Tweed helps build Kenyan dam

Mercilin shows the difference in water quality before and after the first Safewater dam was built in his community.
Mercilin shows the difference in water quality before and after the first Safewater dam was built in his community.

THE Tweed Shire Council is finalising plans for a new dam to be built in the remote community of Obambo Kadenge in Kenya as part of the ongoing Kenya Mentoring Program.

The council partnered with local Kenyan engineers as part of the Safewater Four initiative to build a dam that will increase water quality for the community.

Tweed Shire Council senior construction engineer Nigel Dobson said the partnership with Kenyan locals has helped them sort through some technical issues but also provided an education process for all those involved.

"We're using local people to build and develop their skills, rather than us just doing it for them, we're guiding it through the process," he said.

The new dam will have a variety of positive flow on effects for the Kenyan community of six thousand. Clean water will mean less risk of deadly diseases such as typhoid, dysentery and cholera.

Having closer access to water will eliminate the long and exhausting 10 km trip made by the locals who carry 20 litres of water to and from the nearest water source.

"Having the water accessible just next to the village means in it will free up time for children's education, they can spend longer at school and it'll free up time for the adults as well so they can hopefully start small income generating actives," Mr Dobson said.

The project is funded by many arms, including the International Riverfoundation, Skyjuice, private contributors Mary and Alec Peden and Tweed Shire Council staff, whose donations are being matched dollar-for-dollar by the Tweed Shire Council.

International RiverFoundation programs manger, Dr Natalie Baker said the Safewater Four will have a lasting effect for the remote, water poor community of Obambo Kadenge.

"It will be life changing to the villages where this water filtration system is set up," she said.

Topics:  aid dam kenya tweed shire council water

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