Home / Blog / Post

Partnership to deliver sand dams across Makueni County

Fourteen days into January 2022, the Sand Authority has conducted project inception meetings for four (4) new sand dams that the Authority has partnered on with Africa Sand Dam

Foundation, Excellent Development- UK, and community groups.

This tripartite partnership began in FY 2018/2019 and has successfully completed six (6) sand dams to date. This year’s project inception meeting was held on 10th and 11th January 2022 in Kalawa, Kako/Waia, Kathonzweni and Nguu/Masumba wards in Makueni County.


A sand dam is a reinforced concrete masonry structure built across the riverbed of a seasonal river to increase sand recharge upstream and enlarge the natural storage capacity of the riverbed

aquifer. Water is stored in the pores of the sand reservoir that builds behind the dam, and the community members quickly get clean water by making shallow wells in the sand.

Sand conservation through sand dams is one of the climate adaptation ways being applied to build community resilience in the climate change era. Makueni County has about 700 sand dams

built by various actors, including the national government, county government, development partners, community groups, and the private sector.


Sand dam 001-2022 –Kyanzonzo Sand dam, Kalawa Ward.

Located at the periphery of the Machakos/Makueni County border, the 27 members of the Kyanzonzo unit group are delighted as they construct their first sand dam after decades of water

shortage. They attest to how sand dams have transformed their area during the long dry seasons."We used to fetch water from Thwake or Athi River on our backs," the women

narrated as they expressed how life was before they organized themselves into a group that constructed three sand dams in another river channel.


Sand dam 002-2022- Taa wa Kiuukuni Sand dam, Kako/waia Ward.

The 30-member group is also constructing their first sand dam, located along Mukulu River that drains into Mbimbini River then into Thwake River. They incorporated other community members who are not group members and are set to finish the construction works within a week.


Sand dam 003-2022- Ukava wa Kithoni sand dam, Kathonzweni Ward.

Members could not wait to start the construction work, which they predicted would take two weeks. The sand dam is located along the Wiindiiti River that drains to Ikaasu River then into Kikuu River. This is their second sand dam, and they expect to construct more in the near future.


Sand dam 004-2022- Upper Mbole Sand Dam, Nguu/Masumba Ward

The construction of the sand dam has commenced along Kinyou River that drains into Mbole River then into Muooni River.