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The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Compound
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Cooking
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Daniel Muungi
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Fecthing Water
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Group Members
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Hanging Clothes
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Household Building
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Household
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Livestock Pen
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Water Storage Containers In Household
The Water Project: Kithumba Community D -  Watet Storage Containers

Project Status

Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Project Phase:  Donate to this Project
Estimated Install Date (?):  02/29/2020

Project Features

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Kithumba community is found in a hilly area in the slopes of Makuli hills in Nzaui, Makueni county. The locality is a peaceful rural area which is partly vegetated made up of indigenous tree species. Community members have decent housing standards with the majority living in houses made of brick and iron sheet roofs.

Many people in Kithumba area and the larger Kalamba/Nzaui district are actively involved in large scale fruit farming in their pieces of land especially mangoes and oranges, the increased production of fruits in the area resulted in the Makueni county government installing a fruit processing plant at the nearby Kalamba market to tap on produce from the locals.

Our main entry point into Kithumba Community is the Kakwa Self-Help Group (SHG), which is comprised of 26 farming households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. This is our third year partnering with Kawa SHG to improve access to reliable water. Multiple water points are needed to ensure that all 1,500 people in Kithumba community have a water source that is near their homes. These members are the hands in feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone.

Most community members use the two sand dams and adjacent hand-dug wells that were constructed over the past two years to meet their water needs. The water is clean and good for human consumption and the facility is well managed by the community through a lock and key policy to avoid cases of unexpected vandalism. However, we estimate that a single source can only support 500 people and there are still many people traveling a long distance to get water.

People living in areas far from the water facility have suffered by spending much of their time in water pursuit at the expense of other important activities such as farming and taking care of cattle. More projects are needed well distributed within the village so as to meet the water needs of the population.

“Our village has not yet reached universal access to water for all with sections of the community still struggling in terms of getting adequate clean water easily,” said Muinde Ngonzi.

“We are ready to work on more projects and bring water close to everyone within the locality and improve our living standards generally through improved hygiene and sanitation.”

What we can do:

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 45.1 meters long and 4.85 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 Kithumba, Kenya.


Kakwa Self-Help Group and Kithumba Community have participated in training sessions that teach about important hygiene practices and daily habits to establish in their homes. Taking good care of themselves and their environment will make for a healthy community. There has been progress, but training is still necessary to ensure continued improvement.

A majority of the community members have made good strides on matters of hygiene and sanitation. All members of the community have latrines and clotheslines. The majority are also using handwashing facilities with the rest working towards their implementation. Improvements are needed at making of dish-racks and digging of garbage pits within the compounds.

We will hold refresher trainings for all of the community members to strengthen what they already put into action and encourage them to continue making improvements.

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.