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).
Welcome to the Community
The Itatini Self-Help Group was formed in the year 2012. It has a membership of 37 different households that come from three different villages: Mukimwani Village, Kivani Village, and Katitu Village. The total population from all three of the villages is about 1400. The villages are located in Mukimwani Sub-Location which has a population 5202 people as of last year. The area is one of the most densely populated areas and thus has a massive water shortage. (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.)
As of a 2015 survey, the main socio-economic activities for the group members include:
– 16.67% 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
– 66.67 % of the group depend on farming while 6.67% operate small businesses.
Agriculture is the livelihood for the community. ASDF works to empower 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.
Itatini Self-Help Group's first sand dam was constructed at the end of 2015. The 2015 sand dam has only caught one rainfall, and needs one more before it is fully matured. This means that the community still doesn't have sufficient water to meet all of their agricultural needs, but looks forward to it in the future. People are accessing water from the scope holes dug by the sand dam, because the shallow well constructed alongside the dam is still surrounded by water. Once enough sand builds up, locals will be able to pump water that is naturally filtered by that sand. This first sand dam has reduced the water shortage, and prolonged rains have resulted in the sand dam harvesting water and building up sand to mature faster. However, another sand dam and shallow well are still needed to reduce the two kilometers traveled by some community members living further out.
In order to ensure equitable access of water for the large population, the community has decided to build several sand dams and shallow wells along the main river channels to ensure that all members have a fair distance to travel for water. A second sand dam is now being constructed. This hand-dug well is being placed adjacent to this new sand dam, and will save locals time often wasted digging scoop holes. The sand dam will follow the maturity process as outlined above, building up sand and raising the water table to create a natural, sustainable, filtered water source that is accessed from this well! Take a look at the sand dam project here!
Since this is the second year of intervention with this self-help group, members have already attended hygiene and sanitation training. 100% of households have pit latrines that are well-ventilated, dug to no less than 15 feet, and are very clean. With these great conditions, open defecation isn't an issue anymore. All of the households have useful tools like dish racks and clotheslines to dry belongings. Farmers have also been taught about composting, so each household has a large pit for compostable waste and a smaller one for garbage.
Most community members have at least received a basic education, providing them with a little knowledge on hygiene and sanitation. Even though training was conducted last year, minimal emphasis is put on practices like hand-washing and water treatment.
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
The refresher hygiene and sanitation training will be held for two days in the community. Self-help group members will share their schedules so that the most convenient time can be agreed on, and everyone will be alerted ahead of time. After our recent check-in with the community, the facilitator has decided to focus on the topics of hand-washing and water treatment.
Plans: Hand-Dug Well
The hand-dug well construction process is projected to take one month. The well will be lined with concrete and fitted with an Afridev pump. As the sand dam matures and provides more water for the well, the self-help group will monitor usage to ensure there is enough to go around.
This community's hard work and success during their first year, 2015, has inspired other self-help groups in the area. Many other members of the community who were not part of a self-help group have started the registration process! The Itatini Group is a role model for new groups as they start up, and these new groups are also looking to partner with us to build new water points in their communities!
Thank You for unlocking potential for the people in Itatini Self-Help Group so that they can inspire others and unlock their potential, too!