William Kivuva Wambua, farmer and father of eight children in southeast Kenya, shares his story and aspirations with Sand Dams Worldwide's Communications Manager, Dwain Lucktung...

Like my father and so many other fathers, William Kivuva Wambua has been working well since before his children were born. And like your every day parent, William had been working tirelessly with a sole purpose - to provide a better life, one that is slightly less straining, for those he loves.

What baseline did William have to work from? The 37 year farmer from the southeast Kenyan village of Nzwii inherited his farm from his own father in 1986, with dying crops, low harvests, and the only water supply being over three hours away (a daily journey of up to seven hours). The odds were already stacked up, with eight children (and five grandchildren) to feed and fund schooling for, and a village community stuck in a similar situation.William Kivuva Wambua, a member of the Mukutano Shamba self help group and community in southeast Kenya

“I want to make money for my children’s education whilst I’m still alive and healthy” said William of his long-term goals...

"Now we can harvest more than ever before."

William Kivuva Wambua, a member of the Mukutano Shamba self-help group and community in southeast Kenya.

Cue a meeting in 2013 with Sand Dams Worldwide’s partners in the Makueni County region – the African Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF). ASDF and SDW worked together with William and his self-help group (Mukutano Shamba) to identify their needs, potential location for a sand dam, and got to building one with the support of the UK Government. 

“Now we can harvest more than ever before” said William, thanks to the farming training provided by ASDF, and safe water provided by the nearby sand dam located five minutes from his home. Now he can grow up to two bags of green grams and one bag of cowpeas (that can both be made in stews) during the harvest season (enough to consume and sell), as well dolichos lablab beans (used for animal fodder or a great source protein for breast-feeding mothers), pigeon peas (edible, used for animal fodder or stalks used as wood fuel in home), sorghum (highly drought resistant and can blended into delicious porridge) and pearl millet (also used in porridge or can be mixed with water to treat diarrhoea).

William now also has enough water, and time (of equal importance) to grow mango trees and jacaranda trees (used for fuel/firewood) – both of which he can sell in local markets.

And what does William do with all this surplus produce/income?

The proud father affirms he is now achieving his aspiration of sending his children to school with the funds made from his farming, ceasing mistakes from the past and ensuring “my family and community have a better future”.

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