Agnes Kaunda is transforming her life. In the region of south east Kenya where she lives, access to water is a daily challenge and growing enough food impossible. But, since Agnes and her self-help group built two sand dams, they have enough water for their homes and farms. Now she is learning new farming techniques and making plans for a better future.
In many African countries, children are expected to bring water to school for cooking, cleaning and drinking. Collecting this water steals hours from every child’s school day. That's why Excellent Development supports self-help groups to build water tanks at their local schools.
The maintenance of fertile soil is one of the most vital ecological services the living world performs. It is the foundation of all terrestrial life, from plants to animals, and people. But, in drylands, drought and desertification transforms 12 million hectares of land into new man-made deserts each year.
Simon Maddrell, Excellent Development's Executive Director, first visited Kenya in 1985. It was then that he met Joshua Mukusya, a development worker, and found his passion for Sand Dams. Here, Simon recalls that time and how it felt when he recently returned to taste the water from the first Sand Dam he helped to build.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt by people living in drylands. We received this article from Joe Kioko at our partners in Kenya, Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF), on how ASDF are working with farmers to build resilience to climate change in drylands.
Fish are a vital source of protein for people around the world. Yet, for poor rural communities living in drylands, fish can be hard to come by or prohibitively expensive. That’s why, with our partners, Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF), we are supporting Self Help Groups to establish small scale fish ponds.
Lack of water is the biggest threat to the lives of people living in dryland Africa. In addition, soil erosion further threatens their ability to grow enough food to eat. In this short film, we expalin how communities work together to conserve soil and water to create true self-help development.
The challenges faced by people living in drylands are great and many: Water and food insecurity; erosion and land degradation; climate change and disaster. All are connected. All result in poverty. Sand dams are a key solution to these problems. Find out more about the benefits and impacts of what we do...