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The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Carrying Container Filled With Water
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Donkeys For Carrying Water Home
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Filling Container With Water
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Filling Up Container With Water From A Scoop Hole
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Scooping Water
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Shg Members
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Shg Members
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Walking With Water Containers
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Bathroom
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Chicken Coops
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Compound
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Cooking
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Inside Kitchen
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Joel Kilonzo
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Kitchen Building
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Latrine
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Walking Around Compound
The Water Project: Kasioni Community B -  Water Storage Containers

Project Status

Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 700 Served

Project Phase:  Under Construction
Estimated Install Date (?):  05/01/2020

Project Features

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“Our area suffers from a lack of a reliable water source which has greatly affected our way of life here,” said Joel Kilonzo, a farmer living in Kasioni Community in southeast Kenya.

“Women have been waking up early and traveling for more than 4 kilometers to the Kase River in search of water. The water is not even safe because it is drawn from open river scoop holes. The water has exposed community members to health risks such as waterborne diseases.”

Mr. Kilonzo and the 700 other people who live in Kasioni share the same experience trying to access water. They rely on seasonal rivers to fetch water to use for everything from cooking to bathing and drinking. The community members report frequent cases of waterborne diseases including dysentery, typhoid, bilharzia, ringworms, and other stomach complications. The time lost and money spent treating these illnesses has a significant cost on people here.

“I have had bad water experiences since the time I was married here. During the dry season, I wake up at 4:00 in the morning to walk for more than 3 kilometers to the Katse River in search of water – sometimes with my children,” shared Tabitha Mulatya, another farmer we met while visiting the community.

“It has never been easy walking in the darkness and endangering my life in search of water. Only God has been protecting me.”

The long hours spent walking to and queueing at the water points have caused a lot of fatigue to community members and loss of valuable time. The majority of the community members rely on farming as their main source of income. Their primary crops include pigeon peas, cowpeas, green grams (mung beans), and millet. Water is an essential part of their lives. The time spent getting water could otherwise be spent working on the farm, taking care of family needs, or focusing on the many other responsibilities that are sacrificed as a result of their water crisis.

This community group is found in a rural setting on the slopes of Mumoni Hills which rests near the border of Kitui and Embu Counties. The area is generally hilly and made up of steep slopes with average vegetation cover made of a majority of indigenous trees. An average house here is made of bricks with iron sheets for the roof. Some homes use grass thatching for roofs. A majority of the houses lack cemented floors and the walls are not plastered.

Most of the latrines we observed at homesteads are made of mud floor slabs and the walls made of bricks. They are well-roofed with iron sheets and fitted with doors made either of wood or pieces of clothing.

What we can do:

Our main entry point into Kasioni Community is the Kamami Self-Help Group, which is comprised of 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 in this area.

Sand Dam

After the community picked their ideal spot for a sand dam, our technical team went in and proved its viability by finding a good foundation of bedrock. Now, our engineers are busy drawing up the blueprints. We estimate the dam will be 37 meters long and 3 meters high.

We are unified with this community to address the water shortage. As more sand dams are built in this area, the environment will continue to transform. As the sand dams mature and build up more sand, the water tables will rise. Along with this sand dam, a hand-dug well will be installed to give community members an easy, safe way to access that water.

Building this sand dam along with the well in this community will help bring clean water closer to hundreds of people living here.


These community members currently do their best to practice good hygiene and sanitation, but their severe lack of water has been a big hindrance to reaching their fullest potential.

We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with the Kamami Self-Help Group and other community members to teach about important hygiene practices and daily habits to establish at the personal, household, and community levels. This training will help to ensure that participants have the knowledge they need to make the most out of their new water point as soon as water is flowing.

One of the most important topics we plan to cover is the handling, storage, and treatment of water. Having a clean water source will be extremely helpful, but it is useless if water gets contaminated by the time it is consumed. We will also emphasize the importance of handwashing.

We and the community strongly believe that all of these components will work together to improve living standards here, which will help to unlock the potential for these community members to live better, healthier lives.

We typically work with self-help groups for 3 to 5 years on multiple water projects. We will conduct follow-up visits and refresher trainings during this period and remain in contact with the group after all of the projects are completed to support their efforts to improve sanitation and hygiene.

Project Updates

03/24/2020: Kasioni Community sand dam underway!

People travel long distances just to get dirty water from open holes in the riverbed. This is making the families of Kasioni Community sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know your 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 more good news!

The Water Project : kenya20300-20301-fetching-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.


Mastercard Impact
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United Way of the Capital Region
North Dunedin Baptist Church
Washington State Combined Fund
In honor of my friend Spencer B., from Cavett Cooper
Contra Costa County Employees
Trustee For Thri Corporate
Pledgeling Foundation
52 individual donor(s)