Published in May 2014

As announced at the end of January 2014, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the government of Swaziland will construct sand dams in Swaziland for the first time this year.

Excellent Development and Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) led feasibility study for the project last year and found a strong potential for sand dams in Swaziland. This month, we were pleased to welcome technical teams and decision makers from both UNDP and the government of Swaziland at ASDF’s headquarters in Kenya.

The teams attended one of our sand dam learning visits to help take the project forward. The visit included both theoretical sessions and field trips to sand dam sites, using real life examples to demonstrate the siting, design and construction of sand dams.

"The course has been very good. It was well structured. The location for the training was very appropriate since it was close to a range of sand dams and attendees are able to see how a sand dam ‘grows’ – or matures over time and the benefits it brought."

Ncamiso Mhlanga, UNDP Swaziland.

Showing how sand dams impact on the wider development of an area was also a key component of the visit.

Ncamiso Mhlanga from UNDP Swaziland said: “The course has been very good. It was well structured, and by bringing together theory and practice, it gave our team the opportunity to replicate sand dams in our own country”. 

“The location for the training was very appropriate since it was close to a range of sand dams and attendees are able to see how a sand dam  ‘grows’ – or matures over time and the benefits it brought.”

The implementation of sand dams in Swaziland is hugely important for the country, where climate change is expected to bring greater climatic extremes and increased aridity over the coming year.

Excellent and ASDF host two to three learning visits for organisations interested in implementing sand dams every year. On this particular visit, UNDP and the government of Swaziland were joined by staff from USAID, the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) and Light of the Masai.