SR article

Week #5: Mapping the building site

Barpello, Baringo County, Kenya

Last week we did a lot of walking and processing of information. We visited the building site and a pan dam by foot and saved the GPS coordinates of important points. We typed out a lot of information from interviews, Focus Group Discussions and meetings in order to finish the needs assessment report.

Interview with the chief
We went to the office of the chief to talk with her about some statistics of Barpello location. She was not able to help us with everything, because the Kenyan government is only doing a population consensus once every ten years (the last one was in 2009). However, she was able to give us some estimations about the population, climate change and development rates. It was a useful conversation and the chief told us again she is very willing to help us in whatever way is necessary.

FGD (2) with men
After the meeting with the chief, we did the last Focus Group Discussion with the men. Last time, it started raining so we could not finish the FGD. This time, we continued what we started the first time and asked the selected men (mainly elders) more in depth questions. The men were very willing to help us by answering our questions. With this FGD all information for the needs assessment was finally collected.

Mapping building site
We visited the building site two times this week. We mapped all rivers, iron-sheet houses and open spaces that can be good places for the resource centre and the dispensary. In Nakuru we will process all information and make a detailed map of the building site which will be useful for Team Pokot and ourselves. A map of the building site will be included in the preliminary design of the compound.

Visit pan dam
We visited a household that is one of the first families to have a pan dam; a pan dam is a hole in the ground were rain water can be collected for up to 1 year. This family dug the pan dam as a result of a project the chief started in Barpello. The project wants every household to have their own pan dam so that they have their own water source and can grow some crops to have a reliable food source. The pan dam of this family was dug 3 months ago, by some hired workers. In order to buy a water pump, this family had to sell their camel. Now they have made a small shamba (=kitchen garden) under a shelter (made of sticks and grass) and they planted some sukuma wiki. A pan dam does not collect rainwater immediately, it can take up to 3 years until it collects enough water to rely on in drought periods. For this reason, the pan dam of this family was now already empty making them unable to harvest any crops yet. It was clear to us that this family put a lot of effort (both financial as physical) in digging the dam and making the shamba. It surprised us that these people are really committed to try something new although they cannot be sure if it will work; the project is a trial. The chief told us that it is hard to convince the community about the project because it is a long-term project. Also, a lot of people are lacking resources (financial and physical) to make the dam.

Community meeting about the building of a sand dam
After visiting the pan dam, we were invited to join a community meeting about the building of a sand dam. A Kenyan NGO called Farming Systems Kenya is building a sand dam in a river close to one of the villages in Barpello location in order to allow the cattle of the people living is this village to drink from this water. The meeting was organised to inform the local community about the sand dam and to invite them to help with building it.

Upcoming events
• Visit all water sources in Barpello sublocation
• Visit a bore-hole company in Nakuru
• Skype meeting with Team Pokot