Currently showing posts tagged sand dam

  • Getting Water From Sand

    Have you ever gone to the beach and dug into the sand until you hit water? Sand traps water that's easy to get to. Sand is easy to dig. That's how to get water from sand. If only you could do that in a dry place like Africa. You can!

    This video explains what a sand dam is. If you watch to the end, you'll actually see an African community building a dam. Then you'll know how to build one too!

    Many places in Africa have dry river beds. During the rainy season, the river is full. All that water rushes to the ocean. When the water sweeps along, it brings with it sand. During the dry season, water is scarce.

    It's possible to build a dam in such a way that lets water travel to the ocean but traps the sand. After 2 or 3 seasons, the sand builds up behind the dam. When the rainy season comes, a lot of the water gets trapped in the sand. The trapped water remains through the dry season. People can either dig into the sand to harvest the water, or use a pipe that's tapped into the side of the dam.

    It still seems like a lot of work to have to walk to the dam and harvest the water but there are two benefits:

    1. When you get to the dam you are pretty much guaranteed to find water.
    2. The sand acts as a filter, keeping the water clean.
  • Sand Dam Changes Muendo Mdambuki's Life

    “This sand dam has changed everything for us. My three children are back in school. My wife no longer has to trek kilometres for water. I am able to help others."

    Getting Water From Sand explains how you can trap water during the rainy season and use it during dry periods. Excellent Development helped build the sand dam that Mr. Mdambuki now uses.

    His story . . .

    Standing in his nursery, Muendo Mdambuki proudly surveys the lush tomato plants and kale which have changed not only his, but many of the lives of the villagers in Kangemi.

    “I am now the new Muendo, the old Muendo is no more. . .” he says, describing how his life has changed over the last twelve months.

    Muendo has lived all his life in Kangemi, an arid region of south eastern Kenya, where he has had to sustain his family from the fruits of a small farm plot. When the rains failed to come four years in a row and his crops failed, Muendo found it very hard to support his family. During the hard times that followed Muendo, his wife and three children subsisted on one simple meal of ugali – a thick corn meal mash - per day.

    “Our children were forced to withdraw from school because they were too hungry to study” he reflects. After being asked what he did then, in the light of severe food shortage, with good humoured stoicism he noted, “I adjusted my stomach…”

    With little food and no rain, their lives were determined by the daily journey to get water. “We had to walk 10 kilometres every day to get water. The trek took almost the entire day and my wife had to leave the children at home alone”.

    Find out how successful Mr. Mdambuki is today by reading the rest of his story on the Excellent Development website. Donate towards their cause.