A sand dam captures and stores water beneath sand hence supporting growth of vegetation around it.
A sand dam provides water to domestic animals in addition to the people.
A protected shallow well next to a sand dam.
A sand dam is a reinforced concrete wall built across a seasonal riverbed to capture and store water beneath the sand. It holds 2-20 million liters of water depending on the size of the dam and the size of the sand particles collected. Evaporation is reduced to a minimum with the water stored beneath the sand.
For the last five years, ASDF has worked with 93 marginalised self help groups in rural Kenya to enable them access to clean drinking water. ASDF looks for suitable sites to construct sand dams and provides the community with hardware materials and technical support. The communities in turn provide local materials like sand, stones, water and man-power. As a result, they gain ownership to the sand dams through our development approach of enabling them to become water secure. Rain water is trapped where it falls when it rains.
The sand filters the water clean and protects it from parasite carriers such as mosquitoes and snails, reducing the incidence of two of Africa’s greatest killers of children under five: Malaria and Diarrhea. Water can be abstracted from scoop holes, pipe infiltration galleries or through a protected shallow well with a hand pump.
The communities do the construction work as we offer the technical and material support. Though tedious, it ensures a sense of ownership of the project and therefor taking the care of it.
Sand dams hold enough water beneath them to last a community a whole year without water outages. The dams are always constructed at close proximity to the members’ homesteads, with the people travelling the longest taking an average of 45 Minutes to reach them. This is a relief to those that would hitherto travel as long as 8 kilometers to water points such as River Athi or to water Kiosks.
This saves them plenty of time and energy which they can now direct towards income generating projects such as agriculture and table banking.