James Onions from Kew Gardens Rotary has been instrumental in the Sand Dams project, which provide dryland communities in poor areas of the world access to safe and clean water.
Communities in dryland areas of the world people often live in poverty, with women and children walking five hours per day, in dangerous conditions, only able to reach unsafe water. A sand dam is a reinforced rubble cement wall built across a seasonal sandy river. They are a simple, low cost, low maintenance technology that retains rainwater and recharges groundwater. Sand dams are the most cost-effective method of water conservation in dryland environments.
James mentioned: “This technology can bring safe water to 74% of the world’s poorest people, and it is hard to find a more cost effective way to enable such communities to have access to safe water and healthy food, improve their health and free time for children to be educated.”
This project used the strength of the Rotary network with over 200 clubs and the Rotary Foundation working together to help finance the project. Over £750,000 has been raised by clubs in Rotary Great Britain and Ireland, thanks to the drive and passion James has shown the impact of the project wouldn’t be what it is today.
To recognise the achievement Jame has been awarded a Champion of Change