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The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Celebrating
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Dancing
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Dedication
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  From Below
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  In Progress
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Surroundings
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Underway
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Working Hard
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Construction
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Getting It Done
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Mixing
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Everybody Helping
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Construction Zone
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Working Together
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Mixing
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Hard At Work
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Materials
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Timber
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Only Just Begun
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Rocks
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Mutheu M
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  George Munyoki
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Mapping Exercise
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Tippy Tap
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Participants
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Planning
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Soap Making
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Trying It Out
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Collecting Water
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Fetching Water
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Filling Up At The Scoop Hole
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Filling Up The Container
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Open Water
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Rocks Collected For Sand Dam
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Scooping Water
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Shg Members
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Winfred Ndinda Muinde
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Cooking Area
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Dish Rack
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Family
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Family
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Granary
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Latrine And Bathing Shelter
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Water Storage Container
The Water Project: Kitile B Village Sand Dam -  Joseph Kithusi Munguti

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


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An average day for the 500 people living in Kitile B Village begins by waking up in the wee hours of the morning, around 5:00 am, to walk to the nearest source of water. Their primary water source is a river located anywhere between a 30-minute to 2-hour walk from community members’ homes, depending on which side of the village they live.

People use open scoop holes dug into the dry riverbed to fetch their water and then return home. The chore is often delegated to the women and children.

The region is arid due to climate change, and it has wavering rain patterns. Due to the challenges of water scarcity in the region, community members often find long queues at the scoop holes, which are their nearest water source at the onset of each dry season.

The long wait times cause delays for everyone fetching water, affecting their daily schedules. When they are held up fetching water, mothers cannot get home in time to make breakfast for their families, and children leave for school without eating and arrive at class late.

When even the scoop holes in this nearby river dry up quickly during the dry seasons, community members have to rely on yet another river, the Athi River, which is more than 4 miles away, for scoop holes. It is very strenuous for them to walk this far, especially considering some do not have donkeys and must carry their heavy containers on their backs for the 8-mile round-trip.

“I have to walk very far to fetch water. The water is scarce, and it runs out very fast. It barely lasts us a year,” said John.

Water from scoop holes or even flowing rivers is not safe for human consumption as it contains a lot of contaminants from the surrounding area. This includes human and animal waste, dirt, and farm chemicals. Livestock also rely on the rivers, drinking directly from the same source people collect from, thus exposing the locals to risks of contracting water-related diseases. Community members are often fighting cases of amoeba, typhoid, and dysentery as a result of drinking this water.

Water from these scoop holes is not only unsafe but inadequate to serve the entire community.

“Water scarcity is a great challenge in my family. We have to purchase water during the dry periods. Hygiene and sanitation practices are quite difficult to manage and sustain due to insufficient water. We neglect the basic cleanliness practices that we need to adhere to, such as bathing, washing the house, cleaning the clothes, among others. My children have been so used to fetching water after school for use at their homes and the strains of carrying water from the river at the scoop holes,” explained Winfred Ndinda.

The most common livelihoods in this community are farming, casual labor jobs, and running small entrepreneurial businesses such as shops. Men tend to opt for motorcycle taxi businesses to earn a living as it is the primary mode of transportation in the area. Households are made of bricks and iron sheet roofing. The homesteads are very sparsely populated as community members own substantial pieces of land.

What we can do:

Our main entry point into Kitile B Village has been the Mbotela Women 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 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 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 a comfortable, safe way to access that water.

Building this sand dam and 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 hindered their fullest potential.

We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with the Mbotela Women Self-Help Group and other community members to teach about essential hygiene practices and daily habits to establish at the personal, household, and community levels. This training will ensure that participants know 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 handling, storing, and treating 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.

The community and we firmly 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 training 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


08/06/2021: Kitile B Village Sand Dam Complete!

Kitile B, Kenya now has access to a new source of water thanks to your donation. We constructed a new sand dam on the riverbed, which will build up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water. We also constructed a new hand-dug well with a hand pump adjacent to the sand dam, providing the community with a safer method to draw drinking water supplied by the dam.

"Access to reliable and safe water will enable me to engage in all the chores that are at home peacefully and on time," said Mutheu M., a 12-year-old student. "I will not have to spend time fetching water from scoopholes, because the water will be protected and safe for direct consumption.

