Drylands cover 40% of the Earth's land surface and are home to 80% of the world's poorest and most marginalised people. Drylands are particularly vulnerable to drought, land degradation and climate change - all of which result in hunger, poverty, conflict and economic stagnation.
Sand dams are the most cost-effective method of rainwater harvesting in drylands. A sand dam can hold up to 40 million litres of water within sand - safely protecting it from evaporation and contamination.
The communities we work with invest at least 40% of the resources needed to build a sand dam, from labour, skills and the provision of locally available materials.
Each year in drylands, 75 billion tonnes of fertile soil is lost due to erosion - and with it the opportunity to grow food. Terracing land enables more water to be absorbed by the dry earth - reducing soil erosion and improving soils.
In the rural drylands of Kenya, people depend on trees for 90% of their energy. Trees are vital for enabling soil and water conservation, fuel self-sufficiency, as well as providing food, medicines, fodder, compost and shade.
Chronic hunger affects over 900 million people worldwide - the majority of whom are smallholder farmers in rural areas. Sand dams provide the water and opportunity needed for people to invest in sustainable agriculture - significantly increasing their ability to feed their families.
In rural Kenya, women and children can spend between 2 and 11 hours a day collecting water - just to meet basic needs. Sand dams provide a year-round source of clean water close to people’s homes; saving up to 8 hours a day. This changes everything: time once spent collecting water from distant sources can now be invested in education and farming: creating opportunities and hope for generations to come.