Project Status

Project Type:  Sand Dam

Program: Sand Dams in Kenya

Impact: 492 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jul 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/06/2024

Project Features

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Community Profile

This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to directly share the below report (edited for clarity, as needed).

Because this dam is being constructed, another project is made possible.  A shallow hand-dug well will be constructed in the same location. As the dam matures and raises the water table in the area, the shallow well will become a source of safe, clean water for the community.  To see the well, click here.


The group was formed in the year 2014. It has 13 members 9 men and 4 women. It is located in Mumbuni village with a population of 492 people 240 men and 252 female. The village has 97 households. Mumbuni sub location with 6353 people, Mumbuni location, Wote division,   Makueni sub county Makueni County.

Economic Activities

- Livestock keeping

- Farming

- Fruit farming.

Reasons for group formation

The members came together to form a group in which they would find solution to water problems that they had. They usually contribute cash and buy cement to construct sand dam. They constructed one in 2014 though it is not big and they did not have the knowledge on the sand dam construction. The group members wanted to control soil erosion  in laying of terraces in their farms. They have a merry go round project which makes them meet frequently. In case a member is not feeling well they help each other in catering for their medical expenses.

Current group activities

- Merry go round

- Poultry keeping project.


The community get water from Matoma river which is located less than one kilometre from their homestead during the rainy season. This river is as seasonal river hence in the dry season they have to find other places to get water. They rely on a borehole water project named Danida where they buy water for ksh3 per 20 litre jerrican of water.

The bore hole is located 2 km from their homes and they all queue for more than 2 hours each day in the dry season to get water.

Livestock do not have enough water  this affect their health and once they go to sell them they do not get a good priceThe members have to buy water and this is expensive as they said that they cannot afford to buy water each day. This makes them have to   ration the water that they have .The following is affected because of lack of enough and sufficient water

- The home hygiene is affected as one does not have to do all the domestic chores well

- The women who do not have donkey they have to borrow and in return go for another trip for the owner of the donkey hence end up spending a lot of time to get water.

- Mangoes and citrus  fruits does well in the community and is a source of income but with lack of sufficient water the tree programme is affected.

- Time spend in waiting for water leaves less time for farming like preparing the farm in time before the rainy season.


The main food crops grown are

- Maize

- Cowpeas

- Green gram

- Pigeon peas

- Beans

The average acreage of land under crop production of the community is 2.4 acres.

Challenges to food production

The rainfall is unreliable and erratic. The showers come and go before the crop have enough hence poor food production.

-Lack of quality seed. The members said that they do not have seeds to plant and by the time they get them it is already late to plant. The seed that they buy are not drought tolerant and do not do well.

-Lack of manure to use on the farms. The members said that they do not know how to make organic manure which would increase the fertility of the land.

Environmental conservation

The challenge the group faced in planting of trees was termite infestation, lack of insect side control this, lack of water and knowledge on tree planting.


May 15 2015

Material Collection

The materials collection for this group was quite a task as the materials were not readily available. The materials i.e stones and sand have to be collected more than 5 km away at a cost. Members are contributing at least 20 dollars each to have the materials collected and transported to the site.


Trenching took 3 week for the group to find a suitable base rock. The area does not have suitable base rock and that’s why the digging took long. ASDF supported the group with tools that will help in making work easier for them.

Actual Construction

June 20 2015

Is on-going. The group incorporated support of the local community in the area to assist in the construction of the dam since they will be beneficiaries of the water. A group of 38 youths from a local football club assisted the group in a day of activities. Most of the groups that have been supported by ASDF, their genesis was from supporting a group in the construction of the dams. We will closely monitor this group of youths to see whether they will have interest to work as a self help group

July 1 2015

Construction is now completed and a seed distribution as well as a tool distribution has taken place. Distributing seeds and tools will allow farmers to continue farming in the sustainable techniques that were taught to them, such as terracing and planting specific crops that that prohibit soil erosion.

Hygiene and Sanitation Training

A training on hygiene and sanitation was also conducted amongst the SHG, where participants were taught about proper hygiene techniques, such as hand washing, using latrines and correct storage of water in the home.


The participation for  project was 65 members with 48 males, 17 females from the community supporting the group during the construction of the dam.

Success of the project thus far

Involving the local community in the construction process has motivated and increased the labour force required to build the dam.

Main challenges encountered during construction

The lack of local materials is major challenge. The community is being forced to contribute lots of money in order to avail the materials for the construction process. Despite these challenges, we were able to press on with the community and complete the Sand Dam. Thank you for your support.


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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!




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