The Sustainable Water Partnership (SWP) defines water security as “the adaptive capacity to safeguard the sustainable availability of, access to, and safe use of an adequate, reliable and resilient quantity and quality of water for health, livelihoods, ecosystems and productive economies.”
Sustainable development goal 6 talks about “clean water and sanitation for all by 2030.” In line with SDG 6, SASOL has commitment to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all needy communities we work with in the arid and semi-arid regions of Kitui and South Eastern Kenya.
The three strategies that SASOL utilizes in water security are;
- Actual construction and rehabilitation of community water sources and facilities.
- Skills enhancement on governance operation and maintenance through training.
- Lobby and advocacy for increased prioritization and resource allocation for WASH activities.
The key technologies that SASOL utilizes are;
Sand dams are concrete masonry impervious weirs constructed across seasonal and ephemeral dry river beds to harvest water and sand on the upstream of the embarkment creating a sub- surface reservoir. Water percolates through the porous sands and infiltrates into the river banks as the excess water flows down the stream through the spill way. Such water is availed to the communities for utilization through scoop holes and off-take wells. Sand dam water is used for domestic, micro irrigation, livestock, and environmental activities. SASOL has helped to construct over 800 sand dams most of them spread in Kitui County but also in sites in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Uganda and Tanzania.
The arid and semi-arid areas of South Eastern Kenya including Machakos, Kitui and Makueni Counties receive a bimodal rainfall ranging from 400mm-1,000mm of rain per year. The rainfall is sporadic, erratic and unevenly distributed in time and space. Six months of a normal year is characterized by a dry season and acute shortage of water. With the effects of climate change, rainfall is becoming more unreliable, droughts are more frequent and water shortage more acute. Roof water harvesting is promoted to capture and store water in household based reservoirs so as to be utilized during the long dry season and cushion communities from the acute water shortage. Mainly water from roof catchment is used for drinking and domestic purposes. The two main reservoirs SASOL promotes are; Plastic tanks and ferrocement tanks.
3.Earth pans and ponds
A earth dam is build by compacting successive layers of earth using the most impervious materials to form a core and placing more permeable substances on the upstream and downstream sides. It’s mainly constructed to divert water from a main course for storage. The excess water flows back to the main channel through the spillway. Water from earth pans is for multipurpose use including domestic, livestock, micro irrigation and environmental use. SASOL promotes earth pans in areas with seasonal streams, low gradient, and stable soil formations. Small community earth pans can harvest 10,000 M3 to 50,000 M3
Ponds are smaller in size and are excavated on the farm land to harvest run off water for utilization when the rains tail off. Farmers use water from ponds to continue watering their rainfed crops after the rains have left them premature. Also they are used for household vegetable gardens and tree nurseries. SASOL promotes small ponds ranging from 100m3-200m3 capacity lined with plastic sheet to prevent seepage. Ponds unlike earth pans are not compacted with machinery.
4.Spring protection and rock catchment
In some of the areas that are hilly, natural springs occur. In such sites, SASOL assists the communities to protect the spring by constructing a concreate wall to create a bigger reservoir and then pipe the water to the foot of the hill where communities can access it easily.
The South Eastern regions of Kenya are dotted by rock out crops of sedimentary and gneiss metamorphic rock complex. These rocks act like a sheet to harvest water during the rainy season. Gutters are constructed to direct the water into reservoirs in the foot of the rock. The reservoirs are mainly ferrocement in design.
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!read more
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 futureread more
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.read more