Sand Dams Benefit the Environment

Sand Dams

  • Store water underground to create or replenish aquifer
  • Raise water table in surrounding area both up and down stream
  • Renew natural vegetation including indigenous trees and riparian plants
  • Protect river banks from caving in, reducing erosion
  • Reduce evaporation of water
  • Reduce the speed of the water flowing downstream

As the aquifer increases in size, wells have more water and previously dried up springs may return to the area, more natural vegetation increases bio-diversity, and wildlife returns to the area.

Additionally, community Self Help Groups receive training from UDO on how to plant trees, establish seed banks, start tree nurseries, and medicinal forests.  Tree and plant diversity is encouraged to protect from disease among any given species.

Trees Planted                Tree Nurseries Started




Sand Dams, Terraces

“Other soil and water related interventions mentioned and often observed during visits are as follows:

* composting & compost pits                          * collection/use of animal manure as fertilizer

* crop rotation                                                 * planting of grasses or shrubs/trees

* planting drought tolerant crops


Use of mulches (“misonzo”, maize stover and other crop residue) was also frequently mentioned. However, observation suggests that this intervention is currently being applied on a limited basis (in part because crop residues are also used as fodder for livestock).” (CFGB, 2010)