Isle of Man News - POSTED Tue 19-09-2017

Manx support will provide sand dams to four communities in Kenya

by LC

Manx support will provide sand dams to four communities in Kenya

Isle of Man Government funding of £85,609 has been awarded to Excellent Development to construct four sand dams, which will provide life-changing support to communities in Kenya.

The Ukambani region in South-East Kenya is semi-arid and suffers from severe water shortages. Approximately 66% of households lack access to safe water, with women and children having to walk up to 12 hours a day to collect water that is often unsafe for human consumption. When it does rain, communities lack storage infrastructure, resulting in the loss of 70-85% of rainwater as surface run-off.

Sand dams are reinforced concrete walls built across seasonal river channels that capture water and sand during rainy seasons to provide year-round water access for consumption and agriculture. Sand dams are one of the lowest cost rainwater harvesting techniques and their environmental benefits include increasing groundwater and water table levels.

Additionally, the project will further promote food security through the provision of tools, demonstration farms and tree nurseries, the introduction of seed banks and training on hygiene practices and agricultural techniques such as terracing and crop rotation.

David Jordan OBE, Executive Chairman of Excellent Development, said: ‘We are delighted that the Isle of Man Government has chosen to continue its fantastic support for Excellent Development Isle of Man. This grant will enable the people in four rural communities in one of the driest and least developed parts of Kenya to transform their lives. Over two years they will build four sand dams and receive training in improved farming methods. This will provide more than 5,000 people with a year-round supply of clean water and help local people to grow enough food to feed their families and improve their household income. Thank you to the Manx people for their generous life-changing support.’

Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK commented: ‘Our International Development funding is enabling this project to deliver access to food and water in one of the harshest parts of Kenya. While Kenya, as a country, has experienced promising levels of development in recent years, the situation for those people living in semi-arid rural areas remains very insecure.’

The total budget for the project is £143,368, with funding having also been secured from the Ward Family Charitable Trust, the Rhododendron Trust, and Rotary Clubs in the UK and Ireland.

Photo - crops growing near a recently constructed sand dam.

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