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The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Agnes Mwanziu Mbusya
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Agnes Stands Amid Her Growing Maize
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Animal Pen
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Clothes Hang To Dry
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Cooking Area
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Dirty Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Group Members
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Latrines
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Returning Home With Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Scoop Hole Water
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Tulimani Community -  Woman Carrying Water

Project Status

Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 132 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  10/31/2019

Project Features

Click icons to learn about each feature.

Tulimani community members fetch water at River Kamulo, located less than two kilometers away from the village.  Scoop holes are dug in the riverbed in a bid to access water. The 132 people here have to dig deep scoop holes to reach the water.

Very deep.

The water that is gathered is often very salty and very dirty. The river only flows during the rainy season and dries up completely after the rain ceases. When the river runs dry, people then resort to walking to River Tyaa which is five kilometers away from the community – just to collect equally unsafe water.

The River Tyaa is very far from their community. One has to wake up very early to get to this source. It takes them more than two hours to get there on foot and the queues at the source can force one to wait for a whole day to fetch water. The source is often overcrowded.

Some of these members do not own donkeys, so fetching water from the River Tyaa is exhausting since they have to sometimes make multiple trips to get sufficient water for their household consumption.

During the drought seasons, families lose a lot of their livestock to hunger because they are incapable of sustaining both their needs and those of their domestic animals. Buying water from a local vendor is another option but it is costly and that water is not safe for drinking either.

As a result of these problems, waterborne diseases are rampant. Typhoid and amoeba are the most reported diseases. The expenses incurred on treatment are often too expensive for families to afford.

One person affected by these challenges is Agnes Mbusya, a 61-year-old farmer who cares for two children with disabilities.

She shared her experience with us:

“Personally, I do not have a donkey so the task of fetching water can be really hectic. I have two disabled children living with me and I have to take care of them and ensure they eat, they wear clean clothes, and also bathe. Hence, most of my money ends up being spent on paying vendors to deliver the water jerrycans to my home. If I decide to fetch the water for myself, I have to wake up very early to go to the water source before my children wake up. It is usually very exhausting carrying jerrycans of water – one on my back and the other with my hand as I try to kill two birds with one stone. I once tripped and fell, hurting my ankle in the errands of fetching the water. Attaining clean water is never a guarantee. So, we drink the water as it is.”

What we can do:

Our main entry point into Tulimani Community has been the Kamulo Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 32 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. On average, we work with a self-help group for five years. So, this is just the beginning of our partnership with this group! These members will be our hands in 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 25.2 meters long and 4.55 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 Tulimani Commuity.


The hygiene and sanitation levels in this community are very low. The community members attempt to sustain a clean environment although it’s quite difficult for them. They use ash to reduce the odor in their latrines. Their biggest areas in need of improvement are water treatment, water hygiene, compound hygiene, hand washing habits, and latrine hygiene.

“The current state of hygiene and sanitation in the area is not well established or maintained because of insufficient water in the region,” said Mwathi Musyoka.

“The latrines are rarely cleaned, but ever so often we use ash to emit the odor. Washing hands is not very habitual.”

We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with members of the Kamulo 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 poor compound hygiene and their general hygiene and sanitation standards are low. In relation to this, they need improvement on compound hygiene, 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

07/16/2019: Tulimani Community Sand Dam Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Tulimani 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 : kenya19198-collecting-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.


Project Sponsor - Barbara Belle Ash Dougan Family Foundation