Project Status

Project Type:  Sand Dam

Program: Sand Dams in Kenya

Impact: 885 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Mar 2014

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/23/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

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

Below is project information direct from our partner:

As the name suggests the group was formed by a farmers collective who came together in order to build water structures along River Kambo to enable them to practice irrigation farming.

“River Kambo never used to go dry. Along the river channel it was all green as members planted trees and vegetables. It’s the income from the sale of vegetables that helped us to educate our children. Currently the river has dried up. Our grand children are suffering because we can’t afford to pay for their school fees. By building sand dams we hope to reverse the river to its former state. We will be able to plant crops and take our children to school like we used before.” Kallee Mueni

The group has built the third dam through TWP support. The dam was built on Kambo River.


The construction of the dam began on 6th August 2013.The dam took longer than expected as there was scarcity of the local materials used for building the dam. Stones were scarce and the group had to make contribution and organized several group visits by other self help groups surrounding the group. (In region exchange) Completion of the dam was dated at September 13th.

Every Self Help Group received seed support in readiness for the planting season, which started in October. The seeds beneficiaries for Athiani FarmersSHG were 7 males and 23 females. Farmers in these groups received five seed varieties to boost food security during this planting season. The varieties include green grams, cowpeas, pigeon peas, dolichos lab, sorghum, pearl millet and finger millet. All these are drought tolerant crops that mature fast and are able to withstand prolonged drought. After the harvest the groups shall return twice what each member received to a communal store where post harvest treatment shall be done. Terrace digging is still a work in progress for the Athiani Farmers Self Help Group.

All the TWP supported self help groups have tree nurseries already established. The number of the tree seedlings in the tree nurseries include: All the tree seedlings in the tree nursery will be planted at the start on the rains i.e. October/November. The trees are of different species. Fruit trees, firewood trees and timber trees.

All TWP groups have been able to surpass annual targets for the tree seedlings due to good planning and preparation of the tree nurseries. All groups had their tree nurseries planted early or on time to enable them to have trees before the start of the rain season.

In the pictures below, you see a shallow well that The Water Project was able to fund in 2012 (To see this project, click here.)  This year, we were able to fund a new sand dam, but due to difficult geology, another shallow well could not be built at this site.  Instead, a shallow well in a different community was funded together with this dam.  To see this new well, click here.

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Project Photos

Project Type

Sand dams are huge, impressive structures built into the riverbeds of seasonal rivers (rivers that disappear every year during dry seasons). Instead of holding back a reservoir of water like a traditional dam would, sand dams accumulate a reservoir of silt and sand. Once the rain comes, the sand will capture 1-3% of the river’s flow, allowing most of the water to pass over. Then, we construct shallow wells on the riverbank to provide water even when the river has dried up, thanks to new groundwater reserves. Learn more here!


Project Underwriter - Gary Willman
Holy Covenant Korean American Presbyterian Church
Westminster Presbyterian Church
Elgin Youth Water Project
Dailey Elementary Charter School
Thomas Harrison Middle School
McCook Interact Club
Sir James Dunn Academy
LEMS Gifted Class
College of St. Benedict
EMS Interact
The Global Awareness and Relief Organization
Grace E. Fetta Birthday Gifts
Chillicothe Students
Sterling Middle School
Girl Scouts of Eastern PA Troop 51351
Girl Scout Troop 40184
Midway Baptist Church
University of Illinois
The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.
Avila University
Girl Scout Troop #641
Girl Scout Troop 825
Oconee County High School
Congregation Etz Hayim/Shafan Class
Bridgetown Regional High School
Duck Creek Community Church
Muslim Student Association
ISIS School
Sales Force Foundation/Lisa Chan
Monte Vista HS Class of 2015
Legacy Christian Middle School
Kristinas birthday fund
HKB Naples LLC
Manchester Christian Church
Total Deliverance Worship Center - Dallas (Pastor Quelan Portley)
Hannah Keeley Ministries
The Rayner Boys

And 1 other fundraising page(s)
93 individual donor(s)