the two water points. The sand dam and shallow well are expected to reduce the time and distance travelled to fetch water from 4-5 hours 3 kilometres to less than one hour and less than a kilometre respectively. The reduced time will allow farmer to concentrate on other productive roles in the community.

We hope to receive pictures of the finished project soon.  We’ll let you know as soon as we do.

Thank you for your help!

The Water Project : kenya4032-sand-dam_april-2013-3

Project Photos

Project Type

Sand Dam

Seasonal streams (and the sand they carry) are trapped by dams, replenishing the water table and allowing for adjacent hand-dug wells. Almost completely led by community-supplied sweat and materials, and under the supervision of engineers, dams are strategically placed within those dry river-beds. The next time it rains, flood-waters are trapped.

With a sand dam, this trapped sand begins to hold millions of gallons of rainwater. Soon enough, sand reaches the top of the dam, allowing water to continue downstream – where it meets the next dam. The result? A regional water table is restored.


Barbara Belle Ash Dougan Foundation