Kenya - Water secures food supply

© Axel Fassio

Climate change is affecting more and more people around the world. In Kenya, small-scale farmers and families in the counties of Machakos, Makueni and Kitui are among those suffering the impact: The region is struggling with dramatic fluctuations in rainfall and frequent periods of drought, which restrict agricultural production and lead to food and water insecurity. Nearly 40 per cent of people living in these areas are undernourished. Women and children in particular are severely affected. Knorr-Bremse Global Care and arche noVa joined forces with the African Sand Dam Foundation to tackle the problem.

Their main project involved constructing sand dams in dry riverbeds. The project team carried out the work in close cooperation with local authorities and the local population. During the rainy season, the water collects behind the dams and the sand and sediment it carries accumulates there. This sand layer then stores and filters the water. Since only a small proportion of the water is held behind a dam and a large proportion flows on past it, several dams can be built in one riverbed. This means that even people living downstream from the dam can benefit from the method. The dammed water also raises the groundwater table. Hand pump wells are installed near the sand dams so that local people can use the water for their own personal requirements or for farming.

Maintaining and repairing the dams and wells is important.Self-help groups have been set up and receive instruction and training in this area. In addition, the farmers are offered courses where they can learn about new cultivation methods that increase production and crop yields. Over 5,000 people are benefiting from the project, which will enable them to live more independent lives in the future.

© Axel Fassio

© Axel Fassio

Kenya - Water secures Food Supply

Focal Issue: WASH

Location: Machakos, Makueni and Kitui Counties, Kenya

Beneficiaries: 5,228 small-scale farmers and families

Estimated costs: EUR 64,742

Project supervisor: Julia Thiele-Schuerhoff

Partner organizations: arche noVa, African Sand Dam Foundation

Duration: June 2017 - December 2019

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© Axel Fassio 


© Axel Fassio 


© Axel Fassio