Published in September 2019

One of the highlights of my year is Sand Dams Worldwide’s annual volunteer expedition. This gives people from across the world the opportunity to work alongside local communities to actually build a sand dam. It’s a week of hard graft but boy is it worth it.

Whatever their background, volunteers on our expeditions muck in together to generate a wonderful spirit of camaraderie.

Over the years accountants, students, engineers and IT wiz kids have joined us in southeast Kenya, rolling up their sleeves for a week of digging trenches, shovelling and mixing cement, lifting rocks and carrying water. They see the skeleton of a sand dam emerge and leave the expedition confident that they have helped play a part in improving the lives of the local community.

Over the last few years, I have worked with teams on many sand dam expeditions, and during every project, I have been touched by the generosity of our volunteers. Hear from some of them here:

Not only have the expeditioners given their time and muscle power to get a dam built, but they have also reached out to local people to understand what it’s like to live in a place where clean water is a long, long walk away from home, and where the comforts and commodities we sometimes take for granted are a distant dream.

Volunteers on July 2018 expedition dam site

For more information on our sand dam expeditions, including how you or your company can sign up for one, visit our expeditions page.

We are putting the final touches to the programme for our next volunteer expedition. This is the chance for you to be one of the enthusiastic volunteers who will help build a sand dam in rural Kenya in February 2020. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something worthwhile and develop an understanding of the lives of those in rural drylands.

Why not give it a go? Get in touch with [email protected]

Sand dams enable rural dryland farmers to transform their own lives, reducing the time and effort spent on collecting water so that communities can focus on developing sustainable futures. Please donate to help more rural people invest in their own livelihoods, and become self-sustaining for generations to come.