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The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Finished Sand Dam
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Sand Dam Construction
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Handwashing Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Training
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Self Help Group Meeting
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Esther In Her Kitchen
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Water Storage For Esthers Family
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Local Environment
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Her Household
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Esther Mutheus Grandkid
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Esther And Her Family
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Esther Mutheu
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Carrying Heavy Container
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Sieving Out The Dirt
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Getting Dirty Water
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Using Scoop Holes
The Water Project: Utuneni Community -  Open Water Source

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  Installed - Oct 2018

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Utuneni Village is a calm and fairly vegetated rural area whose terrain is graded with red fertile soil. The houses are made of red bricks and are somewhat modern. However, among the homesteads we visited, not all the floors were cemented.

There are many occupations in the area but the most common are farming and casual labor. The young men mostly resort to casual labor where they work on other people’s farms or they work as constructors and are paid on a daily basis.

On an average day, the women wake up at 6am, go to fetch water, and then prepare breakfast for the family as the children prepare for school. The men go to the farm to get grass for the livestock and prepare to run errands.

Errands that are most common are farming, taking farm products to the market, and feeding the livestock. During the day, the women wash the family’s clothes, tidy up the house, washes utensils and prepare lunch as well as supper for the family. They also have the community meetings such as fellowship and self-help group meetings during the day.

Water

Community members walk up to an hour to reach the spring near the Kinyongo River. Long lines at the water source mean people sometimes wait up to an hour to fetch the water once they have arrived.

The spring water is always crowded since its the sole water point in the community during the dry season. Some families enlist donkeys to help carry the water. Those who cannot afford the assistance usually can only carry one jerrycan of water at a time.

“We struggle a lot to fetch water from this spring but we have no option. It is very far,” said Mrs. Esther Mutheu said.

“The problem is that it is usually overcrowded and since it’s the only source of water we have we have to be patient.”

The water is not safe for drinking since the source is not protected, thus posing a high risk of contracting typhoid, amoeba and other waterborne diseases. The water is especially prone to harbor all kinds of pollutants during the rainy season.

“Typhoid is the most common because people rarely treat their water here, only a few people have that knowledge and patience,” Mrs. Mutheu said.

Sanitation

The members of these homesteads posses some of the structures needed for good hygiene such as latrines and bathing stations. Fewer than half of homes in the community have latrines, but many will share with their neighbors.

In one of the homesteads observed, the bathroom did not have a door instead they put sacks on the door area. The latrines are rarely cleaned since there is no nearby water source – hence emitting foul smells. And there are no handwashing stations near the latrines. People opt to use ash as a cleaning technique because water is a scarce commodity.

What we plan to do about it:

Our main entry point into Utuneni Community has been the Ngwatanio Ya Kinyongo 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 Utuneni 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 along the sandy riverbed 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 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 Utuneni.


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


10/11/2018: Utuneni Community Sand Dam Complete

Utuneni 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

Field Officer Paulson Mukonzi worked to organize a sanitation and hygiene training with the community. Once dates were set, he reached out to the self-help group chairman who informed other members of the community. The training was held at the homestead of Mr. Benjamin Muindi.

Attendance was as expected, and a lot of the group members were eager to learn about new hygiene practices and behaviors. The area chief was also present and was very much impressed, saying that it was the first time he saw such a training held in his area.

The trainer, Veronica Matolo, organized topics by what we observed and heard during our tour of the community. She highlighted water treatment methods, dish racks, water point care, food preparation and storage, latrines, handwashing, and general household hygiene.

We taught how to build a tippy tap to use for washing hands.

Participants particularly enjoyed creating a seasonal calendar together in groups. This had them identifying the problems they most commonly contend with, and what they believe to be the causes. We were able to post these calendars on our easel up front and teach everyone about ways to prevent the spread of these diseases.

Soapmaking was another great activity, for which the group worked together to follow our recipe to make 40 liters of soap. They are excited to take this recipe back home and make their own soap to sell in the local market. Having this liquid soap around will improve the hygiene and sanitation standards at home, too!

This group was intensely involved in their learning, which was very encouraging for our trainers!

“The training will be of great help to us since this kind of training we’ve had for three days has never been held. Not in our group, and not in the entire village,” shared Mr. Benson Mutua.

“Incidences of diseases will be minimized because we have learned how to prevent them through different hygiene practices.”

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

Some of the stones gathered for sand dam construction.

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 26.5 meters long and 4.7 meters high and took 550 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.

“This water project is a dream coming true to the majority of us within this village. Everyone is happy, as water problems will be eased by having this water point at the center of our village,” shared Mr. Mutua.

“Community members are in high spirits to work on more projects as the benefits of having an unlimited clean water supply close to our homes will be felt by everyone.”


The Water Project : 19-kenya18183-finished-sand-dam


08/22/2018: Utuneni Community Project Underway

A clean water shortage around Utuneni Community drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a sand dam to bring water to this extremely arid region.

Get to know this 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 : 8-kenya18183-esther-and-her-family


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

Newman Elementary 5th Grade
International School of Stavanger
The Hermosillo Family
Trinity Lutheran Church VBS
Clarke PTO
Webster Niblock School
Common Objects Music + Sound
Coops For A Cause
CCHS Amnesty International 2017
Underwood Lutheran Church
United Way of the Capital Region
Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School
Data Abstract Solutions, Inc.
Escape Rooms Canberra
United Way of the Capital Region
Bounce Treatment Services
Eastlake High School
Medtronic Matching Gift
Microsoft Matching Gifts Program
Apple Inc. Matching Gift
Scott Bingham and family
Hewlett Packard Enterprises
The Clorox Company
Briggs
StatusChurch
Girl Scout Troop 4216
Thrivent Choice
Medtronic
Brighter Future Learning Center
Zukul
Harmony Endowment Foundation
Self
2018 ISC Walk For Water Project
179 individual donor(s)