The Water Project update: Community sand dam complete

The Water Project has completed a new sand dam in Kangalu, Kenya. It’s constructed on a sandy riverbed, which will build up sand to raise the water table and naturally filter water. We’re delighted to have contributed funds to this project and will continue to support future projects.

The Water Project provides funding and organisational support to the African Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF), a pioneer in sand dam construction in Central Kenya. They support sand dam construction, hygiene training, farmland terracing, seed distribution and shallow well development.

Sand dams are a low-cost, low maintenance, but high impact way of providing year-round access to water for communities in dryland environments. Unlike traditional dams that hold back water, sand dams allow much of the water to flow downstream.

Sand dams are life changing, say The Water Project. With a reliable source of water communities can improve farming techniques and provide a secure and diverse supply of food. “When families can produce food and generate an income, they are able to afford education for their children. With ready access to water, children don’t have to spend their time collecting water, are less likely to suffer acute health impacts of diarrhoea and water-borne disease and realise their potential for a future outside of poverty.”

It could take up to three years for this sand dam to reach capacity. But as it matures and stores more sand, a reliable source of water will become available. With this water, the surrounding landscape will also become lush and fertile. A well-constructed sand dam can last for upwards of 50 years.

Read more about the Kangalu Community sand dam project


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