Early benefits from a young sand dam
Angela (a fellow expeditioner) and Charlie (Excellent Development's sand dam foreman) looking at drought-resistant crops planted by the self-help group.
Excellent Development summer expeditioner, William Irwen-Bourdillon, sees some incredible early benefits from a sand dam in South East Kenya and the positive impact it has had on communities.
My first visit to a sand dam with the expedition group in 2016 was to see a young dam (not yet filled with sand), and it proved to be an exciting opportunity for everyone to see the process in action of sand building up behind the re-enforced masonry wall.
When we arrived to meet the community, we began by introducing ourselves with our names and newly learnt Kikamba, much to the group's delight. During talks with Umanthi Nthangathini self-help group's chairman and members, we were able to find out that this was not the group's only project; having also built a rock catchment, a school water tank and another sand dam upstream.
All of the community were evidently dedicated to improving the future for themselves, using water as their main resource.
This particular sand dam was built to provide water for irrigation and farming and even though the dam had not yet matured, they had water for a small farming garden and the start of a tree nursery.
In such an arid region it was a perfect start to begin with showing the resultant benefits of effective water harvesting in an area looking forward to producing sweet oranges.
All of them were evidently dedicated to improving the future for themselves, using water as their main resource.