Sand Dams

It’s What We Do!

Food insecurity is a major problem in Kitui County. Lack of water has strained the development and stability of its people for decades. With water, farmers are able to reap sustainable harvests, families are able to stay clean and healthy, and livestock can drink plentifully and survive. In the current situation, subsistence farmers are going hungry, and both people and animals struggle to get enough water for basic needs. This is where SASOL comes in!

We are active in Sand Dam construction because of the ability to store water to prolong availability for the community. The primary benefit of sand dams is survival and improved well-being. With the ability to harvest water in the dry months, the community has water for essential day-to-day living necessities. However, it is our hope that with enough dams built the precipitation pattern in that area will change, allowing for a more consistent water supply year round.

You see, sand dams are not just a temporary solution. With enough dams built along a seasonal river, the ecosystem along the riverbanks can be completely changed. Nutrients are put back into the soil, trees and shrubs are brought back to life, and water consistently returns beneath the sand of the riverbeds. SASOL strives to construct sand dam cascades along Kitui’s many ephemeral rivers, so as to increase water storage capacity, leading to a sustainable water supply for the entire community.

How We Do It

Sand Dams are constructed across a seasonal river, raising the water table and harvesting the surface water in catchments below the sand. It is simple to design and construct. The barrier is constructed on a drainage channel that holds sand and water on the upstream reservoir. The dam regulates the amount of water stored in the river bed, as well as in the river banks on either side. A series of sand dams along a single river channel (i.e. cascade) can create a continuous aquifer, creating more possibilities for water off-take points on the channel, and aiding in restoring the ecology of the river environment.

SASOL is intentional about involving the community in the construction process of the sand dams. Community involvement breeds ownership of the problem; ownership of the problem leads to the participation in the solution. During construction, the community is tasked to provide local materials like water, stones, and sand. They also provide the majority of the manual labor in building the dam, in this way they are involved in the process from start to finish. After completion of the sand dam, it becomes the responsibility of the community to manage and maintain each dam.

Although SASOL has already constructed many sand dams in Kitui Rural and Kitui South Sub-counties, we are working diligently toward building cascades of sand dams in the vulnerable areas to address continual water scarcity as one of the means to reaching County wide food security.

Integrated Water Resource and Land Management (IWRLM)

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Past Projects and Emergency Relief, Sand Dam Projects | Comments Off on Integrated Water Resource and Land Management (IWRLM)

Integrated Water Resource and Land Management (IWRLM)

Although SASOL’s partnership with MetaMeta has been completed, we continue to advocate for and implement the 3R Approach. The 3R Approach involves Recharge, Retention, and Reuse!

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Kenya Semi-Arid Livestock Enhancement Support

Posted by on Feb 2, 2015 in Current Projects, Sand Dam Projects | Comments Off on Kenya Semi-Arid Livestock Enhancement Support

Kenya Semi-Arid Livestock Enhancement Support

Project Dates: October 2014- April 30, 2015

Our project goal is to enhance rain water harvesting for increased livestock production in Makueni County. With lack of sufficient water prevailing in these upcoming dry months (February-March), our aim is to increase access and management of the current water supply so the members of our targeted communities can persevere through this dry time and into the future

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Strengthening Livelihoods of Rural Agro-Pastoralists In Mutito District

Posted by on Feb 1, 2015 in Current Projects, Sand Dam Projects | Comments Off on Strengthening Livelihoods of Rural Agro-Pastoralists In Mutito District

Strengthening Livelihoods of Rural Agro-Pastoralists In Mutito District

The project duration is 3 years, beginning January 2015

SASOL Foundation and CEFA seek to promote sustainable livelihood diversification for farmers who live in arid and semi-arid land areas. Through this project, our goal is to increase incomes for 3,100 farmers/agro-pastoralists in Mutito District by helping them build their capacity, starting in production and leading all the way to the market.

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