Why Sand Dams

Why Sand Dams

For the past 20 years, ARAHA has worked on providing sustainable water solutions across Eastern Africa. In the last 20 years, we focused on installing more than 400 water wells across the region. We made an emphasis by targeting nearby villages or schools to make sure families don't have to travel a long distance to access clean water. This has allowed us to provide clean water to millions of families in the region.

Although water wells are a common solution, we came to realize that we have to find a longer-lasting sustainable solution. With this in mind, we came across the ingenious idea of sand dams. In a region where droughts and floods have become more common in the past few years due to the climate change phenomenon, Sand dams are the most effective solution. Sand dams have been in use in many parts of the world for centuries; however, it seems to be an underused technology in many parts of the Horn of Africa region.

Sand dams are the most cost-effective solution to the ongoing cycle of drought in the Horn of Africa region. Sand Dams capture millions of liters of rainwater and store it underground. One Sand Dam can provide up to 1000 people with drinking water for up to a year without rainfall.

Why Sand Dams
Over the past few decades, the Horn of Africa region has been known to have recurring droughts. And now with climate change and the El Niño weather pattern, you have both extremes; droughts, and floods. For many parts of this region, there is little to no infrastructure to contain the rainwater, and surge of river. So when it rains and there is a surge in the river, much of that is lost to the ocean. 

Sand Dams can…

  • Combat desertification by recharging groundwater.
  • Mitigate climate change by creating water security.
  • Reduce conflict by increasing access to water.
  • Support disaster resilience by creating a buffer against drought.
  • Enable the installation of shallow wells producing safe drinking water.