Brentford Charity Builds Sand Dams

Excellent to continue its pioneering work in three continents

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ExcellentAward-winning Brentford based charity Excellent Development has relaunched with a new strategy focused on pioneering sand dams in drylands worldwide.  The strategy was officially launched in February at an event sponsored and hosted by Thames River Capital, the investment management firm, based in Berkeley Square, London.

Since 2002, Excellent has supported communities to improve water and food security in South Eastern Kenya.  Central to their success is the principle that soil and water conservation is essential to enabling development in rural drylands.  Building sand dams has an enormous environmental impact enabling communities to gain access to clean water close to their home.  Farmers save hours of time enabling them to focus on terracing their farms, planting trees and improving food production. 

In order to increase the adoption of sand dams, Excellent and their partners are now supporting other organisations to pilot the application of the technology in different countries.   Ultimately, Excellent and their partners will create ‘Centres of Excellence’ in three continents to demonstrate their potential in a variety of political, economic, social, technical, legal and environmental contexts.

In order to achieve Excellent’s new vision that ‘sand dams will transform millions of lives’, Excellent also needs to advocate the use of sand dam technology to organisations that influence policy both at governmental and international agency level.  To achieve this it is critical to demonstrate the potential and benefits of the technology. A key part of this will be facilitating research into the environmental and human impacts of sand dams to establish clear scientific evidence of their efficacy. 

Simon Maddrell, added, “Sand dams are a 2,000 year-old technology that has never taken off; there are currently less than 150 sand dams being built every year worldwide, mainly in Kenya.  It is our mission to change this – but not by creating an empire or doing it alone.  There are many fantastic organisations worldwide that could enhance their work by supporting communities to build sand dams.”

As part of the development of their new strategy Excellent gained pro bono support from the agency WPA Pinfold to renew its brand and communications strategy.  Excellent Development will now be known as   Excellent, Pioneers of Sand Dams, which reflects the new strategy.

The new strategy builds on the charity’s success in supporting communities in Kenya to transform their lives by building sand dams.  Excellent will now partner with more organisations to support the application of sand dam technology in their countries.  Additionally, Excellent will be advocating sand dam technology to international organisations worldwide to encourage mass adoption.

Executive Director Simon Maddrell said, “This strategic change is about Excellent moving from being supporters of sand dams to pioneers of sand dams.  We believe that sand dams will transform millions of lives; they are the world’s lowest cost method of capturing rainwater in dry rural areas, home to 80% of the world’s poor.”

February 25, 2011

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