Quest volunteers give a dam
The people of Nzwii Self Help Group in South East Kenya have been suffering from a chronic water shortage for many years. The little water they did have access to was far too saline for drinking and not sufficient for irrigating their farms. Growing enough food for their families was a constant struggle. Last summer, Nzwii approached our partners, the Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) with a request for support to build a sand dam. Their request was granted.
It wasn’t long after the short rains that they noticed the first benefits. “Even if the water dries, we just scoop the sand and we have water" says a farmer in the group. Encouraged by their progress, the group decided to build another dam, to supply more water for their farms and irrigate their tree nursery.
A group of Quest Overseas volunteers joined them to provide some more support. It was hard work, but their help was much appreciated.
Building a sand dam is tiring work, but it’s also hugely rewarding. Just one sand dam provides clean water to up to a 1,000 people. And it’s not all about back breaking labour – on an expedition you learn a lot too. You get to know the community you’re working with, learn about their challenges, join in celebrating their successes and experience their day-to-day lives. It’s one of the most rewarding things you could do: for yourself and for them.
Next weekend we’ll be heading out to the Malaika community to do some homestays and really experience what it’s like to have a Kamba life. I think that’s a really important aspect of being here. It’s not just about the work we do, it’s as much about the interaction with the community, and that we can all learn from each other. You really get a sense what it’s like to live out here in Africa.
Sophie, Quest team leader.