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callREACH US ON : O20 286 2000     Contact Centre: 0709 912 777


A sand dam is a reinforced concrete wall built across a seasonal river to hold water in the sand. It is built several meters high and up to 90 meters across the seasonal river. During heavy erratic seasonal rains, the water and silt flow over the dam and the heavier sand settles to the bottom. Water is collected from the sand dam by a pipe near the bottom of the sand dam.

An off take shallow well is installed to get more purified water that is safer for domestic use.

Sand Dams are the most cost-effective form of rainwater harvesting. They provide communities with a clean, local and reliable source of water even during periods of drought. Sand Dams store up to 20 million litres of water and provide a year-round supply for up to 1,000 people.

Through our partnership with Utooni Development Organization, a Non- Government Organization that specializes in the construction of sand dams the foundation has contributed Ksh24 million in the construction of over 10 sand dams across various counties.

The holistic approach used in development of the sand dams is teamwork between the foundation, our staff members, Utooni Development and the community.

Utooni recommends the best sites for a sand dam and is also responsible of getting the relevant permits and any skilled labour required. On the other hand, the community is tasked with collecting stones, sand and water for construction and digging terraces to prevent silt from getting into the sand dam.

For a full day the staff members and clients visit dam site and help in the actual construction of the dam. This enhances teamwork.

Key visible impacts that this project has met include:

  • Enhancing water security for all in the society increasing accessibility to clean water.
  • Reducing commuting distance to fetch water for women and children.
  • Increasing school attendance for the children since duties of fetching water or looking after the young ones when the mothers go to look for this valuable resource is reduced.
  • Ensuring that the community at large is able to participate in other income generating activities as long hours spent in fetching water have been reduced.
  • Increase in food supply.
  • Rehabilitating of the environment through tree planting along the river beds and improving the ecology.

Long term impact of the dam project

  • Regular availability of water has motivated the community to initiate income generating activities hence improving the economic base i.e. irrigated crop farming and improved livestock keeping.
  • The dams have increased water which is used by farmers for planting crops and watering their livestock as well as for domestic use.
  • Improved skills/community empowerment: farmers embracing and practicing best farming practices into their farms.
  • The project has contributed towards reduction of poverty in the villages safe for rejuvenated eco system.
  • The water aquifers have been replenished with natural springs coming back.