About the region

Ukambani is a semi-arid region in southeast Kenya suffering from severe water shortages. Approximately two thirds of the population live below the poverty line. Droughts are increasingly frequent. Around 66% of households lack access to safe water, and rainy seasons are increasingly erratic and unpredictable in line with climate change.

When rain does come, communities lack storage infrastructure, with 70%-85% of rainwater lost as surface run-off. This significantly reduces water availability for drinking, washing and farming. During dry seasons, women and children (the main water carriers in Kamba society) can walk 6-12 hours daily to collect water, which is often unsafe for human consumption.

Limited water access makes it difficult for Ukambani’s communities, the majority of whom are subsistence farmers, to grow enough to eat, store and sell.

About our partnerAfrica Sand Dam Foundation

Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) is the strategic partner of Sand Dams Worldwide. They work closely with rural communities in Kenya to improve access to water, food production, health and incomes.

Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) is a registered Kenyan NGO founded in 2010.

ASDF work in rural, dryland areas to empower marginalised communities to sustainably improve environments and livelihoods. They support communities to gain access to local, clean water for improved food production, health and income.

How we're working together

Sand Dams Worldwide and ASDF have a strategic partnership based on shared values and philosophy. Together we have committed to community-led sustainable development and the global promotion of sand dam technology in drylands. 

Alongside ASDF, we are supporting rural communities in Kenya's Makueni, Machakos and Kitui counties to harvest rainwater and grow food. To date we have enabled the construction of over 1,100 sand dams in Kenya, 15 rainwater harvesting rock catchments, and over 200 school water tanks, bringing safe water close to home for over 1 million people.

ASDF have also played a key role in supporting our other partners to implement sand dam projects. It is our shared vision that sand dams will transform millions of lives.

"Working in an area hit hard by drought and creating awareness of new and different ways of farming is challenging. We may not change the whole world but one life, one day at a time – that’s really fulfilling. I look forward to 3 or 4 years down the line, to be able to track and see the kind of impact that we have had on people’s lives."

Stephen Musyoka, former Monitoring, Evaluation and Training Manager at ASDF.