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 low-cost, sustainable 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 have enabled more than 1,196 sand dams to be built in 10 countries, providing lifelong access to clean water for over 1.1 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. 

     Sand dams also play a key role in reversing land degradation and desertification. They recharge groundwater levels, enabling vegetation to regenerate and increasing biodiversity, in turn creating a healthier, more productive environment which can sustain communities’ livelihoods.


    How can you help?
    At Excellent we believe the potential of sand dam technology is huge, providing communities with access to clean, safe water for life, and the opportunity to grow more food. When water and food are available, community health and nutrition improves, children are able to attend school, and families have more time to tend their small-scale farms and increase income. Sand dams empower communities, putting the future firmly in their own hands.

    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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