Published in April 2022

Last year, the Kee self-help group completed a sand dam road crossing project, ensuring the locals could access clean water and providing transportation across the river. In a recent visit, the community members expressed their thoughts on the changes they have witnessed since the completion of the project.

In June 2021, community members from the Kee self-help group (SHG) finished construction on their sand dam road crossing, marking the end of a project that aimed to ease transportation in the area while providing all the benefits of sand dam technology. The area surrounding the Kee Village, which is located in Makeuni County, southeast Kenya, had previously experienced difficulties with traversing the river channel. The bridge they used was very weak and often unroadworthy, posing danger to locals who attempted to use it to transport farm produce to local markets. Accidents were particularly rampant during the rainy seasons, as the road had many potholes and breakages due to erosion.

Peninah Mbithe Makau, a 66-year-old member of Kee SHG, told us how she used to struggle using the road in the past when transporting her farm produce to market. At times it was even impassable during the rainy season, when the river was flowing, forcing her to sleep at the market when she could not return home safely. Thankfully, she tells us that a lot has changed with the completion of the sand dam crossing.

Peninah of Kee SHG with their sand dam road crossing"Vehicles can easily pass here now, especially during the rainy season as the drainage system is very good. Vehicles can easily come to purchase vegetables from our farms, while we can also transport them easily to the market place.

Peninah Mbithe Makau, member of Kee self-help group, southeast Kenya.

Anna Mueni Mukonzi, 53, is another local farmer who stressed the importance of the project to people’s livelihoods. She explained that locals had been searching for a solution to their challenges for some time. Once the project started, she claims that people were able to cross easily even during the construction stage.

Anna from Kee SHG with their sand dam road crossing"We foresee a better future, not only for us but for the generations to come. They will attest that the project has improved their lives."

Anna Mueni Mukonzi, member of Kee self-help group, southeast Kenya.

Joshua Munene Mutua, 66, recounts his experiences of attempting to repair the road in the past. Despite the best efforts of the community, the road continued to be washed away during the rainy season, leaving no possibility to cross. He expressed his happiness that the sand dam road crossing project would mean that constant repair would not be needed in future.

Joshua from Kee SHG with their sand dam road crossing"The crossing works as both a sand dam and a road, which means we can get water for farming and also transport our produce to market. After the rainy season, we plan to plant trees and use the water to farm mangoes and avocados."

Joshua Munene Mutua, member of Kee self-help group, southeast Kenya.

The community members expressed their gratitude towards those who supported the project through Sand Dams Worldwide and the Africa Sand Dam Foundation (our strategic partners in Kenya).

The completed sand dam road crossing.

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