Sander de Haas

Next to the topographic and geological maps of Kenya we have now added 161 reports on the geology of Kenya.

Geological information is often essential for many water and sanitation projects, but it’s often difficult to find detailed geological information and maps. Recently we received a large collection (over 300!) of scanned geological and topographic maps of Kenya. Most of them are old (from 1940’s to 1980’s), but still very useful.

We therefore made all these maps available on our website:
Geological maps of Kenya
Topographic maps of Kenya

The maps are very detailed and scanned at a high resolution.

If you own the rights to any of these maps and don’t want them to be published here, please contact us and we will remove them from this website.

If you have other maps (e.g. topographical, geological, hydrological) which you would like to make available to others, please contact us so we can help you to publish them.

Once a year Google hosts the ‘Geo for Good User Summit‘ where they invite mapping and technology specialists in the public benefit sector, who are actively working on projects related to mapping. SamSamWater was invited to join this event to learn, share and meet with the Google Earth Outreach team and other mapping specialists.

Sander de Haas gave this ‘lighting round’ presentation on how SamSamWater and Justdiggit are using geo information and mapping tools for their work in Africa.

We’re glad to announce that VIA Water has approved the Improving Sustainable Groundwater Exploration with Amended Geophysics (ISGEAG) project proposal.

Together with Acacia Water and KenGen (Kenya Electricity Generating Company Limited) we will try out and compare different geophysicial groundwater exploration methods at three sites in Kenya and set up new guidelines for exploration.

In Kenya, current groundwater exploration methods do provide insufficient information and are poorly applied. Hence, conclusions and recommendations are often ambiguous, inconsistent, sometimes incorrect and even misleading. These errors lead to high numbers of dry and saline wells, unnecessary deep drilling, unexplored groundwater reservoirs and poor groundwater management.

This project aims to apply traditional, existing and new geophysical methods in three reasonably well researched areas (Mombasa, Kajiado and Kakuma) to show the limitations of different geophysical methods, study their best combination for each different context and improve the interpretation of the measurements. An on-the-job training trajectory runs parallel to the research programme.

The project leads to better drilling results and more sustainable abstraction of groundwater. Hence, the burden of fetching water is alleviated and occurrence of water-related diseases reduced. This particularly benefits the urban population, the poorest, women and children. The project is proposed by a team of Kenyan and Dutch experts.

We sympathize with everyone who is directly or indirectly affected by the terrible earthquakes in Nepal.

Lucas Borst and Cedrick Gijsbertsen just returned a few weeks ago from a field survey in Nepal for our project in Mude. They brought back a Geological Map of the Eastern part of Nepal which we have scanned and made available online for anyone to use.

We have several options to view or download the map:

If you have any data that might be helpful to others: please let us know and we can help you to make it available by digitizing, processing or hosting the data!

From 30 November to 5 December 2014 a team of SamSamWater experts participated in a Knowledge Exchange mission of the SUSWA project in Kajiado, Kenya.

The presentation with concluding remarks is shown below. For the mission report and presentations of this week visit the SUSWA website.

Today Sander de Haas gave a presentation on Low-cost innovations for water and sanitation.

The presentation is in Dutch (but contains mainly pictures!) and can be viewed below:

The Wiggings Primary School is located in the East of Uganda. The Foundation ” Kyoga Steunfonds” has supported the school since 1980 by providing educational material and renewing the school classrooms. The school has an increasing number of pupils (up to 1000 pupils in 2011). For drinking water and sanitation these pupils and the school staff more heavily rely on the town water system, which is subject to power losses and mechanical problems. Mainly in the dry season this causes shortages on drinking water for the school pupils.

Supported by the foundation “Steunfonds Kyoga”, SamSamWater carried out a hydrological field study in 2012 to gain information on different possibilities in accessing safe and clean drinking water for the school. The field study resulted in a technical advice and recommendation for the most suitable and sustainable option for the school. For the school a (low capacity) borehole appeared to best option to be able to provide save drinking water. At first the borehole will be fitted with a handpump and will be upgraded to a solar powered system at a later stage (when the usage and maintenance of the system is regulated).

In october 2013 a new mission will be carried out. SamSamWater will assist and supervise the geophysical survey, the drilling and testing of the borehole.

To train the AMREF and other Kenyan WASH Alliance (KWA) members in their efforts to provide
sustainable water access a Knowledge Exchange mission was carried out. This mission is part of the SUSWA (Scale up of Sustainable Water Access) project by WML, Aqua for All and AMREF.

During this Knowledge Exchange mission SamSamWater gave a training on using Google Earth, GIS tools and GPS functionality for water projects. The participants were trained in using Google Earth and other tools to prepare for field visits and siting of 3R water projects. Furthermore the participants were trained in using GPS apps on their Android smartphones to measure and collect data in the field.

All participants were enthusiastic about the possibilities of these tools in making their work more efficient. The mission report and links to all the websites and Android apps can be found here:

SamSamWater launches the Rainwater Harvesting Tool. The Rainwater Harvesting Tool is a free online tool enabling everybody to easily calculate the optimal dimensions of a rain water harvesting tank for any location worldwide.

Visit or download the free app from the Google Play store (

Catching and storing rainwater from rooftops (‘roofwater harvesting’) is a proven technique which can provide a safe source of (drinking) water. Despite it being a commonly practiced method, many tanks (reservoirs) of roof water harvesting systems are over- or under-dimensioned, making the system unnecessary expensive or providing insufficient water. The rain water harvesting tool will help consumers, engineers and NGO’s to determine or check the optimum dimensions of a rainwater harvesting system.

In four easy steps you can calculate the optimum size of a rain water harvesting tank for your home, school or nursery. Based on your location, the available monthly rainfall is retrieved from a worldwide meteorological database. By entering the size of the roof (or drawing the roof on a map) and the type of roofing material the tool determines the amount of water that can be harvested. Finally, by entering the number of people using the system the water demand is calculated. Based on the monthly water availability and demand, the tool will determine the optimum tank size and will also give information on the expected reliability of the water supply system. The results are presented in a simple way so they can be used in for example project proposals or reports.

If you have questions, suggestions or if you would like more information on the SamSamWater Rainwater Harvesting Tool please contact us.