The Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) constructs sand dams, rock catchments, school water tanks, and solar powered pipeline systems. They also train communities on better cultivation and land reclamation practices such as reforestation and afforestation, laying of terraces on their farms and pasture establishments.

They work closely with communities in rural, dry-land areas of Kenya to strengthen their resilience through soil and water conservation projects that improve food and water security. They do this by empowering communities with knowledge, skills and low-tech infrastructure that provides them with the ability to adapt to climate change on their own. These approaches improve long-term water access, household food security, and livelihoods.

Although they use a holistic, tailored approach to improve food and water security, we are particularly impressed with their focus on sand dams, a simple, low cost, low maintenance technology that retains rainwater and recharges groundwater. Sand dams are a cost-effective, scalable method to improve water conservation in dry-land environments.

Unlike other water harvesting solutions, sand dams do not deplete groundwater sources, but capture water that would otherwise run off, increasing groundwater sources and groundwater levels both above and below the dams. The sand dams increase water retention in the soil and support a stronger vegetation cover, which in turn reduces soil erosion. In addition, sand dams promote flora and fauna biodiversity in the areas where they are built.

Why We Partner

ASDF uses a community led approach; their work complements national and county government climate resilience efforts; and they focus on addressing root causes of unpredicted climate disasters, livelihood deterioration and natural resource degradation. ASDF employs effective, impactful and sustainable approaches while integrating innovative methodologies and empowering communities as local champions of change.


ASDF’s work gives communities the knowledge and skills to adapt to climate change, ensure sustainable development, and minimize losses from future disasters. This work also has the added benefit of restoring ecosystem health and biodiversity. We believe that their approach to sustainable management of natural resources, improved access to safe water, and improved food production will increase the resilience of rural communities.