Project Status

Project Type:  Sand Dam

Program: Sand Dams in Kenya

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/15/2024

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 of this sand dam project, another project at the same location is enabled.  A shallow well is being constructed that will only work because this dam will raise the water table in the area. To see the shallow well project, click here.


The Itatini self-help group was formed in the year 2012. It has a membership of 37, with 22 females and 15 males. The members of the group come from three villages: Mukimwani Village which has 330 males and 340 females; Kivani Village has 213 males and 201 females; and Katitu Village has 200 males and 190 females. The total population from all three of the villages is 1474. The village is located in Mukimwani Sub-Location which has a population 5202 people.

(Editor’s Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. This community would be a good candidate for a second project in the future so adequate water is available. To learn more, click here.)


The main socio economic activities for the group members include:

- 16.67% depend on causal labour. Causal labour is an activity where one engages on household related jobs which are not frequently available. They also depend on the season e.g. most causal labour happens during harvest time and planting season.

- 10 % are employed members in different professionals e.g. teachers

- 66.67 % of the group depend on farming while 6.67% operate small businesses.

Water Source

The main source of water for the area is the river where 90% of the respondents fetch water. 3.333 % depend on a nearby shallow well which is unprotected. 3.333 %  of the group gets water from roof catchment tanks at their households. A majority have to travel 3-4 kilometres to fetch water while 10% travel 2-3 kilometers and 16.67% travel  less than 1 kilometre. And these distances are one way! The majority spends 2-3 hours per day fetching water.

Agricultural Practices

Agriculture is the livelihood for the community. Many group members admitted that as of late they have reaped a poor harvest. The main reasons for poor harvests mentioned were poor seed quality and the inability to invest in tools to practise soil and water conservation through terracing. ASDF projects will seek to empower the farmers in practicing climate-smart agriculture which entails planting drought-tolerant seeds, tree-planting and digging of terraces to help conserve soil from erosion and boost soil fertility, thus improving the harvests of the farmers.

The project objectives will therefore involve:

- Improving the water security of the area by construction of one sand dam and one shallow well to serve a population of 1474 people. This will help reduce the distance traveled and time taken to fetch water.

- Improving food security by promoting soil and water conservation. Farmers will be supported with terracing tools, trained on terrace-digging and climate-smart agriculture to boost their yields.

- Increase knowledge on hygiene and sanitation practices through the training and implementation of PHAST. The group will be trained on basic PHAST (Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Trainings). Action plans on implementation of tippy taps to promote hand washing and promoting treament of water. ASDF will continously monitor the water quality of the water point using mWater software.


The sand dam construction began on October 5th and is still in progress. Unexpected rains immobilized the efforts of workers for a long period of time. Completion is projected for sometime in early December.

Project Results

Construction of Itatini's sand dam is now complete. As this dam matures, it will both raise the water table and naturally filter the water pumped by Itatini's shallow well. The self-help group and community thank you for giving them the means to purchase and gather materials, construct, and maintain this project. It couldn't have been done without you!

We're just getting started, check back soon!

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!




Glenmora Church of Christ
Data Abstract Solutions, Inc.
Tannen & Alex's Water Project
Middleburg UMC (3rd and 4th Grade Sunday Class)
Faith Chapel
The Hermosillo Family
Catherine Damico
Hartland Elementary School, 3-4 grades

And 2 other fundraising page(s)
62 individual donor(s)