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Oct 20, 2014 3 Min Read

A Baseline Survey of Marmanet

Armed with 300 surveys and a few umbrellas, the baseline survey team met in a small, sleepy town center called Kwa Wanjiku (or “Kwanjiku” for short) before venturing into the interior of Marmanet.

Community Members in Marmanet.

In five pairs, each made up of one Kijani volunteer and one member of the local community, we had one aim in mind: to gather information that will inform our tree-planting and community engagement strategy – water availability and sanitation, regional conflict, expertise in sustainable businesses, household demographics and more.

We went from house to house, accompanied by the occasional gang of delighted children, visiting each one of Marmanet’s five villages: Naserian, Majimbogo, Ngoru, Kaichakun and Lokiriama.

Children playing in the forest.

Women stopped their errands in farms, men took time away from herding their cattle and homesteads came to a standstill when we entered through their small wooden gates. We felt welcomed.

Even old mama’s stopped milking their cows, and the occasional “mzee” (old man) would look at us directly in the eyes and stretch out his hand to show us where we could sit under the tree. Almost like clockwork, we were offered tea and a bite to eat in almost every home. If we weren’t working with deadline targets, we may have developed pot bellies! 

Kijani Members conducting the baseline survey.

We did meet some challenges, of course. The odd villager, suspicious of our intentions, would decline an interview. On other occasions our umbrellas offered little safety from the torrential rain and knee-deep mud. Uphill treks through the hilly landscape and language barriers required perseverance. Yet, the team remained passionate and dedicated, gathering all the data that will prove so useful for Kijani.

Overall, we were grateful for this experience. A deep sense of hospitality was truly felt and appreciated. These people, though not having much, donated one of the most valuable human resources to total strangers – their time.


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  1. 2004 & Barling. Your research has taken and imported it from New Zealand.