"Hard Way is the Way."
Before the rains, the Kitui kya Sekeleni Self Help Group are hard at work building their Sand Dam. Once complete, it will store millions of litres of water close to their home.
Beatrice Muthoki, a member of the Kitui kya Sekeleni Self Help Group in Kenya.
The completed Kitui kya Sekeleni Sand Dam.
‘Mundu Nandu’ is an old Akamba saying which means ‘No man is an island.’
Kibwezi District in Makueni County, Kenya is a drought prone area. To survive the harsh environment people need to work together. The seasonal rivers flow for only a few days after it rains and for the rest of the year they are dry. The people here have always travelled a long way to collect water. Now, as the seasons get dryer, they are traveling further still.
Beatrice Muthoki is 66. She is a member of Kitui Kya Sekeleni SHG. Beatrice said: “When I left home in the morning to collect water at 5 am, I got back home at 9 am due to the long queues at the water points.”
Africa Sand Dam Foundation is working with communities in Kibwezi to build Sand Dams. Just before the rains many Self Help Group (SHG) members work tirelessly to see that they finish construction of their Sand Dams and terrace their farms so that they can harvest every drop where it falls.
Alice Mwanzia, is also a member of the Kitui kya Sekeleni SHG. She said: “The collection of building materials is not an easy task, but ' hard way is the way' because without working hard we cannot reap great benefits. So we have no option but to work extra hard so as to reap more benefits.”
Through the traditional spirit of ‘Mwethya’ (joining hands in working together), Kitui kya Sekeleni has built their first Sand Dam. They believe this will be a turning point of their lives. With the millions of litres of water the dam will provide, they are now making plans for the future and preparing for more hard work.
Beatrice Muthoki said: “My homestead is at Sekeleni, just where you crossed the railway line. It is just a few minutes from my home to here. With water within my reach I plan to plant trees at my home. I have not been able to plant tree before since I cannot afford buying water for watering trees.”
Alice Mwanzia added: “This Sand Dam will be a relief to this area because everyone will benefit from it. We will be able to grow crops, and our livestock, which in the past would die due to lack of water, will be able drink from the Sand Dam. We want to realise our dreams because nothing good comes easy and we have to tire so as to reap these benefits."
Through their own hard work, the people of Kitui kya Sekeleni SHG are making their dreams come true.
We want to realise our dreams because nothing good comes easy and we have to tire so as to reap these benefits.
Agnes Mwanzia, member of the Kitui kya Sekeleni Self Help Group, Kenya.