Project Status

Project Type:  Sand Dam

Program: Sand Dams in Kenya

Impact: 217 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Nov 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 05/08/2024

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 sand dam is being constructed, another project is made possible in the same location. A shallow well is being dug which will only be a success because the sand dam will help raise the water table in the area. To see the shallow well project, click here.


The group was formed in the year 2012.It has a membership of 18 members with 10 males and 8 females’. The average size of the household of the group is 5 members. 28.56 % are of ages 20-40 years, while 57.14% are of the ages 40-55 years. 14.28 % are of the age 55 years and above. This is fairly a mature group in terms of age of the members who are still strong and able to execute heavy work such as sand dam building. The group is located in Kathuni village which has a population of 102 males and 115 females. The total population of the village is 217.The village is located in Kaani sub location which has a population 4709 people.

The main socio economic activities for the group members include:

- 14% 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.

- 29 % are employed members in different professionals e.g. teachers

- 14 % of the group depend on farming while 14.29% operate small businesses.


The main source of water for the area is the spring where 50% of the respondents fetch water from. 7.143% depend on a near by borehole while 7.143% of the group get water from roof catchment tanks at the household. 28.57% fetch water from the river scoope holes from the near by river. To get the water 21.43% travel a distance of 1-2 kilometres while 78.57% travel less than 1 kilometre ( one way) to get water . 21.43% of the group however spend 1-3 hours daily to fetch water from the diffent sources while 78.57 % spend less than 30 minutes to get to the water point.

Of the interviewed 42.86 % do not treat their water before consumption while 57.14 % responded that they treat their water. When asked the main form of treating water 50% treat their water by chlorination while 25 % boil their water. It's apparent that ASDF wash projects will deal with treatment of water and setting up of practices vital to improve the sanitation practices at the household level, e.g. setting up of tippy taps for hand washing.


Agriculture consists the main form of livelihood pattern for the community.As mentioned earlier 57.14 % depend on agriclulture as the sole form of income for their families.The average size of the farms is 2.5 acres.When asked to give a general picture of their harvests in the last farming period the 62 % said they had harvested less than previous year while 38 % said they harvested more. The main reasons for poor harvests mentioned were poor seed quality, inability to invest on farm inputs notably purchase of tools to practise soil and water conservation through terracing, on soil and water conservation, poor soil fertility among others. ASDF projects will seek to empower the farmers to practise climate smart agriculture which entails planting drought tolerant seeds, tree planting and digging of terraces to help to conserve soil from erosion and boost its fertility and improving the harvests of the farmers.

The project objectives will therefore involve

1. Improving the water security of the area by construction of one sand dam and one shallow well to serve a population of 217 people.This will help reduce the distance travelled and time taken to fetch water.

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

3. Increase knowledge on hygiene and sanitation practises 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 treatment of water. ASDF will continuously monitor the water quality of the water point using mWater software.


The group is part of the two new additional projects for this year. The collection of materials lasted for two Months i.e. August and September. The construction started this week 9 /29 and the group has already started the trenching for the base rock. The construction of the dam is expected to take another 2 weeks.


14 workers trenched the sand dam from 9/24 to 10/2. The sand dam and shallow well were constructed simultaneously. Construction began on 10/2 and ended on 10/23 by a total of 18 workers.


The sand dam and shallow well are a necessary pair because building a dam raises the water table. If the water table is too deep, it is almost impossible to draw water from the ground. So raise the table, and thus the term “shallow well.” These wells can often be dug by hand. Now that both of these projects are complete, the Yavili Community and its farmers will have enough water for both irrigation and domestic purposes.

The Water Project, Yavili Community and Self-Help Group Thank You for making the hope of clean water a reality.

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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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