Students being addressed by the Luanda Nganyi Community leaders
In line with trans-disciplinary programmes, the institute organized a fieldwork trip for the first cohort of Masters and PhD students.
The team left bright and early on Monday the Seventh of April and made their way across the county to the Royal city hotel in Kisumu that was to be the base until the weekend.
The first meeting was held on the 8th of April where Dr. Opondo,who was leading the excursion, briefed the students on the purpose and the programme that was to be followed over the next week.
The fieldwork was to appreciate and evaluate the work being done by ICPAC to assist farmers use scientific/indigenous knowledge to adopt effective strategies for coping with the climatic conditions in three areas.
The first day was dedicated to visiting the three sites. Reru is a very disciplined community who hold the Catholic Church and their priest in very high esteem. ICPAC was able to penetrate the community through the priest and was able to disseminate the predictions for rainfall and to advise the farmers as to the best time to plant through the good relationship between the priest and the community.
The Nganyi community from Luanda get their confidence from the indigenous knowledge passed from ancestors who the greater Luhya and Luo communities, and others further afield have turned to for advice on rain predictions.
The Nyahera is a community that is besieged by the advancing Kisumu city boundaries. Many in the area are seeing more benefit in real estate that is in selling their land rather than engaging in sustainable agriculture.
Against this background, the students divided themselves into groups and developed instruments to assess the work being done by ICPAC at two of the three sites.The rest of the days were dedicated to carrying out the work, distributing the questionnaires, selecting participants and conducting focus group discussions.
The Students approached the project with zeal and worked late into the night to ensure that their instruments were developed in time. On reaching the field, they began with the survey, then key informant interviews and finally the focus group discussions.The enthusiasm of the students saw many of them using ‘Boda-boda’ (motor cycle) taxis to cover ground and to reach their destinations in time.
Many of the students commented on how the fieldwork was very beneficial to their studies and were glad that they made the time to attend.