Congratulations to the recipient of the 21st Thiess International Riverprize:
Thwake River, Kenya!
About The Africa Sand Dam Foundation
The Africa Sand Dam Foundation (ASDF) was founded in 2010. ASDF’s vision is to foster soil and water conservation in dry lands to change the lives of millions of community members. Their focus is on water conservation by harvesting and storing within seasonal river channels, through the construction of sand dams.
Since inception, Africa Sand Dam Foundation has operated with a community led development approach, implementing 530 sand dams of which 125 are within River Thwake and it’s tributaries. This enables 795,000 community members to have access to water. At risk individuals in these communities would usually have to walk long distances (average 5 – 10 kilometers) to fetch water for use at their homes. The sand dams allow families to access clean drinking water within shorter distances (500 metres – 1 kilometers), greatly improving quality of life and safety.
About the Thiess International Riverprize
The Thiess International Riverprize is awarded by the International River Foundation (IRF), a not-for-profit organisation that envisions a future where healthy, resilient rivers support thriving communities, ecosystems and economies.
The Thiess International Riverprize, the world’s most prestigious environmental award, has been awarded since 1999. The award alternates between the International Riverprize which is awarded every second year and a regional Riverprize bringing recognition to organisations (or groups of organisations) who have achieved remarkable outcomes for rivers, river basins and their communities.
The Thiess International Riverprize is generously and jointly supported by the Bert & Vera Thiess Foundation as a legacy and recognition of the long-term efforts of the late Bert and Vera Thiess and the Thiess Company to encourage the sustainable management of the world’s rivers.
The Thiess International Riverprize aims to inspire the acceleration towards resilient rivers. The Foundation encourages prize winners to think of concepts of future “bankable” or investment-ready projects to achieve the resilience of their rivers and communities. Bankable projects can provide effective solutions to meet the vision of resilience for rivers.
What does it take to win
First awarded in 1999, the Riverprize recognises excellence in river management and restoration. IRF has awarded 20 International and 22 Regional Riverprizes. The key elements for success of the past 20 years of winners include:
Partnerships and Collaboration;
Holistic Approaches in river management;
A commitment towards planning, evaluation and monitoring;
Emphasis on Long-term Sustainability;
Perseverance to make a difference for rivers.
This year, the Foundation is encouraging applications that reflect a journey towards the resilience of the rivers, including the following: