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The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Complete Dam
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Complete Dam
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Dam Plaque
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  View Of Nearly Complete Dam
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Dam Walls Nearly Done
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Late Construction Process
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Hauling Rocks
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Scooping Cement Onto Top Of Dam Wall
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Scaffolding For Dam
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Overhead Shot Of Dam Construction
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Lifting Up Large Rocks For The Dam Walls
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Dam Construction
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Dam Construction
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Community Members Leading The Construction
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Cement Bags
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Mixing Sand And Cement
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Training Poster
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Training Attendees
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Training
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Training
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Tippy Tap Demonstration
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Ndainge Mengi
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Elizabeth Nyiva
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Handwashing Demonstration
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Handwashing Session
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Kilonzi M
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Community Participation In The Training
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Latrine
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Compound
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Shg Members
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Cattle Pen
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Shg Members
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Compound
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Compound
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Cooking Area
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Ngina David
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Collecting Water From Storage Container
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Inside Kitchen
The Water Project: Syonzale Community -  Kavindu Mutua

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 470 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - May 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



On an average day for the 470 community members in Syonzale, the women wake up early in the morning to prepare breakfast for the family as the children prepare to go to school. Syonzale is found in a quiet, rural location which has a relatively flat terrain. The households are sparsely populated with large distances between homes. Most people here make a living working as farmers who sell their produce and livestock at the local market.

Before making breakfast, most women will go to fetch water at the best possible source, which usually is the nearest riverbed, depending on the time of the year. Unpredictable rainfall patterns cannot guarantee water for communities year-round as most rivers in the Kitui County are seasonal.

To address this problem here, we are working with the Syiluluku Self-Help Group, which is comprised of households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. These members are our hands and feet in both constructing water projects and spreading the message of good hygiene and sanitation to everyone in this area.

The self-help group members recently completed their first project with us, but that dam and well alone are not enough to support everyone here. People will have access to water through the first project, but there are still hundreds of people that have to travel long distances to get water.

“The first project is helping provide water to us and it is important for the whole village to have a practical example of a functional project, but we are not where we want to be yet because water shortages are still prevalent in our village and area at large. We remain committed to working on more projects aimed at bringing water close to every household in our locality which will lead to improved lives,” said Ngina David.

Kavindu Mutua, a farmer in the community shared similar sentiments about a commitment to bringing water to more people.

“After the implementation of our first water project, it is working well and providing us with clean water for use at the household level,” he said.

“We now understand the importance of such a project. We are working hard to jointly implement more projects within the village so that everyone can have easy access to water and improve our lives.”

What We Can Do:

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 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 Syiluluku 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 the 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


05/28/2021: Syonzale Community Sand Dam Complete!

Syonzale, 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.

"Water has been brought close to home. I can help mum and will now be able to fetch water many trips after school, which will enable us to improve cleanliness at home through regular washing of clothes and to clean all houses. The pump looks good, and the water comes out quickly," said young Kilonzi M.

We worked with the Syiluluku Rock Catchment Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed materials and physical labor to complete the project. We trained the group in various skills such as bookkeeping, financial management, project management, group dynamics, and governance. We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training to teach skills like soapmaking and 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 field officers to assist them.

"This water project has brought water close to my family and me. Our grandchildren will now help us get water for household use because it is close to home. That was never possible in the past because of the long distances we traveled to get water," said farmer Ndainge Mengi.

Sand Dam

The community members collected all of the local materials like rocks and sand required to complete 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 four months.

Cement bags

Siting and technical designs were drawn and presented to the Water Resources Management Authority, and a survey was sent to the National Environment Management Authority for approval before construction started. Once approved, we established firm bedrock at the base of the sand dam wall. In the absence of good bedrock, excavation is done 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 poured 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 36 meters long and 3 meters high and took 492 bags of cement to build.

Sand dam construction was simultaneous to constructing a hand-dug well, which gives locals a safer method of drawing water. As the sand dam matures and stores more water, more 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. However, it could take up to three years of rain for this sand dam to reach maximum capacity because sometimes it only rains once a year!

New Knowledge

The trainer conferred with the field staff about their previous visits to households and interviews with community members to determine which topics the community could improve upon.

They decided to train on 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.

The training was held at the site of their current sand dam because they were still constructing this new dam at the time. People chose to come early to work on the dam before the training and also stayed to work after the session was over.

The tippy tap is an activity that is meant to demonstrate the proper handwashing procedure and the critical moments for handwashing. It is also about constructing a cheap and straightforward handwashing facility. During this section, a member who was close to a fence saw a snake sneaking near the training. Immediately she started throwing stones to scare it away. Some people tried to run after and catch the snake, but it got away. This made for a lively and memorable session!

Tippy tap demonstration.

"The training has been excellent. The knowledge taught will be of great benefit to my family and me. I have learned the best practices for how I can help stay healthy through regular handwashing, improved utensil cleanliness, and general hygiene at the household level," shared Myiva Kitonga after the training.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : kenya21402-complete-dam-1


03/11/2021: Syonzale Community sand dam underway!

A severe clean water shortage at Syonzale Community 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 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 : kenya20314-20315-carrying-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