Published in August 2022

As a keen gardener, this year’s unusual hot dry weather in the UK has meant many hours with a watering can keeping my vegetables alive. We can expect more hot dry spells in the UK and elsewhere as the impact of climate change starts to bite. For me, and my fellow gardeners in the UK, this will mean more time watering or maybe selecting a different range of plants that are drought tolerant.

In some ways you may think my experience mirrors that of communities in rural East Africa where Sand Dams Worldwide does much of its work. But there is one very significant difference. Next to none of the communities we work with has a handy tap in their house they can just turn on whenever they need to irrigate their crops.

How to help communities feed themselves in times of hardship continues to tax those working to alleviate severe hunger. We know from the news that this year global food supplies are likely to be disrupted with the poor and vulnerable across the world most likely to suffer the consequences. As well as unblocking world food supplies, we need to build more resilience to the global food crisis and drought where we can.

"Sand dams can help communities grow produce to eat as well as sell at local markets. A well-functioning dam can store enough water for drinking and for irrigating crops. With help and advice from our in-country partners on what to plant and the seeds and tools to get cultivation started, the growing cycle can begin."

These are difficult times for those living in the driest parts of the world. Changing weather patterns means more innovative ways are needed to help people farm their land. Sand dams are a climate-smart, cost-effective solution for small scale local food production. That’s why the focus of our current appeal is to help communities grow more of their own food.

It’s so easy to take water for granted. But for millions, the idea of filling a watering can and growing their own food is a distant dream. Building a sand dam can be a step towards fulfilling that dream and help men, women and children living in harsh drylands to grow.

Want to make a donation towards a sand dam project and have it doubled for free!? Click here to find out more about our Big Give Green Match Fund campaign