International projects/ Sand dams in Kenya
Financing the construction of five sand dams (so far) in Kenya
Easthampstead Rotary were delighted to receive the news of the recent completion of our fifth sand dam for the Wendo Wa Katuluni Self Help Group (SHG), S.E Kenya.
The building of this sand dam has just been completed.
The funding of this sand dam includes our payment to the "Big Give" of £5000.00 in November, 2018. This included contributions from the Rotary Club of Princes Risborough and our twin club in Belgium, Charleroi Val de Sembre. This £5000.00 has also been doubled to £10,000.00
As you can see the dam was close to completion when the photos were taken. The local community will now be waiting for a good rainy season to fill up the dam and start the deposition process.
Come back soon for more details and photos of this project.
"Life is easier than before"
The Katuluni self-help group was set up in 2012 by members of a rural Kenyan community, in an attempt to manage problems the community faced as a result of water scarcity. The African Sand Dam Foundation (A.S.D.F.) met with two such members, Chairman Justus Mulu Kalenge, 44, and Vice Chairman Immaculate Nduku Kioko, 45, to discuss how the implementation of the sand dam has helped them achieve this goal so far.
Prior to the construction in 2018, it was an everyday struggle to obtain water. The nearest source was a 5km walk away and fetchers faced lengthy queues once they reached it. "Life was hard," says Immaculate, "after you go back home you are late, you are tired, you can do nothing else, only finding water." Wasted time took a massive toll on people's lives. Justas explains, "You can't work at night, most hours have been drained in search of water, the other duties are abandoned." This pressure has been massively reduced since the sand dam was completed in 2018. "It takes only about 30 minutes from the river, the main source of the water, to back home, so life is easier than before," says Immaculate. Now more time is spent on farming, terracing, irrigation and tree planting, and every household has a garden to provide fresh vegetables.
Another benefit is the huge increase in the quality of the water, which has drastically improved health conditions within the community. Describing the situation before, Justus says, "the river water is easily contaminated, so waterborne disease was the order of the day." Things are different now. "We have also been trained on sanitation, how to take care of your water after fetching it from the well, how to keep it safe, water treatment, washing hands." Children are now taking less time off school due to illness and their overall health has improved as they develop and grow in a nourishing environment.
Economic growth is another advancement currently being enjoyed by members of the community. They have received further training and learnt of opportunities to boost income through selling surplus crops at local markets. Immaculate is beginning to see an increase of income thanks to the extra 150 orange trees she was able to grow, and Justus says he makes income from surplus produce. They hope that this money will secure a better future for their children. "With water they’ll be doing their farming easier than us, so they'll be living in a nicer world than me," says Justus.
An overall feeling of gratitude is felt by the Kithunthi self-help group members towards The African Sand Dam Foundation, Excellent Development, and the Rotary supporters as their, "dreams have become a reality."
Immaculate ends our discussion saying, "We are proud and we thank you.”