Project Status

Project Type:  Dug Well and Hand Pump

Program: Sand Dams in Kenya

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Oct 2015

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 11/23/2022

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).



The group was formed in September 2011.It has a membership of 38 members 20 male and 18 females. The group is found in Methovini village, Ivinganzia sub location, Kanthuni location, Kanthuni division and Kathonzweni District.

The reasons behind the formation of the group were:

Water Insecurity

The main water sources in the area are in Rivers Kanyonga and Athi. Kanyonga River is situated 5 kilometres away from the community while River Athi is 8 kilometres away. It takes three hours to fetch water from River Kanyonga and 5 hours to get water from river Athi.

In order to access water from River Kanyonga one has to dig deep scoop holes of more than three feet deep. This is why it takes long. The water at this water point turns saline during the dry period. The main use of water from river Kanyonga is for livestock. Water is however available during the rainy season. Immediately after the rains end the water dries up leaving the community to fetch water from River Athi.

Women and children bear the burden of fetching water. In the dry seasons of the year that is from August to October school going children have to miss school in order to offer support in the fetching of water. At the school the children are forced to come with water that is meant to cook for them. In most occasions the water brought to schools is not clean and thus there is a number of water borne diseases experienced in the schools.

Due to the lack of water in the area;

– More time is spent in fetching water. Therefore, more efforts and resources are under-utilized thus leaving poverty lines in the area at a high rate.

– Famine and drought. Most farmers depend on rain fed agriculture to grow crops. The lack of alternative methods for growing food has led to increased food insecurity in the area.

– During the dry period of the year most farmers experience severe loss of animals. This is because the animals lack water for drinking. The livestock sometimes go for three days without water. This has affected their health and quality.

– The tree planting program has also been affected. The lack of water has led to drying up of the trees that the farmers plant.

Crop Production

The main crops that the farmers grow include maize, cowpeas, sorghum, pigeon peas and green grams.

The main challenges to improved farming include:

– Increased incidence of pests and diseases. This has affected our harvests. The farmers do not harvest as required due to pre harvest looses.

– The farmers also practise poor farming methods. Most of the farming methods that the farmer’s practise cannot enable the farmers to have sufficient harvest. The farmers grow maize as the staple crop and have reduced crop varieties.

– Lack of good seeds for planting. Frequent droughts have affected the ability of the community to preserve seeds for their planting needs. Due to this the farmers have reduced the size of land under farming and only plant reduced sizes of land.

Planting Trees

The group is currently doing a tree planting program. They however lack enough skills and knowledge to plant the trees. The lack of water in the area has also reduced the number of trees that the community can plant in a season. Termite infestation is also a big challenge to the tree planting program.

Community Plans

The community seeks to create water security through the building of sand dams. The aim of having the sand dam is to improve the availability of water for farming and improved incomes for the community. The community’s objective is to engage in commercial farming where they will have pieces of farms where they can grow crops for sale and for consumption.

The community also seeks to have knowledge and skills that can empower them so as to be able to have resilience against the changing weather patterns in the area.



The main water sources in this area are the Kanyango River and Athi River. Kanyango River is located five kilometers away from the community, and the Athi River is 8 kilometers away. It takes three hours to fetch water from Kanyango and five hours to get it from Athi.

In order to get water from Kanyango, a person has to dig more than three feet deep! Not only does walking to the spring waste valuable time, but so does the fetching once a person gets there.

There was a dam previously built in order to boost the level of water available to the community (click on the link to see what else has gone on in Munyuni Community). This will be a perfect location for a shallow well.


Excavation began on 8/30, but workers were immediately challenged with bedrock. This made things more difficult for the 11 workers. It was also a challenge to pump the water out of the hard ground. Finally, the workers were able to finish excavation and begin construction on 10/5. After, they were able to install the pump on 10/10.

Project Result: Shallow Well

Excavation for this shallow well proved difficult, but construction and installation both went smoothly. Since Munyuni's dam has already had time to mature, community members are now able to pump an adequate supply of clean water.

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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.




Project Sponsor - Ipenburg Family