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The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Bringing Water For Construction
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Trenching
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Breaking Stones For Construction
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Trenching
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Action Plan
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Training
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Training
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Training
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Training
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Training
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Training
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Training
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Handwashing Station By Latrine
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Latrine
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Mutua Compost Pit
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Using A Dish Rack
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Tidying Up The Kitchen
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Mrs Mutua At Her Kitchen
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Mutua Household
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Mutua Household
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Mbuuni Shg Member Nduku Mutua
The Water Project: Mbuuni Community B -  Mbuuni Self Help Group Members

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Jun 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Community Profile

Mbuuni Self-Help Group was formed in 2010 and currently has a huge membership of 254 people; 194 men and 60 women. The group is located in Mbuuni Village, which has a population of 1,978 people.

The average household size is five, and the average age of the group members is 45. The main sources of income are farming and casual labor – if one doesn’t own their own farmland, they’ll look for work on someone else’s farm. Most people earn less than 10,000 ($100) shillings each month.

This self-help group has been involved with us for two years now, and their aim is to bring much-needed water to their region. We stand alongside them, providing the tools and finances needed to achieve this goal: To see all of Mbuuni Self-Help Group’s undertakings, click here. 

Water

Mbuuni Village has a population that’s nearing 2,000 people – and they all used to rely on one borehole. This was installed by the Machakos County government, which would charge people for each jerrycan of water collected from the pump. Those who couldn’t afford that water dug holes in the sandy bed of Thwake River to access its water.

There isn’t only one clean water source in Mbuuni, thanks to our partnership with self-help groups. We built a sand dam and hand-dug system that supplies clean water. This water isn’t free. The fees paid by users are kept in the community for pump maintenance and development opportunities. But with such a large population, these two wells are not enough. And there are still families living a great distance away. (One water point can only reasonably serve a few hundred people. That’s why multiple projects in one community are important. To learn more, click here.)

As of now, many families spend a lot of time walking to and waiting at these clean water points. Thus, we have accepted the self-help group’s application to construct two more sand dams and well systems in Mbuuni.

Sanitation

Continuing hygiene and sanitation trainings are a big part of our relationship with Mbuuni. They’re doing a great job implementing everything they’ve learned, including building and using latrines, bathing shelters, and handwashing stations. There’s 100% latrine coverage, and almost everybody has a bathroom for washing every morning. Almost half of household have a hand-washing station called a “tippy tap,” a jerrycan that pours water as a string tilts it.

About 75% of people are treating their water before drinking it. Though water from these wells is clean when gathered, it should be treated after transportation and storage.

Here’s what we’re going to do:

Review

We recently visited over a dozen households to check on sanitation and hygiene standards. One of the most impressive households we visited was that of Mrs. Nduku Mutua (pictures on this page). These visits inform our trainers on what they might need to review with the community during their next trainings. We will continue to teach about the importance of handwashing, for though Mrs. Mutua has a tippy tap, many of her neighbors still don’t.

Sand Dam

The location for this sand dam is on the same river as the first dam, but further down. Our engineers are currently working on the blueprints for this dam, but they’re estimating it will be around 55.2 meters long and 5.6 meters high.

We are unified with this community to address the water shortage. As more sand dams are built, the environment will continue to transform. As the sand dams mature and build up more sand, the water tables will rise. Along with these sand dams, hand-dug wells (check out the hand-dug well being installed next to this dam) 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 around Mbuuni.


This project is a part of our shared program with Africa Sand Dam Foundation. Our team is pleased to provide the reports for this project (edited for readability) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates


06/11/2018: Mbuuni Community Sand Dam Project Complete

Mbuuni Community, Kenya now has a new source of water thanks to your donation. A new sand dam was constructed on a sandy riverbed, which will build up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water. Community members also attended hygiene and sanitation training, and plan to share what they learned with their families and neighbors.

New Knowledge

The first hygiene and sanitation training done for this area was in March 2017. Trainings thereafter are intended to cover weaknesses we notice during household visits. After a follow-up conducted in July 2017, there was a clear need for a review because very little had been achieved by the group members.

Reviewing the group’s progress in establishing good sanitation facilities at home.

Training was in the homestead of Gideon Kiilu, attended by 210 group members over the course of a few days. It was very sunny during training, so everyone kept shifting their chairs around to be in the shade.

We informed group members of different ways to treat water. They were very curious about learning the pros and cons of each method. As for weaknesses, we realized the majority of latrines had open pits that allowed odors to escape and flies to enter. For new content, we taught group members how to make their own soap. Many members had already been mixing their own soap but admitted that after a few days it would spoil and have to be thrown away. This session was particularly interesting for group members who wanted to fix their process and produce good soup for sale.

70-year-old Gideon Kiilu said, “According to how group members expressed interest in the training, I think it will change our lives. For instance, on the issue of diseases, we have learned how we can prevent waterborne diseases. That knowledge will help us. We have also learned about making soap, which is a very important activity. It will help us change our hygiene standards and increase incomes.”

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. The collection of the raw construction materials takes longer than the actual construction. For a super large sand dam, materials collection could take up to four months.

Men using pickaxes and mallets ot break off stones that will fortify the sand dam wall.

This group really took advantage of its large membership to make a big impact this year. Not only did they finish this particular sand dam in a timely manner, but they split people up to work on another dam at the same time.

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 before construction started. Once approved, we established 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. Rocks are heaped into the mortar once there is enough to hold. Barbed wire and twisted bar are 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 are built up. The vertical timber beams are dismantled and the dam is left to cure.

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 sand dam to reach maximum capacity. It is 55.2 meters long and 5.6 meters high and took 431 bags of cement to build.

Sand dam construction was simultaneous to the 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.


The Water Project : 24-kenya18169-finished-sand-dam


04/18/2018: Mbuuni Community Sand Dam Underway

A severe clean water shortage still affects hundred of families living in Mbuuni Community. Families are having to walk long distances to find clean water, wasting hours of time and tons of energy. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point nearby and much more.

Get to know your community through the introduction and pictures we’ve posted, and read about this water, sanitation and hygiene project. We look forward to reaching out with more good news!


The Water Project : 5-kenya18169-water-storage


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 - JM Smith Foundation/Weaver Family
BETH HART
3 individual donor(s)