Loading images...
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Cooking Stove
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Donkey Carrying Water
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Filling Container With Water
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Inside Latrine
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Jesicah Mutuu
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Jesicah Mutuu
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Josephine Mutuu Katumo
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Loading Water Onto Donkey
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Overhead Videw Of Stove
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Self Help Group Members
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Self Help Group
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Taking Water Home
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Kangalu Community -  Cattle Pen

Project Status

Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Project Phase:  Donate to this Project
Estimated Install Date (?):  12/31/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Community Profile

Kangalu is a generally dry community in Kitui County of southeastern Kenya. It is a typical community for this region with thorny trees, bushes and dryland grasses sparsely spread across the otherwise open landscape.

Residents report that most of the land is used for free-ranging their livestock, which is mostly comprised of cows, small goats, and one or a few donkeys for those who can afford them. The soils range from loosely held sand to loam.

The residents affirm the soil is highly productive, but it is only possible when there is enough rain. However, this is a region where rains often come once a year and from seasonal riverbeds that dry up soon after the rains end.

During the driest months of the year, the day for the women starts as early as 3:30 am when they leave to find water located five kilometers away. They have a target of getting there before 5 am. The school-going children will then wake up around 6 am and leave for school at 6:30, while the men either leave the house in search of casual labor or go out to tend livestock.

Meanwhile, women wait for their turn at the watering point: an earth dam built in the 1970s. Most of them get back home around 11 am. All of this effort is to collect water that isn’t even safe for drinking.

“The water we get from the earth dam is dirty and contaminated. But we do not have any alternative other than the scoop hole which is miles and miles away,” said Grace Nzioka Mutui.

“It is not easy to access it, so the majority of us have to settle for the earth dam source for both our livestock and ourselves. But due to its state, we often get infected with typhoid and dysentery.”

For families that can afford donkeys, the trip is made easier by the fact that they can carry jugs of water the long distance. Families that do not have donkeys must either carry the water themselves or pay a fee to use someone else’s donkey.

What we can do:

Our main entry point into Kangalu Community has been the Kangalu Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 184 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

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 29.9 meters long and 4.65 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 Kangalu, Kenya.


We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with Kangalu Chanuka 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.

Due to the challenge of water availability, the hygiene level is highly compromised. But the group members seem keen to improve hygiene standards and state, it as one of the key benefits they will derive from the project.

We're just getting started, check back soon!

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.