Published in December 2016

In November 2016, Excellent Development completed our first sand dam road crossing, supported by The Charitable Foundation and the Isle of Man Government. This construction will provide a sustainable water source for 2,000 people and their livestock in Lekurruki, northern Kenya, and allow them to cross the nearby river during rainy seasons...

In Lekurruki, most Maasai earn their income by keeping livestock – not an easy task given the lack of water in this part of Kenya. A lack of water can affect the health of animals and the plants they eat, as well as the health of humans. But it can also be a source of conflict. In Lekurruki, the Maasai and Samburu people have traditionally clashed over access to this scarce but vital resource.

Lekineji Moile is a 46-year-old Maasai from Lekurruki. He joined the workforce to help construct our pilot sand dam road crossing earlier this year because of “the problem of water which has been the key problem to both my community and conservancy.”

"The working together has promoted harmonious coexistence... this is a great impact of sand dams. We have agreed to remain peaceful beyond the construction period."

Lekineji Moile, Maasai community member.

However, instead of working alongside only other Maasai, he was joined by Samburus and Turkanas who came together to address the root cause of their conflict – water scarcity. By working side by side, Lekineji got to know the community members better, and friendships between them, rarely seen in this area, were able to flourish: “The working together has promoted harmonious coexistence... this is a great impact of sand dams. We have agreed to remain peaceful beyond the construction period.”

Lekineji is keen for others to experience the benefits of sand dams: “My hope of the project for this region is to increase the idea of sand dams to other communities. This can be enhanced by making Lekurruki be like a learning hub for them.”

Ltiriyon Lelemoyog is from the Samburu, which was previously in regular conflict with the Maasai. Ltiriyon told us about his motivations for voluntarily working on the project: “I could no longer travel for longer distance to access water for both my livestock as well as my people.”

Just like his Maasai counterpart, Ltiriyon has found that working on the project has provided unexpected opportunities for changing perceptions and for peaceful cooperation: “The impression which I had has changed. Working together in the site has brought us together. We have been able to make friends with each other.”

And he too hopes that other groups will be able to find peace through sand dams: “My hope is that the project will expand to other regions in order to also help other communities promote and develop their lives through sand dams. I do believe also that such project(s) will help address the challenge of conflict over water among the various communities. It will also reduce human-wildlife conflict since water will be available in plenty.”

We hope that this sand dam road crossing will inspire other communities to come together through the joint provision of sustainable water for life – putting an end to conflict and paving the way for a brighter future for everyone.

What is a sand dam road crossing?

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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