A sand dam takes Malaika children to school
Children in communities with sand dams save on average 5 hours a day for their education. That's a lot of time to invest in their future. A future, which parents like Regina hope, will be brighter than that of previous generations.
The children of the Malaika Self-Help Group used to get up early every morning. They would walk and wait at a small scoop hole in the dry riverbed to fill up their jerry cans. The queues were long and it would take about 30 minutes for enough water to accumulate at the bottom of the hole to fill up one jerry can. Not surprisingly they arrived at school late and exhausted.
Children in rural Kenya are expected to bring water to school every day for cooking, cleaning and drinking. If they don’t, they can be sent away. They either have to brave the dry and dusty heat to try and find water somewhere or simply go home and miss out on a day at school. It’s not an act of cruelty, just the harsh reality of dealing with severe water shortages. Education is therefore one of the big winners when it comes to water harvesting solutions.
Children in communities with sand dams save on average 5 hours a day for their education. That’s a lot of time to invest in their future. A future, which parents like Regina hope, will be brighter than that of previous generations.
And it doesn’t stop there. Regina has been able to use water from the community’s sand dam to grow tomatoes on her farm. The income generated is paying the school fees for her children.
In Kenya where only 50% of children make it to secondary school level*, sand dams have a huge potential to raise the prospects of the youngest generation. They not only free up children’s time to go to school, but also provide their parents with the opportunity to generate income to invest in their children’s education and health.
Just one sand dam can provide clean water for a thousand people for life.
*Source: UNESCO Kenya Profile
The children, before we had the sand dam used to use a lot of time and most of the time they have to get the water and carry it to school. It is a tedious work. But right now, because the water is available, they are using little time to get the water. So most of the hours they have, they can do quality studies at the school.
Regina Makao, Malaika Self-Help Group, Kenya