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The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Thumbs Up
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Tools
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Gathering Materials
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Rocks
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Site Preparation
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Lots Of Sand
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Timber
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Cement Bags
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Site Before Construction
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Digging Trench
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Excavation
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Excavation
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Preparing
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Artisan At Work
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Collaboration
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Community Members
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Construction
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Everybody Helping
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Getting Taller
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Growing Dam
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Second Phase
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  A Lot Of Cement
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Almost There
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Even Taller
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Last Section
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  So Tall
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Third Phase
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  All Done
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Dam From Side
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Maturing Dam
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Hard Work
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Fetching Water To Mix Cement
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Dam And Well In Progress
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Ferrying Sand
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Mixing Cement
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Both Projects
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Completed
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Dam And Well In Background
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Dam And Well
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Collaborating
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Learning In Progress
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Mixing Soap
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Participants
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Soap In The Shade
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Soapmaking
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Taking Turns Stirring
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Working Together
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Sila Kathungu
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  We Did It
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Latrine
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Carrying Water
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Carrying Water Home
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Community Members
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Tippy Tap
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Clothesline
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Cattle Pen
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Water Storage
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Dishrack
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Kitchen
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Janet Nguli
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Ndunge Mutisya
The Water Project: Ivumbu Community B -  Mbithi Ndeto

Project Status



Project Type:  Sand Dam

Regional Program: Southeastern Kenya WaSH Program

Impact: 1,284 Served

Project Phase:  In Service - Aug 2021

Functionality Status:  Functional

Project Features


Click icons to learn about each feature.



Community Profile

The Ivumbu community is found in a reasonably high altitude area that has land and a climate favorable to agriculture. The majority of the 1,284 community members here are involved in subsistence farming – growing crops such as maize, peas, beans, mangoes, and bananas for family use. They then sell the surplus for profit. Other community members work hard to provide for their families through various formal and informal employment.

For most people in the Ivumbu community, the day starts at 6:00 am when people get out of their beds. Children prepare for school, and after that, livestock are either taken for grazing or tethered in the available pieces of families’ land. After that, the parents take breakfast and settle for other activities. The wife in each family is generally tasked with going out and looking for water for her family’s use, then coming back to run household errands. Husbands typically engage in the main income-generating activities for each family such as farming or casual labor.

The main water point for the community is a well and sand dam project that we supported in 2019. Our main entry point into the Ivumbu community has been the Ivumbu Irrigation Self-Help Group, which is comprised of households that are working together to address water and food scarcity in their region. Communities in this region are large and spread out, which is why we work with self-help groups for three to five years on multiple water projects to address their water needs.

A well can comfortably support 350 people. But for many people here, it still takes up to 2 hours to fetch water each day. By constructing a new well and sand dam 1.5 miles away from our previous project, people will not have to travel as far and wait as long to get water.

“Our community suffers from the challenge of lacking an adequate water source for all of us. We are seeking to work on more community water projects so that water can be close to all of us because some people currently walk for long distances to reach the sole water point in our village,” said Mbithi Ndeto, a local farmer.

“Fetching water in our community has not been easy,” added young teenager Ndunge.

“I often go looking for water after school to supplement what my mum had already fetched. Sometimes, the water point has many people, which necessitates long waits making the process difficult for me. Another water project would help address the challenges we are facing currently.”

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 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 Ivumbu Irrigation 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


08/19/2021: Ivumbu Community Sand Dam Complete!

Ivumbu, 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 will also construct 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.

"I will have access to clean water for cooking, drinking, washing clothes, and the house," said Benjamin Maundu, a local farmer. "A lot of my time which was used walking for distances to fetch water will be channeled to farming activities and brick-making."

Another community member, Purity Mutisya (a farmer and mother), said, "The water will help me in engaging in consistent farming activities. I will use it for washing clothes and utensils, cooking, and for my general hygiene and sanitation at home.

"Having a child, I need plenty of water for cleanliness, which will be made easy thanks to this water point. I will also have enough time to save and engage in developmental and income-generating activities."

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 35 meters long and 3 meters high, and took 830 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 because sometimes it only rains once a year!

We worked with the Ivumbu Irrigation Self-Help Group for this project, with whom we've worked a few times before. The members and their families contributed materials and a tremendous amount of physical labor to complete the project.

We conducted a refresher training for 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 still improve upon.

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 chairman of the Self-Help Group, Sila Kathungu, a 55-year-old farmer, spoke about the impact of the refresher training on the community: "The refresher training will play a huge role in improving the hygiene and sanitation of the group members. There will be less risks of contracting diseases, as we now have the knowledge of maintaining proper hygiene and sanitation."

"The knowledge we gained from the training sessions was very important," added Purity Mutisya. "I learned about soap-making, which is key in improving the handwashing practice, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, when hygiene and sanitation is key."

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 : asdfkenya21436-6-we-did-it


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

A severe clean water shortage in Ivumbu 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 : kenya21436-21437-community-members


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

1 individual donor(s)