When Communities Get Together – Solving A Water Crisis: Kavita Ndolo

Much of Africa has already warmed by more than 1 °C, being the most reason for the very hot days. The subject of Climate Change is a priority today and we are at a defining moment. From shifting weather patterns that threaten progressive agriculture to rising sea levels that increase the risk of erosion, the impacts of climate change are global in scope and extraordinary in scale. Without radical action from everyone, adapting to these effects in the future will be overpriced. This is what makes Kavita Ndolo’s Dam project an amazing story. The story begins from him accepting a challenge during his final year in engineering school, his examiner Dr Dulo, a Civil engineer, interested in infrastructure water and climate change, challenged Kavita to implement his project. Years later, his village has this weir/dam across the local river that holds back enough water throughout the year for irrigation and some fun. His projects have not only solved problems like water-borne diseases and access to water but also created new opportunities in the agricultural sector for his local community. These have been especially useful during this Covid-19 pandemic.

Hello Kavita and welcome to Random Photo Journal! Briefly introduce yourself.

Kavita Ndolo, born and raised in Machakos, Kenya. I went to engineering school, worked in project management and now I farm. I also work on community projects, especially in water and sanitation.

Why did you think documenting the process of the Dam was necessary?

I like seeing progress and keeping records especially to show others who were not there. It is amazing to see the change that projects bring so I take photos throughout to document this.

What would you like to get across with your photographs?

Inspiration mostly. When others see what is possible, I hope they can join in, or do similar things.

How long have you been a farmer?

I grew up on the farm so I could say all my life but professionally, I could say one year now.

What made you take up the construction of the dam?

Lack of access to water throughout the year. There are 4-5 months without rain and that affects the local communities a lot. With the dam, there is enough water to farm all year round and to water livestock.

What difficulties arise while you were constructing the dam?

At some point, the local contribution ran so low so we had to do a fundraiser to enable us to pay for extra labor and materials.

In your opinion, what makes a good photograph

A photo that captures the feel of the location/event. Not just the activities, but the moments.

Did you design the dam, if yes, do you have a sketch?

I did the feasibility study and concept. The design was done by another engineer.

Are you currently working on any new projects?

Yes. A dam and irrigation system for my farm and also, a latrine project for the local schools.