Loading images...
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Asdf_kakwa Shg_sd Construction_phase Iii
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Asdf_kakwa Shg_sd Construction_phase Iii
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Trenching
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Trenching
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Only Clean Water Source In The Area
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Only Clean Water Source In The Area
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Only Clean Water Source In The Area
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  In The Kitchen
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Rose Wambua
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Rose Wambua
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Garbage Pit
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Kavinya Household
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Magret Kavinya
The Water Project: Kithumba Community -  Community Members Ready With Their Tools

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Feb 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

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

Kakwa Self-Help Group was formed in the year 2016 by 10 members. Over the course of one year, total membership shot up to 26.

The group members come from Kithatu and Kithumba villages, which are in Makueni County, Kenya, and have several hundred of residents. The group has also established a leadership committee made up of seven members; three women and four men.

The average age is 46 years, while their mean household membership is five people. 58% of the respondents interviewed said that their average income is below 3,000 shillings a month; 27% reported that they earn an average of between 3,100 and 5,000 shillings, and 15% respondents said that they earn income between 5,100 and 10,000 a month, regardless of the income source. None of the respondents earn above 10,000 shillings.

Water Situation

The main sources of drinking water for the respondents are; open springs, a hand-dug well, and water piped to a kiosk. Only 4% of the respondents get their drinking water from the kiosk – each container of water must be paid for there. The other 96% get their drinking water from either surface water or the well. The distance covered to the water source depends on the nearness of the respondent to the water source. The longest distance covered is four to five kilometers, with the shortest distance being less than a kilometer.

Because of the long distances traveled to the well, donkeys are especially helpful to bring along. A typical donkey can shoulder four 20-liter jerrycans full of water. But if a household can’t afford a donkey, an adult must hoist a 20-liter jerrycan upon their backs and haul it all the way home.

We talked to Margret Kavinya, who said “We fetch water from a community well dug in our village. It’s the sole source of clean water in our area and this therefore places a lot of pressure on this single point as it attracts people from Kithumba and the neighboring Kithatu village. I don’t practice any water treatment methods so I drink and use the water straight from the source.”

It’s obvious that many community members either aren’t able to make it to the hand-dug well because they live far away, or find the well overcrowded and the wait unbearable. At the time of our interviews, there were six waterborne diseases reported: two cases of amoeba and four cases of typhoid.

Sanitation Situation

100% of households have a pit latrine. Most of these lack doors and instead have a curtain. After touring the environment, it also seems that community members are using these latrines. Open defecation is not an issue here.

However, there are no hand-washing stations to prevent he spread of bacteria via hands. A little over half of households have a dish rack and clotheslines, and some have even dug a pit to throw their garbage. There is a general appreciation for sanitation and hygiene, but the community has also acknowledged room for improvement.

Plans: Hygiene and Sanitation Training

To address gaps in hygiene and sanitation practices in Kithumba Community, training will be offered to self-help group members on three consecutive days. The members will learn about useful practices and tools to improve health, and then will be able to share those with their families and neighbors. Water transport, storage, and treatment methods will be taught, and hand-washing will be a focus. Group members will learn how to make their own hand-washing stations with everyday materials. To motivate participants, we must show the links between these activities and their people’s health.

Plans: Sand Dam

Members of this group heard about us from a neighboring self-help group that we are working with. They then approached our field officer with a request for support, and after verifying that they had the relevant registration documents, they were put on our mandatory six-month probation period. During this time, locals are expected to seriously take development to heart and begin constructing hygiene facilities and gathering local materials to be used in the construction process. After that, we returned to verify their water challenges and their need for additional support. The evidence to warrant our support was sufficient, and the group was taken on board. Their first proposed site for a sand dam in Kithumba was also approved by our technical team because there is firm bedrock and wide banks. This particular sand dam is projected to be 32.3 meters long and 5 meters high.

This sand dam will be one of many construction projects to come in the next few years. We will spend a total of five years unified with this community to address the water shortage. More sand dams will be built to transform the environment. As the sand dams mature and build up more sand, the water tables will rise. Along with these sand dams, hand-dug wells will be installed to give locals a good, safe way to access that water.

With these projects, clean water will be brought closer to hundreds living in Kithatu and Kithumba.

