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The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -
The Water Project: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Project -

Project Status



Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Program: Sand Dams in Kenya

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Nov 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 04/16/2018

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



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).

This shallow well project is only possible because of another project also going on in the same area. A sand dam has been constructed that will cause the water table in the area to rise. To see the sand dam project, click here.

INTRODUCTION

The group was formed in the year 2007. The group has a total membership of 24 of which 11 are men and 13 are women. The group members hail from 4 villages namely Imale, Kyone, Mithini and Mavinga. The group is located in Kalawani sub-location, Kalawani location, Tulimani division, Mbooni West district in Makueni County.

Makueni County is one of the 8 counties in Eastern Kenya and one among the 3 that comprise Ukambani region. The county borders Kajiado County to the west, Taita Taveta to the south, Kitui to the east and Machakos to the north.

The county covers an area of 8,008.75 square kilometersout of which 474.1 square kilometers form the Tsavo West National park and 724.3 square kilometers forming Chyullu Game reserve. It has a population of 884,527 and 186,478 households according to a 2009 Census.

The county has two rainy seasons, which peak in March/ April (long rains) and November/December (short rains).

Income from agriculture constitutes 75%, income from rural self-employment constitute 15% and urban self-employment 8%. The county relies on mixed farming for their livelihood (coffee/dairy/irrigation or food crops/cotton/livestock).

Reasons for group formation

Tree planting: The group members wanted to conserve the environment through tree planting in their area.

Terracing: Due to decreased yields the members wanted to dig terraces in order to conserve soil and retain water in farms in order to improve their harvest.

Merry go round: The members wanted to raise their living standards through merry go round fund-sharing activities and table banking.

Economic Activities

Farming
Basket Making
Casual labour
Livestock keeping

CHALLENGES TO DEVELOPMENT

WATER INSECURITY

The main water source is the River Tawa. The distance is 1 kilometre away from their homes. During the dry period the community members depend on the River Tawa for their water supplies. During this time the water is saline in some locations, and less saline in others. This makes the community members to queue for more than 2 hours at the water points which are less saline to get this precious commodity. Also, Tawa market depends on the same river for their water supplies. Community members have to dig deep scoop holes, which pose a threat to them as they can collapse. From of July to November, women wake as early as 5 o’clock in the morning to go and fetch water. They use the water for watering livestock, washing, drinking and cooking. Children support their parents by fetching water after school thus making them not finish their homework.

Due to lack of water the community suffers other challenges:

Time wastage: Community members spend more than 4 hours in getting this precious commodity. During the dry season the sun is very hot and one is tired due to the long distances travelled, thus not being productive after fetching water.

Low personal hygiene: The water is not enough to cater to all domestic needs, thus forcing people to ration the little they have. During this period they are limited to washing fewer clothes and not taking daily showers.

Less time for farm preparation: Most of the people have less time for preparing their farms before the onset of rains. They do not have enough time to terrace their farms in order conserve the soil.

Horticulture: With less water the community only grow French beans during the wet season, thus affecting their income generation during the dry period.

Livestock: “Our livestock are fed poorly in the dry season because we spend more time collecting water,” says Kilonzo Maleve.

CROP PRODUCTION

The main crops grown include:

Maize
Cowpeas
Pigeon peas
Beans
Green grams

Food insecurity in the area is attributed to the following reasons:

Pests and diseases: Due to climate change there have been new pest and diseases affecting the crops. In particular, the green grams and pigeon peas are affected by blight. Many of the farmers are not able to buy the chemicals needed because they are expensive and the crops require regular spraying.

Lack of seeds: Most of the farmers spend a lot of time in search of seeds and most depend on unscrupulous dealers who are there to make money. This makes the farmers to plant late hence as a result have lower yields. Sometimes they buy seeds that cannot cope with climatic conditions of the place.

Unreliable rainfall: Due to climate change, rainfall in current years has been unpredictable as compared to earlier years. These days it rains intense for a short period of time leaving at a stage where they require another rain for better yields thus leading to low yields.

Lack of knowledge: Most farmers continue to practise archaic farming methods which have led to low yields. Most of them do not terrace their land and those who do have not done it properly, hence they cannot retain water in their farms.

TREE PLANTING

The main types of trees grown are:

Mango

Paw paws

Grevillea

The main challenges to tree planting include:

Knowledge and skills: Most of the farmers have not had any training on tree planting hence they need to be trained for future successful tree planting.

Termites: The farmers experience termite infestations which affect their morale on tree planting. They lack chemicals for termites as they are expensive.

Due to the lack of water, tree planting has been a challenge for the community members. The survival rate still remains low as some trees dry up.

FUTURE PLANS

Soil conservation: The community, through the support of tools, will embark on aterracing program on their farms. This will enable them to improve their harvest as the lack of terraces contributes to low harvest.

Tree planting. After having water from the sand dams they have reliable water and will establish tree nurseries and plant trees.

The community members want to create water security through the construction of sand dams. Also they want a shallow well beside their sand dams. They will use the sand dam water to grow vegetables for sale and for home consumption. Also they will be able to get clean water near their homes.

Capacity building of the group members: The group would like to be trained on water conservation, agricultural farming methods and soil conservation.

CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS

As can be seen from the pictures below, excavation has begun on the well.  The sand dam associate with this shallow well can be seen, also under construction, in the background of these pictures. Together, these two projects will bring great change to this community. We expect construction to be completed by the end of October.

PROJECT RESULT

This group constructed a shallow well alongside the dam funded this year. The well’s excavation began on October 3rd and ended on the 21st. The day after, workers began walling in the well. The pump was installed a week later on the 28th. The excavation, construction, and installation all went smoothly, and community members are now able to pump an adequate supply of clean water.

Project Updates


11/18/2015: Itoo Self-Help Group Shallow Well Complete

We are excited to let you know that the shallow well has been dug, installed, and is working! Community members are now able to pump an adequate supply of safe water to use for drinking, irrigating farms and doing domestic chores. This shallow well was made possible by your generosity and also the generosity of some others; the well benefits from a sand dam that raises the water table to an accessible level.

Please take a moment to browse the updated report that includes community information, pictures, and GPS coordinates.

The Water Project, Itoo Community and Self-Help Group Thank You for unlocking potential.


The Water Project : kenya4378-08-clean-water


10/19/2015: Itoo Shallow Well Project Underway

After some delays in getting construction started, we are excited to report that work is underway to build a new shallow well for the Itoo community in Kenya. We just posted a report from the field including information about the community, GPS coordinates and pictures. We’ll keep you posted as the work continues.

Take a look, and Thank You for your willingness to help!


The Water Project : kenya4378-03-well-excavation


Project Photos


Project Type

Dug Well and Hand Pump

Hand-dug wells are best suited for clay, sand, gravel and mixed soil ground formations. A large diameter well is dug by hand, and then lined with either bricks or concrete to prevent contamination and collapse of the well. Once a water table is hit, the well is capped and a hand-pump is installed – creating a complete and enclosed water system.


 

 



Contributors

Project Sponsor - The Meier Family