Building dams in dry seasonal streams ...
... to retain water in the riverbeds ...
... and give farmers new possibilities !
Ukambani is a region in east Kenya. It is a so called semi-arid area, which means that it is frequently dry and hot.
A large part of the community consist of subsistence farmers. They depend on agriculture for their income, but due to severe droughts their efforts are often limited. Shortage of (irrigation) water and knowlegde of new agricultural technologies results into low food security and low income levels for the community.
Dams in seasonal streams
To change circumstances AgriNextLevel in cooperation with NACODEV, a local NGO with a lot of experience in water retention projects and a few local communities, like to construct so called subsurface dams in seasonal streams. During the rainy season a lot of water flows through the streams, but when the rains disappear, the water in the streams disappears as well.
Through building weirs/dams over the full width of the stream, the water is retained and can be used for domestic purposes and drinking water for cattle, but also for small scale irrigation activities.
Three communites have asked NACODEV to help them to make more water available in the area. These are the inhabitants of the small villages of Ikombe, Kikaso and Ikalaasa (see interactive map). Construction of the dams will be done mainly by the inhabitants themselves. They will collect a large part of the materials needed as well, like stones, gravel and sand.
Self help development
Through increasing the availability of water and organizing trainings in water management and enhanced agricultural methodes, opportunities are created in which the inhabitants are able to help themselves to develop further.
Same sort of projects implemented earlier by NACODEV show that farmers take the opportunity to grow vegetables to increase their food security and income. Often they start small, using water cans and buckets for irrigation. After earning some money they increase their activities and are able to buy even a diesel pump.
To train the participants practically demo-gardens with net-houses and drip irrigation will be set up.
Along the streams riverbank protection zones will be created to avoid erosion of farm lands. Here trees are planted and natural vegetation is protected. Green oases develop where all kinds of birds find a habitat.
Do you like to support this project? You can fund one or more dams, or a part of the amount needed. On this page you can find the budget needed to build one dam, including trainings, setting up agricultural activities and operational costs of our implementing partner.
Already 3 out of 12 dams are being sponsored!
Thanks to Projectenfonds Atlantis, Stichting 75 jaar NBB and some other organisations.
Besides, two hand pumps are being sponsored.
Do you like to get more information about the project or make a donation? See Contact.
* The amount needed forms 70% of the total costs per dam. The remaining 30% will be contributed by the community itself in kind like materials (sand, gravel and stones), through labour and financial contributions.
Budget needed (per dam)
Opportunities after field survey
AgriNextLevel and NACODEV have paid a visit to Ikombe, where the people have asked NACODEV to help to construct dams. During the field survey along the Ivutini seasonal stream (see green GPS-route) several indications have been found that the underground contains water (see blue arrows). At several places shallow wells have been dug in the dry riverbeds, which contain water. Deep wells on the riverbanks containing water have been found as well. Besides, several potential locations have been identified which are suitable to build dams (weirs).
At the orange circle a farmer family was visited ...
Meeting a farmer family
During the field survey around Ikombe we met a little girl fetching water from a self dug well in the riverbed. Her grandfather told us that they needed the water for their vegetable garden. We were invited to join them and visit their garden. To our great surprise we only found a big bag, filled with soil. In this bag 5 collard plants and 2 tomato plants were growing, protected by a mosquito net. Asking if this was all, the grandfather nodded affirmatively. He told us that the maize and beans had failed completely because of the drought. Since his three sons, working as unskilled laborers in Nairobi, sent him sometimes some money, they were able to buy some food.
The encounter with this family confirms that water is very important for this area. Therefore AgriNextLevel will try to raise funds for this project, starting beginning of 2020.