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The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Complete Dam
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Complete Dam
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Thumbs Up For A New Dam
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Working On The Top Of The Walls
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Trenching
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Shg Members Working On The Dam
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Dam Wall Progress
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Dam Construction Progress
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Handwashing Demonstration
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Mutiso Kondo
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Shg Members Work At The Construction Site
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Training
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Training Posters
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Eunice Makasi
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Mwendwa Maithya
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Mwendwa Maithya
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Kenya Iii
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Construction Materials
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Digging
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Eunice Makasi
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Collecting Water From Unprotected Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Filling Container With Water
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Lifting Water Container After Filling
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Lifting Water Out Of Unprotected Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Lucia Musili
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Pouring Water From Scoop Hole Into Container
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Scooping Water
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Shg Members
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Unprotected Dug Well
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Back Of Home
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Cattle Pen
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Chicken Coop
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Compound
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Cooking
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Family
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Inside Kitchen
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Kid In The Compound
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  View Of The Compound
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Mbuili Mutisya
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Water Storage Containers
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Nzimba Community -  Filling Bucket Down Open Well

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Jun 2020

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Nzimba is found on the slopes of the Mumoni hills in Mumoni sub-county, Kitui County.

On an average day for the community members in this region, the women and children wake up at 6:00 am, go to fetch water, prepare breakfast for the family as the children prepare to go to school. The man, on the other hand, wakes up to go to the farm to get Napier grass for the livestock and also prepare to run his errands. During the day, the woman goes for water fetching, washes the family’s clothes, tidy up the house, washes utensils and prepares lunch as well as supper for the family.

But without nearby access to a reliable water source, most days are not average in Nzimba. The water source was found on a seasonal river channel more than 3 km from the nearest household. People spend more than 2 hours just to travel to the river, fetch water, and travel home.

For Lucia Musili, a farmer who lives in the community, it means waking up at 4:30 am each day to go and get water.

“It has not been easy taking the long walks in the darkness. This has derailed my personal development as most of the time is spent searching for water,” she said.

The river water is an open-source which is accessible to animals and wildlife, it remains exposed to many contaminants all the time. For most of the year, people have to dig holes in the dry riverbed to get the water that is stored in the ground. Some members also visit the source to fetch water using donkeys to help them carry multiple containers. Their presence also further contaminates the water.

“I have suffered from typhoid as a result of using water which is not safe for human consumption,” said Mbuli Mutisya, a farmer who also travels the long distance to the river.

The lack of water contributes to other problems. The hygiene and sanitation levels within this community are below average, there is poor water handling, no proper waste disposal through the use of garbage pits and the available latrines demonstrate poor cleanliness standards. Many of these challenges are connected to the lack of water available nearby.

What we can do:

Our main entry point into Nzimba Community has been the Kasilu 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.

Sand Dam

After the community picked the ideal 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 31 meters long and 3 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 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.

Training

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 Kasilu Self-Help Group and other community members to teach about important hygiene practices and daily habits to establish at the personal, household, and community level. 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


06/26/2020: Nzimba Community Sand Dam Complete!

Please note, all photos in this report were taken before social distancing recommendations went into effect.

Nzimba, 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.

“Having water from within our village will be a big boost to me and my family as well as the community at large,” said Mwendwa Maithya, a 56-year-old farmer who lives near the dam.

“There will be an adequate supply of clean water for drinking which will lead to improved hygiene and sanitation levels and also lead to healthy people. The time I initially spent on getting water can now be utilized for other activities such as farming and trade.”

We worked with the Kasilu 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 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 a 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 31 meters long and 3 meters high. It took 480 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. It could take up to 3 years of rain for this sand dam to reach maximum capacity, however, since sometimes it only rains once a year!

“I will now be able to access water more easily and with eased convenience than before. This is because water is now available from within our village without the long walks,” said Eunice Makasi.

New Knowledge

The area Field officer for Nguuku/Musosya region Stephen Mwangangi in collaboration with Judith Kituta planned for the training and agreed on the best possible dates. After a date was agreed upon, Mr. Mwangangi informed the community leaders who then told all the community members and invited them for the training. The area assistant chief and village elders were also notified and requested for the training.

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.

Soapmaking

The training was held at the New Apostolic Church Nzimba. It had enough space to accommodate all attending members, and the environment was conducive for the training. Being a sunny day, everyone enjoyed the training session. The weather was favorable for everyone, and the training turned out a success for the community.

Handwashing demonstration

During the discussion on the causes of malaria, some community members cited tsetse flies as the cause. This created a scene of laughter for a majority of the members in attendance. The misunderstanding was corrected and the people were informed that mosquito bites caused malaria and that tsetse flies caused sleeping sickness. This made the topic one of the most memorable.

“The training has been beneficial and quite informative,” said Mutiso Kondo after the training.

“The knowledge on handwashing and construction of a simple tippy tap will lead to improved health levels in our community.”

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : kenya20302-thumbs-up-for-a-new-dam


05/14/2020: Nzimba Community sand dam underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Nzimba, Kenya drains community members’ time, energy, and health. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this 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 : kenya20302-20303-scooping-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

Project Sponsor - Barbara Belle Ash Dougan Foundation