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New sand dam is built

15. June 2017 - Kenia
Despite the burning sun in the central Kenyan Syoumbu, all people lend a hand, so that all residents are going to have enough water in the future. Finally every step of the group around the 32-year-old Serah Kamene fits, because after spring time they already build the third sand dam in their place. By and by, a new sand dam grows in the dry riverbed.

Despite the hard work and effort, Serah shines bright when she looks on the construction site. "What we have achieved so far is a big step for us all. I used to need an hour to get to the Athi River and another for the returning trip. Now I come to the well at our first dam ten times a day. I only need 20 minutes for both paths", explains the mother of five children.

In 2012, when some women and men joined together in the self-aid group Ndwae Ngutwae, life was very hard for them. Especially the access to water has always been a problem, particularly for women. Many of them needed five hours per day to procure water for drinking, cooking or washing. That’s why there was no time for other important tasks. As a result of climate change, more and more rainy periods did not take place. This circumstance caused anxiety and uncertainty, but also disgrace. By the formation of the group, the people wanted to face off these risks.

What started as a neighborhood aid with small loans, has now become a reliable community. In 2015 the Ndwae Ngutwae self-aid group built the first sand dam with the support of arche noVa and ASDF, which holds water in almost every year after only a few rainy seasons. The second sand dam from last year is already partly filled with sand and can be used now.

Now a third dam is build, which is also going to store water after the next rainy season.

Always to have an adequate stock of water for everyone in close proximity to the people, this is just one important step for Serah Kamene and the other members of the group - with many positive consequences, as Serah explains: "Now I have much more time to focus on my own farm." In the past she had cultivated on the farm without a plan. After several agricultural training courses with ASDF, she has learned a lot about how to avoid soil erosion by creating terraces or monocultures. "My harvest results are much better than before and that helps a lot. Three of my children are at a secondary school and now I can also pay for the school fees", Serah explains. "Recently I built a fence up around my cultivation area, which protects my crop from animals. By now I have a garden full of vegetables next to my house. Lately things developed very well. I am very thankful to ASDF and arche noVa for supporting us. I can always advise others to act this way. "

Was als Nachbarschaftshilfe mit Kleinkrediten anfing, hat sich inzwischen zu einer verlässlichen Gemeinschaft entwickelt. 2015 baute die Ndwae Ngutwae Selbsthilfegruppe mit Unterstützung von arche noVa und ASDF den ersten Sanddamm, der nach nur wenigen Regenzeiten inzwischen schon fast ganzjährig Wasser trägt. Der zweite Sanddamm aus dem vergangenen Jahr ist auch schon teilweise mit Sand gefüllt und kann genutzt werden. Nun also ein dritter Damm, der nach den nächsten Regenzeiten dann ebenfalls Wasser speichern soll.

Immer ausreichend Wasser für alle in unmittelbaren Nähe, das ist für Serah Kamene und die anderen Mitglieder der Gruppe nur ein wichtiger Schritt - mit vielen positiven Konsequenzen, wie Serah erklärt: „Ich habe jetzt viel mehr Zeit, um mich auf meine eigene Farm zu konzentrieren.“ Früher habe sie dort ziemlich planlos angebaut. Nach verschiedenen landwirtschaftlichen Trainings mit ASDF habe sie inzwischen viel gelernt, etwa wie man Bodenerosion durch das Anlegen von Terrassen oder Monokulturen vermeidet. „Meine Ernteergebnisse sind viel besser als früher und das hilft mir sehr. Drei meiner Kinder sind auf einer weiterführenden Schule und nun kann ich auch für die Schulgebühren aufkommen“, so Serah. „Kürzlich habe ich einen Zaun um meine Anbaufläche gezogen, der meine Ernte vor Tieren schützt. Neben dem Haus habe ich jetzt einen Gemüsegarten. Es hat sich sehr viel getan in letzter Zeit. Ich bin ASDF und arche noVa für die Unterstützung wirklich sehr dankbar. Ich kann anderen immer nur raten auch diesen Weg zu gehen.“