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The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Sand Dam Trench
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Kavutha Katava
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Making Soap
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Making Soap
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Making Soap
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Transect Walk
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Transect Walk
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Empty Container Meant For Handwashing Water
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Latrines
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Using A Clothesline
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Water Kettles
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Hanging Pots Up Off The Ground
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  In The Kitchen
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Syombua Household
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Syombua Household
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Ruth Syombua
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Yangondi Shg Member Ruth Syombua
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Mbau Community -  Current Water Source

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Sep 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Unpredictable rainfall patterns can’t guarantee water for communities, such as Mbau Village, all year round. Most rivers in this region are seasonal. Sand dams would, therefore, harvest rainwater where it falls and make it available to the community through the dry season, providing water for households, watering livestock, and for income generating activities.

Water

People in the community travel more than a mile to access water for washing and drinking. The burden of the long journey is usually endured by women and children as they are tasked with getting water for the family. The terrain is rough and steep which makes it a more difficult and tiresome walk.

Some members reported that they pay for the water because they don’t own donkeys for transporting the water from the source to their homes while others use their backs to ferry the water home.

The scoop holes are found on a seasonal river which is prone to running dry during prolonged seasons without rainfall. This leaves community members with no alternatives in their quest for water for household chores and livestock. That and the fact that the community shares the water source means it runs out of water often.

The community has been using the water without any form of treatment, thus exposing them to potential health risks from waterborne diseases.

If a family can afford it, they jump on the opportunity to own as much water storage as possible to cut down on the long trips made for water.

Sanitation

“Our life and levels of hygiene and sanitation are not up to standard and are too low because we lack enough supply of clean water, we hope by working on developing water projects things will change for the better,” Mrs. Ann Mwangangi said.

Roughly two-thirds of homes have latrines in Mbau. The latrines observed exhibited low levels of cleanliness. No household had water placed outside the facilities for use for handwashing. Some of the latrines were made of permanent and semi-permanent structures. Chances are high that some latrines have been affected by the ongoing rains, leading to their collapse.

Community

Mbau Community is found in Mwingi, more than 300km away from ASDF offices in Mtito Andei. Based on the distances involved and the number of projects in that area, we had to camp at Mwingi Town for several days so as to cover many projects within the area.

The community is in a peaceful rural area with a rough terrain comprising of steep slopes. The area is partly dry with scattered trees. Being a rural village, the majority of homes are made of bricks and roofed with iron sheets and often lack plastered or cement floors.

There are over 1,000 people in this dry region of Kenya. The majority are not in formal employment – many households have invested in subsistence farming for the provision of basic family food. Residents grow maize, cowpeas, pigeon peas, millet, sorghum and more recently others have started growing fruits, such as mangoes.

What we plan to do about it:

Our main entry point into Mbau Community has been the Yangondi Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 44 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. These members will be our hands in feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

Training

We’re going to train Mbau Community on hygiene and sanitation practices. We want to ensure that community members are practicing the day to day habits we’re not able to observe. Food hygiene, water hygiene and treatment, personal hygiene and handwashing will all be a focus during our sessions together.

Sand Dam

Building this sand dam at a spot further down the river will bring water closer to hundreds of other people. After the community picked the spot, our technical team went in and proved the viability by finding a good foundation of bedrock. Now, our engineers are busy drawing up the blueprints. We estimate the dam will be 32 meters long and 4.95 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 Mbau.


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


09/25/2018: Mbau Community Sand Dam Complete

Mbau Community, Kenya now has a new source of water thanks to your donation. A new dam was constructed on the 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

Hygiene and sanitation training was planned and organized by the Area Field Officer, Bendetta Makau, who communicated with the community members and settled on a date when Instructor Veronica Matolo could conduct sessions.

Attendance stood at 23, which was a good turnout for this important community activity. The presence of the Mbau Village Administrator demonstrated the importance of training. The group met at a homestead, arranging seats outside under trees. The weather was calm and cool, creating a conducive learning environment for all.

Mapping activities and facilities around the village

One of the most effective topics had participants out walking around the community. They searched for areas where people would use the bathroom, identifying the need for proper latrines and waste disposal. They learned about how this open defecation is being spread around their environment by flies and wild animals.

After returning to the homestead, we demonstrated how investments on good hygiene and sanitation pay off; that building a latrine, handwashing station, and treating water keeps people from having to pay for reoccurring medical treatment.

People also loved learning how to make soap. This won’t only be used at the household level to wash hands, dishes, and more, but will be made in large batches to sell at the local market. The benefits to health are immediate, but the participants look forward to making an income off of their soap-making knowledge, too.

“The training has been good and a challenging one because we did not know that there’s too much open defecation in our area. We promise to change our actions and behaviors through following instructions from the training. This will help reduce the money we’ve been using for treatment,” shared Mrs. Kavutha Katava.

Mrs. Kavutha Katava

“From the calculations we did… we have learned that we spend a lot of money that could be used in development activities. The training method was so simple, thus allowing us to get equal knowledge that can be passed to all the community members easily. If we follow the instructions from the training, our community will be a wealthy and a healthy one.”

Sand Dam

Construction of the sand dam started at a time when the area was experiencing rainfall, which interrupted the normal construction process.

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.

Siting and technical designs were drawn and presented to the Water Resources Management Authority and a survey sent to the National Environment Management Authority 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 32 meters long and 4.95 meters high and took 575 bags of cement to build.

Sand dam construction was undertaken simultaneously with the construction of a hand-dug well which gives community members a safe method of drawing water. As the sand dam matures and stores more sand, a huge supply of water will be available for drinking from the adjacent hand-dug well.

To see that hand-dug well, click here.

“Mbau Village is lighting up with joy after the implementation of this water project. Clean water will now be accessible to all of us without traveling for long distances, and this will improve our living standards,” said Mrs. Kavutha Katava.

“There will be improved hygiene and sanitation among community members from the unlimited availability of water with this project, the training was good and educative on ways of remaining healthy through proper cleanliness at all levels.”


The Water Project : 25-kenya18176-finished-sand-dam


05/09/2018: Mbau Community Sand Dam Project Underway

Unpredictable rainfall patterns can’t guarantee water for communities, such as Mbau Village, all year round. Most rivers in this region are seasonal. Sand dams would, therefore, harvest rainwater where it falls and make it available to the community through the dry season, providing water for households, watering livestock, and for income generating activities.


The Water Project : 2-kenya18176-current-water-source


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 - Barbara Belle Ash Dougan Foundation