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 2006 and formally registered in the year 2008. At the time of formation it had 36 members comprised of 7 men and 29 women. Kyeni kya thwake was formed due to the reasons listed below:
- Lack of access to water
- Payment of school fees and hospital bills
- Poor housing
- Desire to take part in community lending activities
Their economic activities include:
The group is engaging in the following activities namely:
- Digging terraces
- Tree planting
- Buying goats
- Establishing tree nursuries
The main sources of water are river Thwake and river Ngwane. The distance is 5km respectively for both rivers. On average during the dry period, one spends 6-7 hours to fetch water. During the dry season deep wells are dug across the river channels which pose a threat to the community members.
The members are not able to irrigate food crops and vegetables due to lack of water which if available would improve their food and incomes security.
There are isolated cases of school children who get raped when they go to fetch water in the evenings. Water from these rivers is relatively salty and often leads to water borne diseases hence not safe for drinking.
Food security in the area is relatively low. The main crops grown in the area include: Maize, beans, green grams, pigeon peas, and cowpeas.
Crop production is low due to poor rainfall and lack of seeds. The group have the knowledge and practises concerning the use of manure and building terraces.
The often practised method of agriculture is mixed farming and intercropping.
They have knowledge on and practise tree planting. They have planted both eucalyptus and bougainvillea.
They have firewood shortage, some buy and others collect firewood from nearby bushes.
In the recent past they have been experiencing changes in weather which has resulted to low farm yields. One of the coping strategies, the community is growing drought resistance crops.
There is minimal harvest due to drought. Famine has resulted to malnutrition to children and poor school attendance.
Their sources of income are: Basketry, farming, casual labor, trade, and selling vegetables.
Low income has resulted in drug use and early pregnancies as people are not able to access higher education due to lack of fees.
- To construct water tanks and sand dams
- To pump water to a tank near homesteads
- To plant trees
- To dig terraces
- To buy goats
Back in June 2014, a group came and built a sand dam in order to implement fish farming. The dam project was meant to increase fish available for consumption by the community. The dam was also used to irrigate farms' growing vegetables. But between fishing and farming, the high demand of the dam's water started straining the source.
Because of water's high demand in this area, there is now a need for a hand pump that reaches the water table and alleviates the strains on the dam. This well water will instead be used for domestic and drinking purposes.
The digging of the shallow well began on 9/21 and ended on 10/8. It was dug by one male and five females who were able to excavate down to 12 feet. The construction and walling of the pit was done from 10/14 to 10/28, and the hand pump was installed the day after.
Please note that though the shallow well seems to be an island in the river, this will not last long. As the sand dam matures, it will absorb the water so that it is no longer an above-ground body, but all stored below.
Now that the community has a shallow well, they will be able to better manage their water resources. The dam raises the water table so that the shallow well can pump water, and the well alleviates the strain that fish farming has on the dam. This well will also ensure that the water that families drink is clean and safe to drink. This would not have been possible without your generosity!
The Water Project and Kyeni Kya Thwake Thank You for unlocking even more opportunities for their community.