Southeast Kenyan dryland farmers Joyce and Musila show the fruits of their labour following their community's sand dam and climate-smart agriculture project.

Wendo wa Matoki self-help group (SHG) derive from Yumbe Village in Makueni County, southeast Kenya, an arid and semi-arid area with perennial water shortages.

Through support from Excellent Development in collaboration with Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF), the community has been able to construct sand dams and shallow wells in a bid to improve water access at the rural village. The community group has also been taken through a host of soil conservation and climate-smart agriculture trainings in a bid to instil sustainable farming practices among the members.

"I just spend five to ten minutes to access water for our crops which is quite an easy task, this project has made our lives easier in general.”

Joyce Mwikali, member of Wendo wa Matoki self-help group, southeast Kenya.

ASDF recently visited the group and found that the members have enormously enjoyed the abundance of clean water attained from the sand dams and wells in their community. Locals came out to share their renewed hopes in life in the wake of water availability in their area:

“I have been using water from the sand dam and have planted spinach, kales and tomatoes in my farm for domestic use and sale of surplus. This project has been very instrumental to me and my family in increasing family income while also encouraging healthy eating habits especially as I am getting old. I am able to make sales worth an average 100 Kenyan Shillings per day. I just spend five to ten minutes to access water for our crops which is quite an easy task, this project has made our lives easier in general” said Joyce Mwikali, 51.

"I have been able to learn the seeds adaptable with climatic conditions in our area... The current crops and trees are doing well and the future looks bright in terms of being food secure.”

Musila Nzengu, member of Wendo wa Matoki self-help group, southeast Kenya.

The community group was not only supported in water projects but were also trained in modern climate-smart farming techniques aimed at improving food security and maximum utilization of available water resources, even in dry periods.

“Through support from ASDF, I have been able to learn the seeds adaptable with climatic conditions in our area, importance of terracing my farm before the rains, the right spacing during planting, crop rotation and also how to plant fruit trees in my farm. After trying the different techniques learned over the years, I have witnessed gradual improvement in yields from my small farm. The current crops and trees are doing well and the future looks bright in terms of being food secure” added Musila Nzengu 63.

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