Excellent Development

Registered Charity Number 1094478

Excellent Development is an award-winning UK charity that is supporting communities in rural drylands to access clean water and food security. We are achieving this with sand dams – a cost-effective rainwater-harvesting technology – and by supporting climate-smart agriculture; including tree planting, terracing and the development of drought-resistant farms.

Sand dams are concrete walls built across sandy riverbeds that can capture up to 40 million litres of water, replenishing every rainy season. The water is stored within the sand, safe from disease and unable to evaporate. It can be easily extracted via pipework connected to hand pumps and taps, with one sand dam providing enough year-round water for over 1,000 people.

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    More about Excellent Development

    Since 2002, we’ve enabled more than 1,150 sand dams to be built in 9 countries, providing lifelong access to clean water for over 1 million people. For these communities, the water is close to home, vastly reducing the time spent collecting water from distant (and often contaminated) sources. Coupled with climate-smart agriculture training, it means these otherwise vulnerable families have clean water and they are able to grow enough food to eat and to sell.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised yet again the vital need for access to clean water. Throughout this period, a key message from the World Health Organisation (WHO) has been to wash your hands in order to help curb the spread of the virus. But for the 2.2 billion people around the world without access to clean water available when needed, regular hand washing simply isn’t an option. What’s more, the WHO recommends 50 litres of water per day per person for drinking, washing, cooking and maintaining proper hygiene. Yet we know that many households living in rural dryland communities are having to make do with much less.

    How can you help?
    At Excellent we believe the potential of sand dam technology is huge, helping to reduce the threat to the health and security of rural dryland communities, simply by providing clean, safe water close to home, which can be used to practice safe hygiene. This, combined with climate-smart agriculture and other sustainable land management initiatives, means communities can become self-sustaining, ensuring a source of food and income, even during the most challenging times.

    By making a donation to Excellent today, you can support more dryland communities to transform their own lives. Here is just an example of how your support could help:

    • £20 could provide a community with cement (up to 4 bags) for the construction of their sand dam
    • £30 could supply gardening equipment (such as a rake and watering cans), to plant trees for fruit, fodder and fuel
    • £60 could provide a roll of barbed wire, to strengthen their sand dam during construction
    • £160 could provide shovels (up to 25) needed to mix cement during construction
    • £540 could supply a community with all of the tools and seeds they require to create a tree nursery
    • £1,300 could provide a water pump and shallow well to extract clean drinking water from the sand dam

    *Photo credit Polly Braden

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