Kamwonyeni self-help group is a community of farmers from Kitui County, southeast Kenya, an arid area plagued with perennial water shortages. Following an initial interview with the group after the construction of their first sand dam, the Africa Sand Dam Foundation (our partners in the region) revisited Kamwonyeni to report on the progress they have made:

The members of this group have enormously enjoyed the clean water attained from the construction of sand dams and shallow wells in their community. The group has also benefited largely from the host of climate-smart agriculture trainings that instilled sustainable farming practices among the members.Mueni Sammy

"The vegetables are doing well and I look forward to having more food security and a healthy family through good eating habits."

Mueni Sammy, Kamwonyeni self-help group, southeast Kenya.

Mueni Sammy, 41, is a mother of eight children and has been serving as the group chair. She shares her experiences and renewed sense of hope following the sand dam and farming project:

“I live in a small compound with my children and three grandchildren. This project has come with a lot of benefits to us. First of all, water has been brought close to us in unlimited amounts.”

She adds: “I have also established a small kitchen garden here at home where I am growing kales, spinach and onions using water from the sand dam. The vegetables are doing well and I look forward to having more food security and a healthy family through good eating habits. I am now planning to sell surplus to earn the family income and keep on improving our living standards.”

"I have also been able to learn about the drought-tolerant seeds adaptable with climatic conditions in our area, the importance of terracing my farm before the rains, the right spacing during planting, crop rotation and also how to plant a diverse range of fruit trees on my farm."

Mwanziu Mutinda, Kamwonyeni self-help group member, southeast Kenya.

Group member Mwanziu Mutinda (pictured at the top of this article), 42, is thankful to ASDF, Excellent and all supporters for their help in the implementation of the project. She says:

“Clean water access has been a dream come true. I have also been able to learn about the drought-tolerant seeds adaptable with climatic conditions in our area, the importance of terracing my farm before the rains, the right spacing during planting, crop rotation and also how to plant a diverse range of fruit trees on my farm. I have currently planted more than 15 mango trees using water from the dam which are doing well.

Mwanziu concludes: “After trying the different techniques learned over the years, I have witnessed 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 and earning more income from the farm through sale of produce.”

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