Over the past few weeks Lucas Borst and Sander de Haas of SamSamWater worked on a project for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. The goal of the project was to provide insight in the possibilities and potential of online data sources and tools for smart measuring, data collection, information sharing and visualization for refugee camps.

Mtendeli refugee camp in nortwest Tanzania was selected by UNHCR as a case study for this project.

Together with UNHCR, the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO), the Netherlands Red Cross and TCRS we collected a whole range of datasets, maps and information for the camp. Some are based on field measurements, others satellites and we are even using scanned maps made during colonial times.

Having access to these maps and data on WASH is incredibly valuable for UNHCR, partners and experts. And combining different types (‘layers’) of data can give additional insights, improved knowledge, higher quality and cost reduction.

See the presentation below for a full overview of our findings and 4 case studies on how to use this data to solve actual issues in the refugee camp.

We’ve also made an interactive online map where you can explore all maps and layers, or you can download the full dataset in Google Earth format here.

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

The Dutch Albert Schweitzer Foundation (www.nasf.nl) supports small scale projects on community level on diverse subjects in developing countries. NASF asked SamSamWater for support on WASH related projects. SSW now advises NASF on borehole capacities, well design, water supply and sanitational options. We are looking forward to a fruitful coperation.

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.

Op 30 oktober 2015 heeft een benefietavond plaatsgevonden voor de bewoners van Mude in Nepal. SamSamWater heeft hier het waterproject nader toegelicht.


In de droge periode kampen de dorpen met een gebrekkige watervoorziening. SamSamWater heeft in april 2015 een missie uitgevoerd naar Mude Nepal om het watersysteem in kaart te brengen en de watervoorziening te verbeteren. Met de benefietavond, georganiseerd door stichting Tashi Delek, is geld ingezameld om de bestaande watervoorziening te repareren en te verbeteren.


De presentatie is hier te bekijken:


Presentatie SamSamWater watervoorziening Mude Nepal



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!

The SamSamWater team is getting busy. It shows that our specialized water knowledge and enthusiasm are more and more needed in the projects in developing countries. To keep leading the organisation and projects  in the right direction, the board is strengthened. Lucas and Maarten had been a partner and now join the board. A new step in the development of SamSamWater!


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.