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
Kiluta Self-Help Group is from Matiliku Village of Makueni County. 1500 people live in this area, but only 26 members are part of the self-help group. The Kiluta Self-Help Group is in its second year of helping their community by implementing water projects and receiving farming aid through ASDF and TWP. In its first year, the group was able to construct its first sand dam and shallow well. The group has already enjoyed the benefits of the first sand dam constructed! (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. That’s why second projects, third, and beyond are so important for densely-populated areas!)
The sand dam and hand-dug well provided constant, reliable water throughout last year. Most community members no longer have to walk three kilometers in search of water. The community has also been able to generate income from vegetables grown using the sand dam’s water. The community plans to have more dams to give all of its members equal access to water. The construction of this new hand-dug well will enable more members to have water closer to home, and allow more users to get water at any given time.
But as of now, locals tote 20-liter jerrycans to the hand-dug well that was installed adjacent to the first sand dam. Once home, water is stored in pots meant for different uses such as cooking and drinking. If a woman and her children are able to fetch enough water, it is consolidated into a larger reservoir at home (such as the 100-liter plastic barrel seen at Terressia's home, which can be seen in the pictures below).
Water coming through the sand dam has improved a lot since it was first installed last year. The water must still be boiled before drinking, but it is expected to make even greater improvement as the dam collects more sand, creating a natural filter. The biggest issue is that this hand-dug well is still over four kilometers away for some community members; a new hand-dug well will bring water close to home.
Kiluta Self-Help Group has not only benefited from a first year project, but has also benefited from hygiene and sanitation training. They learned the importance of having and using a latrine, and thus 100% of households currently have a latrine. One quarter of homes have a hand-washing station, and over half have useful tools like dish racks and clotheslines. Many of the group members are farmers, and highly value having a compost pit dug behind their homes.
Since that training, the community’s awareness of health has greatly improved. Now, some families have hand-washing stations. Most have a bathing room so that they can clean up on a daily basis. Water is integral in both personal and household hygiene, so more water will provide the opportunity for cleanliness. Local farmer and self-help group member George Muthiani says, "We have seen great improvement in terms of water supply from the first sand dam. Our aim is to have more sand dams, hence more water is clean for use at our homes."
Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training
A refresher training will be conducted for one day, to check on and ensure that concepts learned last year are still being implemented today.
Plans: Hand-Dug Well Construction
The self-help group is digging this well adjacent to a sand dam they'll be constructing at the same time (click here to check out the sand dam project). The hand-dug well will give locals access to cleaner, safer water as the sand dam matures. Sand dam maturity is based on the amount of sand a dam has collected; sand that raises the water table and naturally filters that water.
The construction process is expected to take one month. The well will be lined with concrete and fitted with an Afridev pump. We will monitor the well's functionality using mWater monitoring software, ensuring that it doesn't stop providing the Kiluta Self-Help Group and their community with safe water.