The first stage of this process is the digging of rain-fed dams by the community. Haller pays individuals to carry out the work, ensuring a sense of ownership.
The dams capture and retain rainwater that would otherwise be lost. That water is then used to rehabilitate the land, water crops in nearby plots and increase food production.
Water energizes land so trees and crops can thrive. Planting vetiver grass and terracing surrounding ground prevents soil erosion. Nile cabbage is used to oxygenate and filter the water as well as shelter resident fish. Tree saplings are planted to stabilise the land.
Digging dams together creates a sense of shared ownership and community. The majority of those involved are women and for most, this is the first money they have ever earned, providing them with disposable income to purchase supplies for the family or to start their own enterprises.
More available water means less time searching for it. Less time searching means more time farming, and greater yields of crops for people to feed their families and to sell. In the long term, tree saplings will grow and create another source of income.
Most smallholder farmers are women, so they benefit the most from dams, as they are able to farm more efficiently. They can also use the water for washing.