Published in April 2020

I hope this message finds you, your friends and family safe and well.

Last month I wrote about how the spread of the Coronavirus might impact our work. Inevitably it has and today I want to outline the steps we are taking to help keep staff, partners and vulnerable communities living without easy access to water, safe and well.

We take heart in knowing that every one of the projects we have supported in the past will continue to play its part in keeping people safe. In 2019/20 alone, we enabled the construction of 60 sand dams benefiting over 48,500 people; contributing to our lifetime totals of over 1,000 sand dam projects that are now providing over 1 million people with lifelong access to clean water.

In the countries where we work, the focus of governments, delivery partners and local communities will, understandably, be to keep people safe; many, like here in the UK, have already reduced operations, and have started to work from home as a precautionary measure. As a result, we expect many of our projects in Africa to be slowed down as attention shifts to stopping the relentless spread of the virus and minimising its impact. Simultaneously, here at Sand Dams Worldwide, we are doing everything we can to continue the work we do, supporting dryland communities to build sand dams and access clean water and food, whilst adapting around the ever shifting circumstances and the capacity of both our UK staff and in-country partners.

This network of sand dams across 9 countries is providing water for drinking and handwashing; one of the main ways of curbing the spread of COVID-19. The sand dams you have helped to fund are also providing water for irrigating crops, growing trees (over 14,500 planted by our beneficiaries in 2019/20, over 1.1 million in total planted to date), providing vital food supplies and keeping people fed in these difficult times.

With that in mind, this pandemic has only made us determined to do even more in the future, and we are looking forward to re-gaining momentum both with our existing partners, and with new ones in Ethiopia (Action for Development) and Mozambique (Micaia Foundation).

Back in the UK we are following government advice and all our staff are now working from home too, staying in touch with partners, governments and donors.

You can still reach us on +44 (0)7596 225 677, you can also leave us a message on +44 (0)20 3096 7861 or email us at [email protected].

And like all charities, we are constantly looking at how we can manage the disruption to our programmes. But rest assured we will weather this storm, and when the crisis has passed, we will get on with the job of building more sand dams to give water to those who need it most.

Thank you again for your continued support. More than anything please stay safe and well.

Please support dryland communities to access clean water, safeguard their health and combat climate change with sand dams