A sand dam is a reinforced concrete or stone wall built across a dry seasonal river bed. It is designed to trap and hold water from seasonal rains in sand. This provides a safe, naturally filtered water supply for the community, with each dam able to provide water for thousands of people a year. Sand dams also raise the water table of the local area, meaning they are a very effective way of regenerating land and enabling vegetation to grow. They have virtually zero operation and maintenance costs – making them ideally suited to poorly served rural areas, yet they can create huge and transformative impact for communities in marginalised and dry spell areas.
We are planning the construction of 4 sand dams using a local, tried and tested 're-inforced concrete' technique, and installed with offtake wells fitted with hand pumps in the following locations in Kenya:
• Wona Wa Kiliva
Each dam will be accompanied by a number of WASH and farming training initiatives to provide a holistic solution to much of the local issues derived from a lack of clean, reliable local water source. We hope to begin this programme in Summer 2021, in partnership with Rotary International and African Sand Dam Foundation. Each dam will benefit over 1,000 local people.
Images courtesy of Excellent Development and African Sand Dam Foundation.
We are in the planning and design stages of a new multi-storey child oncology unit for the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi, in partnership with World Child Cancer and our supporting Architects, Inter Urban Studios. The existing building on site is overcrowded and no longer fit-for-purpose, therefore the new building will provide:
- More than double the capacity for patients, creating the ability to care for twice as many children with cancer from all over the country
- Separate floors for inpatients and outpatients – allowing for more tailored treatment and less chance of virus and infection transmission
- Improved layout with smoother movement routes and easier whole ward observation for the nurses
- More designated isolation rooms
- Increased and improved WASH facilities for all patients, staff and visitors
We are working in partnership with Light of Maasai and Rotary International to provide BioLites to off-grid Maasai homes in Kenya. The BioLite Solar Home 620 transforms off-grid homes by providing a safe, affordable and reliable source of light and energy.
Each unit includes:
- A 6-watt solar panel - A wall-mounted control box with real-time feedback on sun-strength and battery capacity
- Three daisy-chain hanging lights with 18ft cords, adjustable brightness and a motion sensor option
- FM Radio
- Two USB ports for powering mobile phones and other devices
One BioLite unit can power an entire home and makes communication, housework, childcare and hygiene much easier and safer. The lighting system also provides extra security for the home and gives children light for completing homework in the evenings, which otherwise would not be possible. The USB ports provide a free source of power for charging mobile phones and the FM radio allows isolated areas to keep up to date with national news and stay connected. These activities are all essential for families’ welfare, especially during times of national emergency or pandemic.
BioLites have been shown to dramatically improve a family’s quality of life, at a cost of just £120 per unit. If you’d like to buy one for a family living off-grid, then please click the donate button.
Belgrove Primary School in rural Lemongo was purpose built in 2005, through a joint NGO initiative, to provide primary education for children living in extremely remote areas of Kajiado South. The school provides an excellent standard of primary education and provides three meals a day for all children which they would not normally receive at home. The problem here is that many of these children must still travel extremely long journeys of over 16km a day to attend, across terrain that is both prone to flooding and also wildlife hazards. This is a major issue for the school, evidenced by the fact that 67 children dropped out completely last year as a result of these unsustainable travel distances. In order for this school to be able to fully support all the children living in remote areas, there is a need for accommodation.
We have partnered with the property technology company, Matterport, to provide Belgrove with dormitories that will double up as extra learning spaces for nursery-age children.
The Philippines is the number one global source for webcam child abuse. There are horrific stories of children as young as two years old being forced to perform acts on their friends, siblings and parents. These acts are directed and paid for by paedophiles via webcam, in countries all over the world. Local law enforcement are working in partnership with a range of organisations to combat this problem and rescue as many children as possible.
We partnered with CURE Foundation Philippines to work on a vital shelter project on the island of Cebu. We are constructing a group of small ‘cottages’ on an agricultural property to serve as a safe haven for girls rescued from child sex abuse. Each ‘cottage’ will be home to 10 girls, with 2 house parents.
This shelter has been in operation since December 2013 and is now at full capacity, with 40 girls aged 2-13. BuildAid have built an 3 extra cottages, the third of which was only made possible by the incredible generosity of The Toy Trust, who have demonstrated their ongoing commitment to child protection and welfare by supporting the building cost in full for 1 children's refuge cottage. Our project goal is to construct 5 cottages in total, which will provide homes for 50 girls. At the shelter, the girls receive education, emotional and psychological support. They are monitored 24/7 and there are dedicated social workers available full time.
We have joint plans for many more future projects together to benefit those affected by the online sexual exploitation of children.
BuildAid have just launched a wide-scale sanitation campaign in partnership with Rotary International. We recently identified that the toilet facilities in a number of primary schools on the island of Panglao were not only substandard, but extremely filthy and dangerous. Almost none of the schools have handwashing facilities or fully functioning plumbing.
At one of the schools, the children seemed embarrassed by the state of the toilets, asking us not to go in because of the smell. The children rushed ahead of us and tried to clean the toilets before we entered.
The main concern here is that the two main diseases that affect school-aged children are diarrhoeal and worm infections. Diarrhoeal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old. Diarrhoeal episodes among school aged children are known to cause:
• School absenteeism
• Chronic undernutrition and growth retardation
• Reduced resistance to infections
• When prolonged, impaired growth and development
Something as straightforward as hand washing with soap can reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal disease by up to 50%. Correct hand washing and proper hygiene practice is a vital skill that all school aged children should have the right to. We want to build gender-separate toilet blocks, with fully-functioning plumbing and hand-washing facilities for as many primary schools as possible in the area.