Published in July 2023

As part of our recent Big Give Anchor Match Fund campaign, supporters helped to raise an amazing grand total of £44,845.50 (including match funding and GiftAid). Despite not hitting our £70,000 target, these funds will still go towards enabling two communities in southeast Kenya to build a sand dam and implement climate-smart agriculture. In a region which has experienced severe droughts and food shortages, these dams will enable them to improve their food and water security whilst restoring drought-degraded land.

On behalf of the dryland communities we support, we'd like to say a big thank you to all supporters, donors and campaign pledgers for their generosity.

About the issue in southeast Kenya

Prolonged droughts have devastated lives and land across east Africa, with an unprecedented third consecutive year of below-average rainfall expected in 2023. In Ukambani in southeast Kenya, local communities are experiencing severe water and food insecurity as a result of droughts, which have forced many to sell land and livestock in order to afford daily necessities. This is leading to poverty and hardship for a population who depend largely on farming to sustain their livelihoods.

The solution

We will support two communities to each construct a sand dam - a sustainable rainwater harvesting solution that captures up to 40 million litres of water, replenishing every rainy season to provide a year-round water source of clean water that meets WHO drinking standards. Sand dams recharge groundwater levels and raise the water table, helping to restore drought-degraded land that surrounds it. When combined with climate-smart agriculture, farmers are able to grow more food to eat, store and sell.

What difference will this project make?

Two communities will gain year-round access to water they can use for drinking, farming, and domestic purposes. The land around each dam will be restored through the re-greening effect of the sand dam, which creates healthier and more productive land for farming. With this improved water source and with more fertile farmland, farmers can employ climate-smart agricultural techniques to produce more food, even during periods of drought, and enhance their resilience to climate change.

“Because of the sand dam we no longer experience water scarcity... We can now plant the vegetables we need and plan towards food and income security.”

Rose Wayua, Farmer, southeast Kenya.

We look forward to sharing the impact and stories from these projects, stories such as these. Please stay tuned and stay in touch!

Missed our Big Give Anchor Match Fund campaign and still want to make to donation towards our work? Click here!