Funding provided by the Isle of Man Government will help thousands of people in Ukambani, Southeast Kenya, achieve lifelong access to safe water...

Excellent Development Isle of Man have received £85,609 from the Isle of Man Government – money that will go towards the construction of four new sand dams, providing water security for 5,087 people.

The project will launch in July 2017 and finish in June 2019 in Ukambani, Southeast Kenya; a semi-arid region where approximately two thirds of the population live below the poverty line, 66% of households lack access to safe water and women and children can spend 6-12 hours per day collecting water.

"This will provide over 5,000 people with a year-round supply of clean water, and help local people to grow enough food to feed their families and improve their household income. Thank you to the Manx people for their generous life-changing support."

David Jordan OBE, Chairman of Excellent Development IOM.

Working with strategic partners, the Africa Sand Dam Foundation, the project will also support the training of communities in climate-smart farming methods, such as terracing land and growing a variety of drought-resistant crops. It will also establish demonstration farms so communities can be trained on sustainable farming methods and grow communal crops, establish tree nurseries so communities can plant trees on their farms to conserve soil, grow fruit and provide shade, establish seed banks whereby farmers are given and can nurture improved, drought-resistant seeds for the harvest season, and it will enable peer-to-peer learning exchanges so communities can meet and learn from others who have built sand dams and participated in climate-smart farming training.

Photo from a 2013/14 Isle Of Man Government funded project entitled: "Improved Food & Water Security for Five Communities in Makueni County, Kenya".

On top of enhancing water security, improving water quality and reducing time and distance to collect water, the project will help farmers produce more food, increase income with more surplus food to sell, increase resilience with new farming practices adapted to their dryland environment, as well as enhance the empowerment of women; as 70% of the self-help groups who work on each sand dam project are female, giving them a greater role in decision-making in their communities.

David Jordan OBE, Chairman of Excellent Development IOM, said: "We are delighted that the Isle of Man has chosen to continue their fantastic support for Excellent Development Isle of Man. This grant will enable four rural communities in one of the driest and least developed parts of Kenya to transform their lives. Over two years, they will build four sand dams and receive training in improved farming methods. This will provide over 5,000 people with a year-round supply of clean water, and help local people to grow enough food to feed their families and improve their household income. Thank you to the Manx people for their generous life-changing support."

Alongside the Isle of Man Government’s contribution, the rest of the money has been raised through community contributions in the form of labour and materials, generous donations from key Trusts and Foundations and Rotary.

Could you donate today and supply more communities with the tools, hardware, support and guidance they need to build a sand dam, providing themselves with a lifelong supply of water?

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