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Film project generates Sh 10 million grant sand dam for dry Kitui South

A simple film documentary on the ravages of climate change premiered in Mutomo, Kitui South constituency generated Sh.10 million to construct a sand dam.

Kisilu Musya, a farmer in Mutomo Sub-County has brought a great impact to his society through his film documentary “Thank you for the rain” which has won several awards in the film industry locally and abroad.

Musya, a father of nine, struggled for years to fight the climate change in vain until he came up with an idea of making a simple film to share with the world about its effects on farmers in semi-arid areas, the environment and changing weather patterns.

“I started by recording climatic events such as drought, floods and even strong winds which carry away our roofing and even collapse the houses using my phone,” he narrates.

Speaking to KNA on Wednesday in Mutomo, he said that the documentary took him almost seven years to be ready for consumption, ‘It made its way and reached the world where it attracted partners from within the country and worldwide to help us mitigate the ravages of perennial drought and lack of water for domestic use.’

Partners were brought on board under the Sahelian Solutions Foundation (SASOL) umbrella to support Musya’s dream and donated Sh.10 million to construct a sand dam at Ndatani village.

The dam can hold 30 million litres of water and is estimated to serve over 300 households within the catchment area.

“It is a great feeling to see my dreams coming true, before the construction of the dam people suffered walking long distances of five kilometers in search of water from the seasonal  Tiva  River  but now it is a big relief for all of us,” he says.

Since the construction of the dam, livestock farmers walk shorter distances to water their herds and women have started kitchen irrigation to support their family’s livelihoods.

“Where there is ready access to water, children do not have to spend their time collecting water, are less likely to suffer acute health impacts of diarrhea and water-borne disease and realize their potential for a future outside of poverty,” said Musya.

In  2019, “Thank you for the rain” trailer won the best film documentary in Africa.

Catherine  Ndinya, a community trainer from SASOL says that by re-charging the aquifer, sand dams provide enough water to establish tree and vegetable nurseries.

‘Together, sand dams, farmland terracing and tree planting form a cycle of water and soil conservation that is self-perpetuating. Conserving water and soil on farms increases soil fertility, reduces the time spent collecting water, and increases the time available to farm, learn and innovate,’ said Ndinya.

She said that all year-round water source saves time and enables farmers to invest in improved agricultural techniques such as inter-cropping, crop diversification, zero-grazing, and seed banks.

“Such activities facilitate the production of a secure and diverse supply of food, even during periods of drought,” said the official.

Ndinya observed that increased, more reliable and diversified crop production improves nutrition and food security, with surpluses sold at local markets; enabling the transition from subsistence to income generation.

“When families can produce food and generate an income, they are able to afford education for their children,” she added.

By  Yobesh  Onwong’a/Winnie Mutiku

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