Loading images...
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Hooray
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Collaboration
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Excavation
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  First Phase
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Working Together
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Filled With Cement
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Getting Taller
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  In Progress
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Looking Sturdy
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Second Phase
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Completed
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  From Above
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  From Below
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Plaque
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Side View
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Materials
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Adding Ingredients
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Beautiful Day To Learn
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Handwashing
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Mixing Soap
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  New Knowledge
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Participants
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Taking Turns
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Tippy Tap Making
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Tippy Tap
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Ben M
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Esther Mbuvi
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Esther Mwendwa
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Peterson Makau
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Listening Attentively
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Collecting Water From The Scoop Hole
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Loading Up Donkeys
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Loading Up Donkeys With Water Containers
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Annastacia Musau
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Julius Musili
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Shg Members
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Animal Pen
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Compound
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Household
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Inside Kitchen
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Latrine
The Water Project: Mbitini Community B -  Water Storage Containers

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,401 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Last Checkup: 12/03/2021

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Community Profile

Mbitini village is a highly-populated area with more than 1,400 people living in the region. The community is located in Kenya’s semi-arid region, where water demand is high, but access is low. Many people here walk long distances to get water each day.

The current water source for the community is a sand dam and shallow hand-dug well that we helped build last year. The one well, however, cannot meet the entire community’s water needs, leading to overcrowding and sometimes low water quantity. As a result, people return to using scoop holes to get water. While fetching water from the scoop holes may help to cut down on wait times compared to the well, the scoop hole water is unsafe for consumption.

“Getting water in our community has not been easy. The water point is very far – more than three kilometers from my home – and it takes a long time to walk there, draw water, and walk back home with donkeys,” explained Annastacia Musau.

“As a mother and a wife, the need for water here is very high – especially times like today with the COVID-19 pandemic, which requires higher standards of hygiene for prevention. That is not possible when the water source is far and getting water is a challenge.”

Not everyone can afford donkeys, like Annastacia. That means they have to carry the water buckets themselves – a task that most often falls on women and children. As a result, more trips back and forth to the well are required. All of this makes fetching water more tiring and more time-consuming.

Our main entry point into Mbitini Community has been the Mathyakani 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.

We typically work with self-help groups for three to five years on multiple water projects. Completing multiple water points in a community will ensure that people like Julius Musili will no longer spend a significant part of their day walking to get water.

“As members of Mbitini community and the great Kavaini location, our biggest problem has always been water, which the government has failed to address over time. Our lack of adequate water supply has greatly contributed to the high poverty levels in our locality as farming with the natural rains has been continuously failing. We need water through community initiatives like what we are doing now, working together to beat a common challenge,” said Julius.

The implementation of more sand dams and shallow wells will provide more water sources, helping the community to address their water challenges.

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 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 reaching their fullest potential.

We will hold hygiene and sanitation training sessions with the Mathyakani 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 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 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 will conduct follow-up visits and refresher training 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


08/18/2021: Mbitini Community B Sand Dam Complete!

Mbitini, 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.

"This water point will help me in various hygiene and sanitation activities such as washing my attire and cleaning household items," said Ben M, a 17-year-old student. "I will also have clean water for drinking, which will improve my health. I will not be walking long distances looking for water, since this water point is nearby. I can use that extra time and energy to improve my academic performance in school."

Esther Mbuvi, a 57-year-old farmer and community member, said, "Access to this water point will improve [my life] in various ways. First, I will have water for hygiene and sanitation, which will be instrumental in fighting COVID-19 and other hygiene-related diseases. I will also have water for drinking and farming, therefore I will have food throughout the year. I will no longer be spending so much time looking for water, since this water point is nearby."

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.

Community members collaborating.

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 52 meters long and 5 meters high, and took 360 bags of cement to build.

As soon as it rains (expected in October of 2021), 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 Mathyakani 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. 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. As we had worked with the Mathyakani Self-Help Group previously, this was a refresher training.

Attendance and participation were both high. Members of the group were very willing to learn new things, especially the new members who had not attended the first training had plenty of questions. Most of the group members were present, including the chairman and the vice-chairman.

Peterson Makau, a 63-year-old farmer and Self-Help Group member, expressed his approval. "The training was very educative and enjoyable according to my assessment. We have learned a lot of things, especially a lot of mistakes that we commit deliberately and innocently in our homes."

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.

"It is extremely critical to construct latrines in our homes," Peterson continued. "I've acquired knowledge on the proper location of latrines and how to keep them clean."

Peterson predicts the training will have a very positive impact on the community. "I expect cases of water-borne diseases to reduce at a high percentage."

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 : asdfkenya21430-0-hooray


06/23/2021: Mbitini Community Sand Dam Project Underway!

A severe clean water shortage in Mbitini 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 : kenya21430-household


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 - StossWater