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 project is only possible because of another project happening at the same location. A sand dam is under construction which will collect water and help raise the water table in the area, enabling this shallow well to be a reliable source of water for the community. To see the sand dam, 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:
- 17 % 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 % of the group depend on farming while 7 % operate small businesses.
The main source of water for the area is the river where 90% of the respondents fetch water. 3% depend on a piped water system. 3% depend on a nearby shallow well which is unprotected. 3% 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 17% travel less than 1 kilometre. And these distances are one way! The majority spends 2-3 hours per day fetching water.
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 shallow well construction began on October 8th and is ongoing. As of now, Itatini only has three people working on their well. Unexpected rain has recently immobilized workers and delayed their progress. The projected completion date is now early December.
Project Results: Shallow Well
The group did the excavation of the shallow well pit and its walling concurrently with the dam. The final work on both the sand dam and the shallow well was done from November 23-25. Looking at the pictures of the finished well, you might worry that the water looks dirty. That is only because the sand dam and shallow well are both very new. As the river bed upstream from the dam fills with sand, it will raise the water table, but also act as a filter, cleaning the water that will then fill the shallow well. After some time, the water from the well will be crystal clear.