Monday 27th November 2006
Sand Dams – Fighting Climate Change in Africa at a grassroots level
A London-based African development charity, Excellent Development, has pioneered a simple technique to battle the growing pressures of drought and climate change in Kenya.
The recent Stern Report into the economic cost of climate change highlighted the fact that disadvantaged African communities are set to be hit the hardest. Excellent Development works with grassroots community projects to enable them to secure their future.
Excellent Development’s approach works by digging terraces and building sand dams in rural Kenya, which enable the planting of trees. These three approaches combine noticeably to alter the micro-climate and permanently improve the local water supply.
The changes have been described as “nothing short of miraculous” as communities and their environments are transformed, with improved access to water leading to increased food production, health and incomes – in areas where women are used to walking up to eight hours a day to get water.
Local level adaptations to climate change are critical in Africa’s race to beat global warming.
Quotes from independent observers of our work:
"Hydrological surveys on these dams have shown that they significantly increase the water table both above and below the dams. What I have known to be true from seeing landscapes transformed by these dams now has a scientific foundation."
Harold F Miller, Mennonite Central Committee, Sudan
“Rainwater harvesting and planting trees, if it were to be spread across the board, would achieve a great deal in contributing to the reversal of global warming.”
Prof. Jesse Mugambi, University of Nairobi