Church Wilne Rotary Give a Dam!

Rotarian Adrian Perkins has just returned from a week long expedition to help build a Sand Dam in Kenya. Adrian covered all his own costs, then with the help of Church Wilne Rotary Club raised over £1000 to donate to Excellent Development (the UK charity that organised the trip). Besides helping to build the dam itself, Adrian also had the opportunity to visit established dams and see how the dams have transformed lives for the better. Adrian said that "With a reasonably small amount of money people in the UK can help Rotary make a big difference to communities in Kenya and around the world". He went on to say "It was hard work but such a rewarding experience".

Sand Dams 2015

Getting the rocks ready for moving

Sand Dams 2015

Moving the rocks using a wheel barrow

Sand Dams 2015

Adrian carries one of the 650 bags of cement down the hill to be mixed

Adrian explained that there were twelve members on the expedition and that he stayed in a secure compound in Mtito Andei a small village four hours outside of Nairobi on the way to Mombasa. He worked on a 'medium' sized dam, the dams are graded by the number of 50kg sacks of cements needed to build it, the dam Adrian helped build would use 650 sacks when complete.

Sand Dams 2015

Example of a completed sand dam in Kenya after a couple of years

Adrian had the opportunity to visit 2 established dams and a rock catchment to see the effect they have had on the communities, he spoke to the community group leaders who told us how, with a regular supply of water they were able to grow and sell crops, and even make bricks. Which all helps to improve the lives of everyone involved and for generations to come".

Sand Dams 2015

The project Adrian Worked on, with shuttering up, half complete.

Sand Dams 2015

Diagram of a sand dam

A Sand Dam is a steel reinforced concrete wall built across a seasonal sandy riverbed. During the rainy season, a seasonal river forms and carries soil (made up of sand and silt) downstream. The heavy sand accumulates behind the dam, whilst the lighter silt washes downstream over the dam wall. Within one to four rainy seasons the dam completely fills with sand. However, up to 40% of the volume held behind the dam is actually water stored between the sand particles.

With virtually zero operation and maintenance costs Sand Dams are the most cost-effective form of rainwater harvesting and provide communities with a clean, local and reliable source of water – even during periods of drought. Sand Dams store water under the sand, protecting it from contamination, evaporation and parasites – cleaner water that lasts longer for up to 1,000 people. Sand Dams can save up to 12 hours a day because they provide water to families an average of only 30 minutes from home. Communities are then able to invest this time in protecting their land from erosion and investing in climate smart agriculture.


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