A green "oasis" four years on
Jason was revisiting the community four years after helping them build their sand dam, which has turned their area into an "oasis".
Becky at the sand dam built in 2012. Sand dams are the most cost-effective method of rainwater harvesting in drylands. They store up to 40 million litres of water.
Becky Little and Jason Maddrell helped to build a sand dam on an Excellent expedition in 2012. They returned to lead the Excellent 2016 expedition and visited the same community four years’ on, and were astonished to see how much the area has changed.
"I really didn't know what to expect coming back to Kipico. I walked around the corner and look down and saw how green it was – we couldn't get down here quick enough to see it! The changes are incredible. I'm really overwhelmed.”
She added: "I couldn't imagine it to look like this after four years. It's just really heart-warming to know how hard the community has worked – it's so nice to come back here and see all the new crops they've been growing and see it (the sand dam) really is transforming their lives."
"On arriving, this area was unrecognisable... It's so green now! The height of the sand on the other side of the dam has risen so much, storing all that water. It's beautiful. What they've done after the sand dam is magnificent. I couldn't have dreamed it would look like this – it's like an oasis. I'm very happy."
He added: "It's been great seeing the benefits; the communities coming together, not having to walk all that way to look after their livestock, their families, their children, and this is somewhere that brings different communities together as well. I'll keep supporting Excellent Expeditions, and coming back just to see these people smiling, happy and having that opportunity to be able to provide for and support themselves."
Want to learn about, see and be part of the impact of sand dams? Every summer, Excellent Development offers you the opportunity to do just that - by joining our annual sand dam expedition in rural Kenya. If you'd like to find out more contact firstname.lastname@example.org
It's so green now! The height of the sand on the other side of the dam has risen so much, storing all that water. It's beautiful. What they've done after the sand dam is magnificent, I couldn't have dreamed it would look like this, it's like an oasis, I'm very happy.
Jason Maddrell, Excellent Development 2016 expedition leader.