Villagers in Kikumbulyu, Kenya, visit a rock water catchment system they built to get the drought-hit village through dry periods. Reuters/Isaiah Esipisu
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Even after the heavy rains that drenched East Africa in April, Makueni County in eastern Kenya remains dry – and it's not clear when increasingly elusive rainfall will come again.Last November, they built a rock catchment system to harvest rainwater.The organization has built 10 rock catchment units in as many Makueni villages, feeding rainfall runoff from the rocks to a total of 26 concrete tanks. Each tank can hold up to 190,000 liters of water.A rock catchment unit with two tanks costs 2.5 million Kenyan shillings ($25,000) to build, with the money raised from donor organizations including Kenyan banks.Back in 2014, during a period of heavy rainfall, members of Ithine Self Help Group made 16,000 Kenyan shillings selling harvested water, which they put in a bank.The Africa Sand Dam Foundation has been working with local groups to construct 256 sand dams across different rivers in eastern Kenya, with the aim of supporting more than 12,700 households who use the water for domestic and irrigation purposes.According to Kyalo, the foundation's director, the sand dam that the Mukaso Self Help Group uses can hold millions of liters of water.
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