Kenya is a country blessed with various river sand catchment areas and from these
many reservoirs have been developed. For this to be successful and for safety
appropriate materials for construction should be used. In this report the material
under study is Red Coffee Soil.
For a dam,material used in the foundation if it is a concrete dam or for an earth dam
should have the required engineering properties to be suitable for use.The
construction should also be economically viable which translates to the material
being used should also be within the set economic limits. Cost of dam construction
is proportional to the square of the dam Height. It requires a suitable foundation for
high concrete or masonry dams (Sharma,2016)
Red coffee soil is found in most parts of Kenya. Also referred to as volcanic soils.Its
properties include:-
 It is well drained.
 Has a high amount of volcanic glass material.
 Has a high water retention capacity.
 Not highly weathered.

For a dam,if red coffee soil were to be used then it must show engineering
properties most important of them being:-
 Rate of seepage should be slow.
 Should be reasonably watertight.
 Have a high bearing capacity.
 Low permeability.
Seepage through a dam cannot be entirely stopped but can be slowed down.To
make it easier a water tight material should be used in the construction. 
Seepage analysis is therefore conducted on Red Coffee Soil to check for its
suitability in the construction of Dam. Permeability is a property of soil where it
allows water to flow through while seepage is the process of water flowing through a

Degree Program
Project Supervisor
Student Name
Ian Muhalia Ahindukha