Project Status

Project Type:  Sand Dam

Program: Sand Dams in Kenya

Impact: 1,045 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/07/2024

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:

This is a new group, in which ASDF initially engaged with earlier this year. The group is located in Yikithuki area, which has a severe water shortage. It has a total number of 42 SHG group members with 13 being male and 28 females. The population of the village is estimated at 1045 people.

The main water source for the group is River Athi, which is a distance of more than 8 km. away. It takes 3-5 hours a day to fetch water from this point. ASDF did conduct a sample test on the water from river Athi and the results were shocking. The total coliforms (disease causing organism from human waste) present in the water were more than 100 for 100ml of water tested against 0/100 ml under world health organisation. This explains the response for high water borne and water related diseases by the members of the self-help group. Apart from the severe water challenge, soil degradation is also a major issue in the area. The farms do not have terraces to control erosion and this has contributed highly to low yields from the farms due to poor soil fertility.

The group seeks to be supported with extension services by ASDF on how to lay durable terraces, learn methods for improved farming and also gain skills and knowledge on how to utilise water for horticulture farming in order to gain income and also have food security.

The dam construction was completed on November 8 and construction of the shallow well is on-going.

The group showed high participation and willingness during the construction process. Being their first dam, the group hopes that they have began the process of addressing water and food insecurity issues in the area. The dam will also provide water for their livestock since this is their main source of livelihood in the wake of climate change.

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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!