For our free guide on building sand dams, please contact [email protected]

You can also contact [email protected] for a French or Portuguese version of the manual, which has been translated by our friends at Translators Without Borders.

About the manual

Our sand dam manual introduces ‘golden rules’ of sand dam design and provides a clear and practical guide about sand dams – from siting and design to construction, maintenance and operation.

But, above all, the manual demystifies sand dam technology. Whilst some specialist hydrological or engineering knowledge may be assumed or required to build sand dams that work, in fact, it is our experience that water solutions should not be technology led, but must first consider the needs of the people they serve.

Sand dams have the potential to transform millions of lives. They are the most cost-effective method of rainwater harvesting, and a tool that contributes to overcoming food insecurity, desertification, climate change and drought in drylands – home to 74% of the world’s poor. Yet still, they remain an under-utilised technology, particularly outside of Kenya.

Our vision is to see many more people building sand dams in many more dryland regions around the world. An integral part of our approach is to promote sand dams as a contribution to achieving sustainable development goals. And to support other organisations to successfully apply sand dam technology in their own specific contexts.

Click here to read Our Strategy to 2025