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The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Celebrating The Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Completed Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Completed Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Completed Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Completed Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Completed Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Four
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Four
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Four
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Four
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Four
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Four
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase One
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase One
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase One
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase One
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase One
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase One
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase One
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Three
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Three
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Three
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Three
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Three
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Two
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Two
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Two
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dam Construction Phase Two
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Hauling Sand
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Rocks For Dam
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Shg Members At The Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Trenching
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Trenching
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Handwashing Demonstration
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Training Discussion
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Training
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Celebrating The Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Water Storage Containers In The Compound
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Water Containers
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Water Containers Ready To Be Hauled Home
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Walking In Compound
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Self Help Group Members
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Rocks Collected For Construction
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Preparing Area For Dam And Well
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Pots And Pans
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Mary Mueni
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Kitchen Building
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Hanging Clothes On The Line
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Filling Containers With Water
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dumping Sand For Mixing With Cement
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Digging
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Cooking Area
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Chicken Coop
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Carrying Water Containers At Home
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Benjamin Musau
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  At Home
The Water Project: Kaukuswi Community -  Arranging Water Containers

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Dec 2019

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Kaukuswi is found in a peaceful rural location. The majority of the 503 people here live in decent houses made of bricks and covered with iron sheets.

The community’s proximity to Matiliku and Emali market centers has led to many people attending market days that are held on every Wednesday and Friday. Locals walk together to the market in a bid to maximize on the increased variety of choice and fresh produce. Local residents come together during burial ceremonies, welfare organization meetings, fundraising events, and weddings.

More than half of people say that they make a living from farming. Some others earn an income by running small businesses, working in nearby towns, or engaging in informal labor for construction projects.

The amount of time spent in search of water has derailed the development of this community.

The current water source is found on a sandy, seasonal river channel. People dig scoop holes into the sand to fetch water. The river is seasonal and runs dry at certain times of the year. This leaves community members at the mercy of unscrupulous business people who sell water at high prices, exploiting the locals.

“For many years we have suffered the challenge of clean water access in our locality. This has led to poor living conditions and low levels of cleanliness at household and personal levels,” said Benjamin Musau.

The water points are always open and remain exposed to many contaminating agents. The channel is shared by both human beings and animals. The available water is in a poor state and not suitable for human use, but there’s no other choice.

More than half of community members travel for more than two kilometers in their search for water, which makes the pursuit of water a major challenge for this group of people.

What we can do:

Our main entry point into Kaukuswi Community has been the Kwa Mung’oli Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 31 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.

Sand Dam

Erratic rainfall patterns in southeastern Kenya can’t guarantee water for communities all year round as most rivers in the entire Makueni County are seasonal with only River Athi being perennial. Sand dams would therefore harvest rainwater where it falls and make it available to the community till the next rain season with community members utilizing the tapped water resources for a range of activities.

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 81.3 meters long and 3.9 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 Kaukuswi, Kenya.

Training

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

Most households have latrines. The latrines we visited demonstrated average levels of cleanliness with a majority being cleaned using ash. None of the facilities visited had water for handwashing placed nearby for use after visiting. Improvements will be needed in having handwashing facilities, garbage pits and regular cleaning of the latrines.

We will hold training on effective water treatment methods, handwashing training, soap making lessons and knowledge of disease transmission routes. The members of this group seem to have little knowledge on hygiene and sanitation. This also exposes them to risks of contracting diseases such as cholera, typhoid, diarrhea and stomachaches.

Project Updates


12/20/2019: Kaukuswi Community Sand Dam Complete!

Kaukuswi, 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.

We worked with the Kwa Mungoli Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed materials and physical labor to complete the project. In addition, they were trained on various skills such as bookkeeping, financial management, project management, group dynamics, and governance. We also conducted a hygiene and sanitation training to teach skills like soapmaking and to help improve behaviors such as handwashing.

When an issue arises concerning the water project, the group members are equipped with the necessary skills to rectify the problem and ensure it works appropriately. However, if the issue is beyond their capabilities, they can contact our team of field officers to assist them.

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 the raw construction materials takes longer than the actual construction. For a large sand dam, materials collection could take up to 4 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 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 81.3 meters long and 3.9 meters high. It took 700 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

A hygiene and sanitation training for members of the self-help group and local community members was held at Chris Muia’s homestead, a member of the group. This location was suitable because it was easily accessible to all the members and the environment was conducive for training. The weather was cold during the morning hours and sunny in the afternoon. The venue had tree shade which provided enough cover for all of the participants.

The trainer conferred with the field staff about their previous visits to households and interviews with community members to determine which topics the community still could improve upon.

They decided to train on topics including health problems in the community; good and bad hygiene behaviors; how diseases spread and their prevention; choosing sanitation improvements; choosing improved hygiene behaviors; planning for behavioral change; handwashing; and soapmaking.

The participants’ level of involvement and indulgence in the training was high and impressive. We had an open discussion where we discussed various topics of interest whereby they expressed their need for knowledge. They were very expressive, inquisitive, and attentive throughout the training session. In addition, they were very ready to volunteer for demonstrative and participatory activities.

The participants were divided into 2 equal groups and were tasked to discuss the common diseases they contract in their community, the season in which they occur, and their causes. The participants later met in 1 group for presentations from each group to explain their work. They were then taken through various ways of preventing diseases. A tool known as the seasonal calendar was used to train on this topic.

The community members were very active and jovial about the discussion of health problems they face. A lot of time was spent on discussions about this topic compared to the rest of the day, making it memorable.

In an open discussion, some members admitted to practicing open defecation due to lack of knowledge but they agreed to stop the act as they were now aware of the negative effects of it. Seeing them take immediate action was a good gesture and this made the topic memorable to our trainers.

“The training was very good. We have learned the importance of having latrines at homes and the absurd effects of not having them in our compounds. As a group we promise to construct good toilets and [keep] them clean,” said Peris Wakesho Nzingi.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : kenya19194-shg-members-at-the-sand-dam


11/07/2019: Kaukuswi Community project underway!

Dirty water is making people in Kaukuswi sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this 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 news of success!


The Water Project : kenya19194-filling-containers-with-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

First Congregation Church of Chatham
Data Abstract Solutions, Inc.
Facebook Donations
Bonavista Baptist Church
Fishing Creek Baptist Church
St. Petersburg Christian School - Dr. Soba's Middle School Class
Parkview Public School
Contra Costa Employees
Jo Ann Agnes Porter
Frontstream
Central Coast New Tech High Leo Club
Faith Chapel
Lynbrook Union Middle School
Rotary Club of Chestfield - Endgland
Jonny Blockchain
Charities Aid Foundation of America
Cassandras 12th Birthday
Pacific Tide Clothing
My family and friends and good Muslims
Mitch Brownlie, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
133 individual donor(s)