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The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Sand Dam Plaque
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Sand Dam Plaque
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Garbage Site
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  In The Kitchen
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  In The Kitchen
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Musau Household
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Musau Household
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Musau Household
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Musau Household
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Kyambasa Shg Member Musinga Musau
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Mbakoni Community -  Fetching Water

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jan 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 02/25/2019

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Failure by successive governments to develop this region of Kenya has led to locals working hard on their farms to provide food on the table for their children and grandchildren.

Erratic rainfall patterns can’t guarantee water for communities all year round as most rivers in the entire Makueni County are seasonal. Sand dams would, therefore, harvest rainwater where it falls and makes it available to the community up to the next rain season. Accompanying wells will ensure people can collect water safely.

Mbakoni Community is found along the border of Makueni and Machakos Counties. The dominant activity here is farming with the majority of people owning small pieces of land where they grow maize, beans, and other cereals.

The community group is found in a peaceful rural area with significant tree coverage made of both exotic and indigenous trees. The area is hilly with steep slopes making part of the footpaths and roads linking up to the area. Many households have decent houses made up of bricks and roofed with iron sheets.

Water

The water sources for the community are open scoop holes found on a riverbed. The water is not safe for drinking – it is an open source with a thoroughly dirty appearance.

The scoop holes do not provide enough water all year round and often dry up in periods of prolonged drought which exposes the locals to water scarcity and a myriad of disease conditions.

Some members of the community boil water before its use while others use it without any prior form of treatment.

“Failure to tap on rainwater has led to perennial water problems in our area, this has subsequently led to low levels of hygiene and sanitation, we hope to improve our conditions by working on numerous water projects within our locality,” John Mutio said.

Sanitation

The majority of homes in the community have latrines, but many are made of unsafe mud floors. The chances are high that some latrines have been affected by the ongoing rains, leading to their collapse.

What we plan to do about it:

Our main entry point into Mbakoni Community has been the Kyambasa Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 30 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. These members will be our hands and feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

Training

We’re going to train Mbakoni Community on hygiene and sanitation practices. Though our visits to households were encouraging, 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 hand-washing will all be a focus during our sessions together.

Sand Dam

Building this sand dam at a spot along the sandy riverbed will bring water closer to hundreds of 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 29.6 meters long and 6.3 meters high.

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 Mbakoni, including Mr. Musau’s family.


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 clarity) thanks to the hard work of our friends in Kenya.

Project Updates


02/06/2019: Mbakoni Community Sand Dam Complete

Mbakoni 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.

Sand Dam

Sand dam construction was faced by numerous challenges that greatly derailed progress. Community members faced a big challenge in collection of local materials list stones, with some of the stones having to be brought in from another village. Despite these challenges, the community persevered and now has finished sand dam.

“We are very happy to have this project implemented in our village,” said Mr. John Mutio.

“It has taken a lot of hard work and commitment to realize such an amazing project. The project will go a long way towards clean water provision to the community members, controlling soil erosion in our locality, and improving living standards through improvements in hygiene and sanitation practices.”

The 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 raw construction materials takes longer than the actual construction. For a super large sand dam, materials collection could take up to four months. These materials supplemented all of the tools, lumber, metal, and cement that we delivered to the construction site.

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.

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 29.6 meters long and 6.3 meters high and took 715 bags of cement to build.

Sand dam construction was undertaken simultaneously with the construction of a hand-dug well that will give 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.

New Knowledge

The area field officer, Mutuku Mukeka, worked with the community to plan hygiene and sanitation training. Out of a group of 30 households, 28 of them made it to training. The weather was calm during the morning hours and sunny in the afternoon throughout the three days. The venue lacked enough shade to accommodate all the members, so the participants kept on shifting sitting positions to give people turns in the shade.

The group members participated in several different sessions over the three days:

– Identifying health problems in the community
– Identifying daily habits affecting health
– Good and bad hygiene behaviors
– How diseases spread
– Blocking the spread of disease
– Choosing sanitation improvements
– Choosing improved behaviors
– Planning for change
– Handwashing
– How to make soap

Participants particularly enjoyed the handwashing demonstration. This began with instruction on how to build a handwashing station called a “tippy tap.” They were happy to learn how easy it is to build these with cheap, easy-to-find materials. Trainer Christine Lucas then used this tippy tap to demonstrate how to wash your hands and the most important times to do so. This was our first lesson during day three, and people showed up early because they were so excited to learn how to build a handwashing station.

Some of them had even skipped breakfast to make it on time!

“The training was very good. We have learned new hygiene infrastructures which we will construct at our homes to help improve our hygiene. For example, we learned about utensil racks, animal sheds, tippy taps, rubbish pits, and others,” Mr. Thomas Muasya shared.

“Our families will be safer at home and the living standards will improve. If we get visitors at home, we are happy knowing they will notice some changes in our hygiene.”


The Water Project : 25-kenya18180-finished-sand-dam


09/25/2018: New Dates for Mbakoni Sand Dam and Well System

Construction work for a sand dam and well in Mbakoni is ongoing. Rainfall is causing delay, however, since conditions are not conducive for the heavy labor required to transport materials, dig, and build. On the other hand, steady rain makes for great farming conditions! Kyambasa Self-Help Group members have asked for a few weeks’ time to focus on their crops, and will thereafter return to help our artisans put the final touches on the sand dam and well.


The Water Project : asdf_kyambasa-shg_phase-i-3


07/31/2018: Mbakoni Community Project Underway

Dirty water from open holes in the riverbed is making people in Mbakoni Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your community through the narrative 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 : 1-kenya18180-fetching-water


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 - Lifeplus Foundation