The Excellent approach
At Excellent Development, we support rural dryland communities who come together to help themselves.
We don't give hand-outs; we give the opportunity for people to transform their own lives.
We believe that environmental conservation is essential for poverty alleviation in drylands.
Sand dams provide enough water to support over 1,000 people for life.
Sand dams store up to 20 million litres of water.
Through local partners we support communities to practice climate-smart agriculture.
Since 2002, we have supported communities in sub-Saharan Africa to build 366 sand dams.
Helping communities help themselves:
At Excellent Development, we don’t give hand-outs; we give the opportunity for people to transform their own lives. The people who seek our support want nothing for free. We provide the necessary kick start, but it is the communities we work with who invest their valuable time and skills to truly help themselves.
Improving lands for improving lives:
We believe that sustainable environmental development and human well-being go hand in hand: that improved livelihoods don’t have to come at the expense of our environment. In fact, conservation of the environment is the only way people in drylands can overcome poverty.
Passionate about sand dams:
In drylands, rainfall occurs in just one or two short, intense seasons. Because the land is so dry, when rain does fall, up to 85% is simply lost to the oceans as run-off. Capturing this water where it falls is essential for improving environments and livelihoods. Sand dams are by far the cheapest way of doing this.
A sand dam is a reinforced concrete wall built across a seasonal riverbed. During the rainy seasons, they capture water and sand behind the dam wall. A Sand dam can store up to 20 million litres of water, protecting it from evaporation and contamination by storing it safely within sand. This is enough to support over 1,000 people with a local water source for life. No wonder we’re passionate about sand dams!
No one knows sand dams like we do:
Excellent Development is passionate about sand dams because we know just how effective they can be. That’s why we are determined to start a revolution in soil and water conservation in drylands across the globe. We believe that sand dams will transform millions of lives, and we are working hard to raise awareness of the benefits of sand dams and promote their adoption in drylands worldwide.
Working in partnership:
In the region of Kenya where Excellent Development was born, people call it ‘mwethya’. It means ‘coming together to help each other’. This spirit still guides everything we do. We work in partnership with local organisations, who in turn work closely with local communities. Through this spirit of working together we can share knowledge, skills and experience. And, when it comes to sand dams, a little bit of local knowledge makes all the difference!
Since 2002, we have supported the construction of more than 400 sand dams. The results have been extraordinary.
There is a saying in Kikamba which translates to: "One finger doesn't kill lice." So I am sure that when we work together we will prosper.
Mandela, Wumiisyo wa Kiumoni self help group, Kenya