Our partners ASDF (Africa Sand Dam Foundation) report on how a community is reacting to their new, completed sand dams, following their hard work to build them...

Woni wa Mutyanthii self-help group is a community group found in Kanyonga village in Makueni county, southeast Kenya. The area receives little rainfall all year round with prolonged dry periods characterised by lack of enough water for household use among other uses.

Through support from ASDF and Excellent, the community group was supported in the construction of sand dams and shallow wells to boost water access among the residents of the area.

A visit to the community group sought to establish strides made through implementation of water projects and how life had changed in comparison to the past, as locals came out to share their experiences.

Kioko Nyamai, 42, hails from the village and has been actively involved in the group activities, of the construction work he says: "Construction of a sand dam is such an intensive activity which involves hard manual work, Farmers David Mbivyebut as a community, we came together to work as a group, sharing duties and complementing each other to perform the different tasks which saw us construct the sand dams successfully."

"I have witnessed gradual improvement in yields from my small farm. For instance, in the last short rains, I have managed to harvest three bags of cowpeas peas and one bag of green grams, something which was never possible in the past."

David Mbivye, Woni wa Mutyanthii self-help group member.

Veronica Kithome, 39, is a mother of three, she understands well the transformation brought by implementation of water projects in the area: "Before these projects, we used to walk for more than 3km with donkeys to Kanyonga River in search of water, it was drawn from open scoop holes and it was never safe for human consumption as it exposed us to possible disease contractions. The river sources were always crowded and took an average of six hours to fetch water and bring it home," says Mrs Kithome.

According to Mrs Kithome the new era of sand dams and shallow wells have greatly changed life at the local village: "After construction of sand dams and shallow wells, life has become easier and more fun, clean water is now available from the shallow wells found at the centre of the village, getting to the well and back now takes less than 15 minutes, the water is clean. And I can now spend more time at home and perform other activities such as farming and taking care of my children."

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

"Through support from ASDF, I have been able to learn about the 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 fruit trees on my farm. After trying the different techniques learned over the years, I have witnessed gradual improvement in yields from my small farm. For instance, in the last short rains, I have managed to harvest three bags of cowpeas peas and one bag of green grams, something which was never possible in the past" says 32 year old farmer, David Mbivye.

Residents of the village and Woni wa Mutyanthii self-help group members remain thankful to ASDF, Excellent and all supporters for their donations and support in the implementation of water projects in the area.

Read our Strategy to 2025

Create lasting change with sand dams - please donate what you can

Please select a donation amount: *
Set up a regular payment Donate