"For now, I find it difficult getting back home with the donkeys carrying heavy jerrycans of water because the terrain is very sloppy. Through this project, I will easily fetch water and get back home without any strain. I will use the water to wash my clothes/uniforms, wash the house, cook, wash my utensils, and maintain proper hygiene and sanitation."

Sand Dam Construction Process

The community members collected all of the local materials like rocks and sand required to complete the dam. The collection of raw construction materials takes longer than the actual construction, lasting up to four months for a large sand dam. The group also dedicated their time and energy to support our artisans with physical labor throughout the project.

First, our team drew siting and technical designs and presented them to the Water Resources Management Authority. We also sent a survey to the National Environment Management Authority for approval before we began construction. Once approved, we established firm bedrock at the base of the sand dam wall. In the absence of good bedrock, we excavate to a depth at which the ground is firm enough to stop seepage.

Next, we mixed and heaped mortar (a mixture of sand, cement, and water) into the foundation, followed by rocks once there was enough mortar to hold them. We then used barbed wire and rebar to reinforce the mixture.

Once the foundation was complete, we built a timber skeleton to hold up the sludge and rocks above ground level. We then repeated the process until reaching a sufficient height, width, and length. Finally, we dismantled the vertical timber beams and left the dam to cure. This dam measures 36 meters long and four meters high, and took 750 bags of cement to build.

As soon as it rains, the dam will build up sand and store water. With this water, the surrounding landscape will become lush and fertile and the well will provide drinking water to the community. It could take up to three years of rain for this sand dam to reach maximum capacity, however, because sometimes it only rains once a year!

We worked with the Mbotela Self-Help Group for this project. The members and their families contributed materials and a tremendous amount of physical labor to complete the project. We trained the group on various skills, including bookkeeping, financial management, project management, group dynamics, and governance.

"Access to reliable and safe water will enable me to access clean drinking water within a very short distance as compared to how far we used to walk to fetch water for use," said George Munyoki, 62, who is a farmer, and also the group's chairman. "I will have enough water for hygiene and sanitation practices in my home. The water will be clean and also reduce the chances of contracting diseases because the water will be safe and protected.

"More of my time will be saved to engage in other income-generating activities. I will utilize the water for farming. I plan to engage in intensive farming activities because I believe the sand dam will harvest a lot of water for use here. I will plant vegetables such as spinach, kale, and coriander; I also plan to start fruit farming such as watermelons for agribusiness."

We also conducted hygiene and sanitation training to teach skills like soapmaking and improve behaviors such as handwashing.

New Knowledge

Our 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.

The training took place at the sand dam site. The weather was moderately favorable as it was cold, chilly, and (at times) sunny. The training venue was accommodative as it had plenty of trees to provide shade. There was a very high turn-out, with all 45 members attending. They were very active throughout the training session: asking questions, volunteering to participate in the roleplay activities, and engaging each other in the hygiene and sanitation activities.

We decided to train on health problems in the community, good and bad hygiene behaviors, the spread and prevention of disease, sanitation improvements, planning for behavioral change, handwashing, and soap-making.

The most memorable topic for this group was COVID-19; specifically, preventing the spread, its cause, and ways of curbing the disease within the community. We had a tippy tap placed in a strategic place for handwashing to ensure that everyone observes protocols and government guidelines. The community members were very excited to learn how to make and wear masks, and how to protect themselves from contracting the disease through their way of living.

"The training was very helpful and knowledgeable," said Winfred Muinde, 45, the group's secretary. "We have learned a lot of skills, knowledge, and information such as soap making, proper handwashing procedure, and the importance of managing/ maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation.

"As a community, we will manage to sustain proper hygiene and sanitation practices thanks to the training that we have received."

When an issue arises concerning the sand dam, 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.

Thank you for making all of this possible!


The Water Project : kenya21422-celebrating


06/07/2021: Kitile B Village Sand Dam underway!

Dirty and unreliable water is making people in Kitile B Village sick. Thanks to your generosity, we’re working to install a clean water point and much more.

Get to know this 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 news of success!


The Water Project : kenya21422-21423-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.


Contributors

Project Sponsor - Barbara Belle Ash Dougan Foundation