As the sand dam construction begins, community members will start excavating their first adjacent hand-dug well (click here to see that well project).

Project Updates


02/19/2018: Kithumba Community Sand Dam Complete

Kithumba Community, Kenya now has a new source of water thanks to your donation. A new sand dam has been constructed on a local river, which will build up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water. Community members have also attended hygiene and sanitation training, and plan to share what they learned with their families and neighbors. You made it happen, now help keep the water flowing! Join our team of monthly donors and help us maintain this sand dam and many other projects.

Project Result: New Knowledge

The field officers worked closely with the self-help group chairman to arrange for hygiene and sanitation training. They wanted the best dates to ensure the attendance of all group members. Even community members who weren’t a part of the self-help group were invited to attend. We all met at Justine Daudi’s homestead, where group members constructed an awning for shade.

In the first session, we had the participants share their expectations. What was it that they wanted to learn about most? Participants shared that they wanted to learn how to prevent waterborne disease, more about personal hygiene, and how to work better with their group.

Two ladies take part in a role play that teaches the importance of working together

We also taught about hand-washing; when to wash, how to wash, and how to build a hand-washing station.

We compared and contrasted different daily habits and how they impact health. Many people were participating in the spread of germs and didn’t even know it. The participants were active in their learning, and were dedicated to putting together an action plan to implement everything they learned.

To cap it all off, we taught group members how to make soap. This will not only help each household to stay clean, but will give them an opportunity to earn money by selling the soap.

Mr. Nzunga said, “The training was very good. I have learned a lot of new things. I learned about latrine hygiene and I will build a better pit latrine at home. My family doesn’t know how to wash hands. Once I get home I will teach them on the method I learned here. I wish my wife attended the training too, but I will try to train her on the details of this training. I also learned about diseases and how I can prevent them.”

Project Result: Sand Dam

The community members collected all of the local materials like rocks and sand that were required for successful completion of the dam. They also provided unskilled labor to support our artisans. Out of the entire process, collection of the raw construction materials takes longer than the actual construction. For a super large sand dam, material collection could take up to four months!

Before actual construction started, siting and technical designs were drawn and presented to the Water Resources Management Authority (WRMA) and a survey sent to the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) for approval. Once approved, we had to begin establishing firm bedrock at the base of the sand dam wall. In the absence of good bedrock, excavation is done up to a depth at which the technical team is satisfied that the ground is firm enough to stop seepage.

Then mortar (a mixture of sand, cement and water) is mixed and heaped into the foundation. Once there is enough mortar to hold rocks available, rocks are heaped into the mortar. Barbed wire and twisted bar is used to reinforce the mixture. Once the foundation is complete, a skeleton of timber is built to hold the sludge and rocks up above ground level. The process is then repeated until a sufficient height, width and length is built up. Then, the vertical timber beams are dismantled and the dam is left to cure.

The finished height is 5 meters and the length is 32.3 meters. As soon as it rains, the dam will begin to build up sand and store water. With this water, the surrounding landscape will become lush and fertile. However, it could take up to three years of rain (Because sometimes it only rains once a year!) for this huge sand dam to reach maximum capacity. Sand dam construction was simultaneous to construction of a hand-dug well which gives locals a safe method of drawing water. As the sand dam matures and stores more water, more of it will be accessible as drinking water from the well. To see that hand-dug well, click here.

Mr. Nzunga said, “We had a big water problem in our area. I used to have to walk for two kilometers in search of water, but after we constructed the sand dam and well I just have to walk for 200 meters to fetch water. We are happy and grateful for the new source. We have plans to plant fruits and vegetables using the water in the dam.”


The Water Project : 30-kenya4862-finished-sand-dam


11/14/2017: Kithumba Community Sand Dam Underway

Kithumba Community in Kenya will soon be transformed by the construction of a sand dam. The dam will help raise the water table in the area, providing clean water and helping with agriculture. The community will also attend hygiene and sanitation training to learn about practices that improve health. We just posted an initial report including information about the community, maps, and pictures. We’ll keep you posted as the work continues!


The Water Project : 16-kenya4862-only-clean-water-source-in-the-area


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.



Contributors

Project Sponsor - The Lifeplus Foundation