Published in March 2024

The Nhamatiquiti community in Mozambique completed their sand dam in August 2023. In a recent visit, Village Secretary, Tome Fianias, shared what differences he is seeing within the community and surrounding environment, now that they have access to clean water.

Before Tome and his community built their sand dam, there was a daily struggle to access water. Their nearest river contained very little water (especially during the dry July-October period). The community were reliant on either boreholes (which had very salty water) or having to dig very deep scoop holes to collect water; a process that would take some community members over 3 hours, including the walk to and queuing up at water points.

In 2023, they were supported by Sand Dams Worldwide and our partners, Micaia Foundation, to build a sand dam, that was also supported by the Nhamatiquiti local government; despite having to travel over 80km, they visited the site several times, and had a representative get fully involved with the construction. This has helped with mobilisation and getting the community to work together.

The hard work by all parties is now paying off, as Nhamatiquiti, thanks to their sand dam, will have nearby access to water for drinking, laundry, bathing and household chores.

“Previously there has been a big problem to have enough water for bathing. People were having to sleep at the river to be early in the queue and to make sure they could collect enough water for bathing for the whole family… With this quantity of water, we feel like there won’t be a problem.”

Tome Fianias, member of Nhamatiquiti community, Mozambique.

The community also used to have to travel over 30km to buy vegetables from the nearest market, however, now that they have enough water for their farms, they will no longer have to travel so far for food. Tome adds: “We never thought we would have this much water, which we can now use for vegetable gardens to improve our diets for the whole family.”

In time, Tome hopes to grow tomatoes, onions, kale and green beans – none of which were possible before the sand dam. He closes by sharing his joy at the evident recent regreening effect in the area around the sand dam: “There is much more vegetation along the banks than ever before!”

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