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The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Completed Sand Dam
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Completed Dam
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Hi
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Hurray
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Shg Members Standing On Completed Dam
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Shg Members Show Off Their Custom Shirts
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Water
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Demonstration On How To Construct A Handwashing Station
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Community Members Build Sand Dam
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Cement Bags For Well And Dam
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Community Member Helping Construction
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Digging At Dam Site
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Digging
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Handwashing Demonstration
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Shg Members Digging
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Training Materials
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Training Meeting
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Training
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Well Site
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Women Digging
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Mwanzia Muli
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Community Collecting Stones
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Community Already Collecting Stones
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Community Members Learning About The Project
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Latrine And Bathing Room
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Dishes Drying
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Cooking In Kitchen
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  More Water Storage
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Household
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Household
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Kyambi Musunza
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Current Water Source
The Water Project: Ndithi Community -  Current Water Source

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



It was a sunny morning when we first traveled to Ndithi Village. Ndithi is found in the Mwingi area, which is more than 300 kilometers away from the main offices in Mtito Andei. Based on the distance involved and the number of projects in this area, we camped at Mwingi Town for several days to cover as many projects as possible in one visit.

We went to Ndithi to meet with members of the Ndithi Tuinuke Self-Help Group. This group of farmers wants to tackle water and food scarcity in their arid region, so we have partnered with them to achieve these goals. We plan to install their first sand dam and hand-dug well system to bring water nearby.

This type of intervention helps people to improve their lives. Unpredictable rainfall patterns have made it impossible to guarantee water for communities all year round, as most rivers in Southeastern Kenya are seasonal. Sand dams harvest rainwater where it falls, making it available to the community until their next rain season.

1,054 people are living in this area. From our survey, we found 51% of the people here depend on farming as their main source of income while 37% are casual laborers and the remaining 13% run small businesses. The source of one’s income does not depend on the level of education that one has achieved. Some 73% of the respondents reported earning an average income of fewer than 3,000 shillings ($30) in a month.

For an average day in the community, women and children wake up at 6:00am, go to fetch water, and prepare breakfast for the family as the children get ready for school. The men normally take care of their livestock in the morning.

Fetching water is a big ordeal and can take up to 5 hours. The main water source is found at a sandy, seasonal riverbed in the community. Holes are dug in the sand until water pools, giving them the name “scoop holes.” These scoop holes are completely unprotected to all forms of contamination. Nonetheless, community members use this water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and cleaning.

Most of the community members walk for long distances to access these scoop holes, with some covering more than 3 kilometers to reach the water source. The available scoop holes are found on a seasonal river channel and always run dry during the dry season. This forces the community to walk even longer distances in search of alternative water sources. Available water levels at the channel are low and unable to meet the needs of the huge village population.

“Water problems have been severe in our village,” said Mr. Mwanzia Muli.

“We are always forced to travel for long distances looking for water from open river scoop holes. At the end of the day, the available water is not safe for human consumption and has led to people suffering from amoeba and typhoid after drinking the unsafe water.”

What we can do:

Training

We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with Ndithi Tuinuke Self-Help Group, which are also open to non-members. These will teach important hygiene practices and daily habits to establish in the community at the personal and household levels. Taking good care of oneself and the environment will make for a healthier community.

During our baseline sanitation and hygiene coverage survey, we found the following levels of coverage in the community for each aspect:

Latrines 99%
Handwashing Stations 0%
Clotheslines 90%
Dish Racks 10%
Bathing Area 50%
Animal Enclosure 60%
Proper Garbage Disposal 40%

Although most families have a good pit latrine, they need to clean them more often. Latrines were found to be below average, while some owners admitted to not ever cleaning them. Upcoming training sessions will strengthen weaknesses and continue encouraging each family to understand that making the extra effort to clean homes, bathe, wash hands, and treat water is well worth it!

Sand Dam

Building this sand dam at a spot on Mutya Wewa River 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 38.1 meters long and 4.7 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 of people in Ndithi Village of Mwingi, Kenya.

Project Updates


08/28/2019: Ndithi Community Sand Dam Complete

Ndithi Community, Kenya now has access to 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.

“We are happy to have worked hard and completed this amazing water project. The work by our hands is now visible and the project will go a long way to helping us,” said Mwasya Mwendwa.

“It is a unique project which suits our needs. The community is committed to working on more projects to help alleviate the water crisis in our locality.”

Sand Dam

The community members collected all of the local materials like rocks and sand that were required for the successful completion of the dam. They also provided labor to support our artisans. The collection of raw construction materials takes longer than the actual construction. For a large sand dam, materials collection could take up to 4 months.

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 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 rebar are used to reinforce the mixture.

Once the foundation is complete, a skeleton of timber is built to hold up the sludge and rocks 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.

This dam measures 38.1 meters long and 4.7 meters high and took 543 bags of cement to build.

Sand dam construction was simultaneous to the construction of a hand-dug well, which gives locals a safer 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.

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 3 years of rain for this sand dam to reach maximum capacity.

New Knowledge

The Kamuwongo region field officer, Patrick Musyoka planned for the training in collaboration with training officer Veronica Matolo. Mr. Musyoka informed the community members on the intention to hold the training and settled on the most suited date for the activity which was communicated back to Veronica. All community members and local leaders were invited to the event by the group chairman.

This training was held at the homestead of Joyce Kimanzi, as all the members had agreed to make it their venue for the training. There was enough shade since the homestead has plenty of trees and the environment was very conducive; no external distractions were faced.

We wanted to train the entire self-help group, but some members were missing. There were a few challenges, including the fact that some members had to spend the first two days of training at the market to sell their crops and goods. Some other members work away from home and could not leave work for the training. Those in attendance were especially encouraged to share what they learned with their peers, and another review training will be held in the future.

The participation level was excellent, with the women participating the most. Topics included:

– Identifying health problems in the community
– Investigating community practices
– Good and bad hygiene behaviors
– How germs spread
– Blocking the spread of disease
– Choosing the right improvements
– Making an action plan for the village
– Handwashing
– Soapmaking

People really liked the handwashing activities. We began by demonstrating how to construct a tippy tap handwashing station, which uses accessible materials like sticks, string, and a plastic container. After seeing how easy this tippy tap is to build, each participant promised to construct one of their own back home.

After the construction of the tippy tap, everyone was taken through a demonstration on how to wash their hands. Critical moments to wash hands were also discussed, such as before eating and after visiting the latrines.

Community members said that the design of the tippy tap was unique and easy to use. It was also said to be more hygienic than other types of handwashing stations they’ve seen. They said that it was the best way to prevent diseases.

“I will follow all that I have learned as far as hygiene and sanitation are concerned and that way, I will help my entire family change the bad behavioral practices,” said Nzambi Musyoka.

From the look of things, this group of people seems very committed to implementing what was trained. Group members present said that within a very short period they will have implemented what they had written down in the action plan because they realized that it was for their own good.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : kenya19187-hi


07/16/2019: Ndithi Community's Sand Dam Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Ndithi drains people’s time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point 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 : kenya19187-sand-dam-cement-dries


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

1 individual donor(s)