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The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -
The Water Project: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project -

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2016

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 07/08/2019

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



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).

Welcome to the Community

We are on our third year of partnership with the Vinya wa Mwau Self-Help Group, with two more years to go. We’ve worked with them to build two sand dams and two hand-dug wells that have drastically improved water access in the area. The group was also supported in installing a drip irrigation project which has worked well.

Using water from the sand dams, farmers have been able to grow vegetables for both their own use and for market sales. The water has also helped the group start tree nurseries that produce fruit for more income generation.

The group hopes to build two more sand dams because of the expansive area in which they live. They want water to be equally accessible for all. Before this partnership, locals had to wake up by 3 AM each day to beat the long lines that formed at the water source. Not only that, but this previous water source was eight kilometers away!

This area has a total population of 711 people. (Editor’s Note: Realistically, a single water source can only serve 350-500 people. That is why we are so excited to be working with this community for multiple years on multiple projects, that all might have adequate access to safe water. To learn more, click here.)

Water Situation

The community travels to either of the two hand-dug wells to fetch water. Though the two wells have brought water closer to many households, it is still a long distance for some. The farthest of families have to travel up to two kilometers to get water.

We noticed that since locals have learned about the importance of handling and storing water properly, water containers have been kept much cleaner. The standard 20-liter jerrycans that women use to fetch water with all have covers to protect the water during the trip. Once home, this water is separated into larger containers by intended use. Drinking water is always kept separate from water used for cleaning.

After testing water from the two wells we constructed, we found that there was no contamination. This was good news for the community! There is clean water here, but we must make it more accessible with the construction of a third sand dam and hand-dug well system. The two systems are always overcrowded; it still takes a woman an average of three hours a day to fetch water because she must wait in line.

Sanitation Situation

Since this is our third year with Vinya wa Mwau, we are happy to share that all households in this area have a pit latrine. These are well-constructed, deep, and cleaned on a regular basis.

Over 75% of households have a hand-washing station with ash or soap available. The same number of families have dish racks and clotheslines to dry their things up off the ground.

Each households has a trash bin inside the home that is regularly separated and emptied into one of two piles in the back of the compound. Biodegradable material is composted to make fertilizers for the farm, and excess garbage in the other pit is burned.

The training here for the last couple of years has increased awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of the huge role that sanitation and hygiene play in good health.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

We will take two days to review hygiene and sanitation with self-help group members. We will also use one of these days to review the action plan that this group agreed on in the beginning of our relationship. We want to keep encouraging the self-help group members to share what they know about good hygiene and sanitation with their neighbors. Some still lag behind in the construction of useful and important tools like hand-washing stations, dish racks, and clotheslines.

Plans: Sand Dam

We estimate that this third year of project implementation will provide 90% of the community with accessible clean, safe water. Group member Patrick Kiema shared, “Yes, our work in the last three years has realized fruits. We are using water for vegetable planting. However, the water hasn’t been enough for all members. With the third water project, our efforts to have adequate water to all members will almost be achieved.” You can see Patrick and his household in the “See Photos & Video” section.

The community has already begun mobilizing the materials that will be used for sand dam construction. These include sand, stones, and ballast. The sand dam will be an estimated 25.6 meters long and 3.4 meters high.

The success of the group’s previous two sand dams has led to new membership. The group has grown, and more and more people will benefit from projects, both new and old. Through the sand dams, water will be available to even less-privileged neighboring communities.

Project Updates


12/20/2017: A Year Later: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam

A year ago, generous donors helped build a sand dam for the Vinya wa Mwau Self-Help Group in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner Titus Mbithi with you.


The Water Project : asdf_vinya-wa-mwau-shg_yar_musoi-mutisya-christine-mbithe-and-other-members-7


Project Photos


Project Type

Sand Dam

Seasonal streams (and the sand they carry) are trapped by dams, replenishing the water table and allowing for adjacent hand-dug wells. Almost completely led by community-supplied sweat and materials, and under the supervision of engineers, dams are strategically placed within those dry river-beds. The next time it rains, flood-waters are trapped.

With a sand dam, this trapped sand begins to hold millions of gallons of rainwater. Soon enough, sand reaches the top of the dam, allowing water to continue downstream – where it meets the next dam. The result? A regional water table is restored.


A Year Later: Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam

December, 2017

It’s incredible to think that members of Vinya wa Mwau Self-Help Group and their neighbors had to walk over six kilometers to find water – and that water wasn’t even clean. Now, clean water is within a half kilometer from home.

Keeping The Water Promise

There's an incredible community of monthly donors who have come alongside you in supporting clean water in Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project.

This giving community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project maintain access to safe, reliable water. Together, they keep The Water Promise.

We’re confident you'll love joining this world-changing group committed to sustainability!

Give Monthly

A year ago, generous donors helped build a sand dam for the Vinya wa Mwau Self-Help Group in Kenya. Because of these gifts and our monthly donors, partners are able to visit project sites throughout the year, strengthening relationships with communities and evaluating the actual water project. These consistent visits allow us to learn vital lessons and hear amazing stories – we’re excited to share this one from our partner Titus Mbithi with you.


It’s incredible to think that members of Vinya wa Mwau Self-Help Group and their neighbors had to walk over six kilometers to find water – and that water wasn’t even clean. Now, clean water is within a half kilometer from home.

The little water people brought back would be rationed for drinking and cooking, and would only allow for occasional bathing. Plants, and more importantly livestock, would die during the dry seasons. Now, there’s water available for everything: drinking, cooking, household chores, watering livestock, and irrigating farms.

Interviewing Mr. Mutsya at the sand dam

We met the self-help group’s secretary, Musoi Mutsya, at the sand dam. He told us that no longer having to walk six kilometers for water has saved him an extraordinary amount of time. He said this time “we can now use in other income-generating projects. We now have enough water for household use, watering our cattle, planting trees at our homes and hence increasing forest cover.” And thanks to the surplus of water this sand dam provides, the adjacent hand-dug well is able to pump clean, safe water from the catchment area. Mr. Mutsya says that “the available water is clean and safe for drinking.”

By the end of our interview, many other group members had arrived to fetch water, and we could include them in our group photos.


The Water Project and our partners are committed to consistent monitoring of each water source. Our monitoring and evaluation program, made possible by monthly donors, allows us to visit communities up to four times a year. Read more about our program and how you can help.


Navigating through intense dry spells, performing preventative maintenance, conducting quality repairs when needed and continuing to assist community leaders to manage water points are all normal parts of keeping projects sustainable. The Water Promise community supports ongoing sustainability programs that help Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project maintain access to safe, reliable water.

We’d love for you to join this world-changing group committed to sustainability.

The most impactful way to continue your support of Vinya wa Mwau Sand Dam Project – and hundreds of other places just like this – is by joining our community of monthly givers.

Your monthly giving will help provide clean water, every month... keeping The Water Promise!

Give Monthly


Contributors

Project Sponsor - Barbara Belle Ash Dougan Foundation