By Bernard K. Wanjohi
Embobut Forest Reserve is the largest of the 13 blocks that constitute the Cherangani water tower. The area is one of the major water towers (catchment basins) in the Cherangani Hills. This area, collectively with other water towers, supplies Eldoret town and its environs. The Embobut River flows along the floor of Kerio Valley, joining the Kerio and flowing into Lake Turkana to the North. Embobut Forest Reserve lies between latitude 01°15′N and longitude 35°35′E.
My Doctoral research is carrying out inventories and monitoring of plant biodiversity as a natural resource, including challenges, threats, and the exploitation of natural vegetation along the Embobut River by adjacent communities, with the specific objectives of:
- Determining the composition, abundance and distribution of different plant species in relation to altitude, aspect, slope, geographical location and disturbances;
- Determining the man-made and natural disturbances in different ecological zones of the Embobut River Basin;
- Documenting the current plant species used by the local community and assessing potential uses of the species occupying the Embobut River Basin and adjacent areas.
by David K. Kay
From January-May this year I was based in Nairobi at the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) as a graduate attaché, in part to broaden my experience of working in East Africa and more specifically to prepare for my forthcoming PhD research with the Marakwet Heritage Project. With the latter aim in mind, from 17th-22nd April I joined my PhD supervisor Prof Henrietta Moore on a trip out to Elgeyo Marakwet County, northwest Kenya, more specifically the town of Tot in the Kerio Valley, to visit the local team of the Marakwet Heritage Project and get some new research projects rolling.
In late 2013 Professor Charly French was able to collect samples and make preliminary observations on the geomorphology and soils of the Tot-Sibou region in northern Marakwet as part of the African Farming Network. These preliminary oberservations were presented on this website in a post back in 2014 – click here for further details.
Since 2013 Professor French has been able to pocess the collected samples and has produced and updated research report which can be downloaded here.
Many thanks to Charly for all his hard work!
French Geoarchaeology of Marakwet 2013 preliminary report update
Collecting soil samples
Collecting soil samples
Soil profile Embobut River
In the following article, Marakwet Heritage Project lead investigator Henrietta L. Moore discusses the growing recognition of agroecological methods.
Terraced fields, Marakwet
vegetable cultivation, Marakwet
Fields and mulch
Re-posted from http://www.farminginafrica.wordpress.com
In December 2013 I was fortunate to be able to make some preliminary observations on the range of plant foods used in the Tot region of Marakwet, Kenya. I was guided in my observations by Ms Helena Chepto from the Marakwet research station.
Have a look at this new article published in the Antiquity on-line project gallery which highlights the participatory community research methods being used in the Marakwet Heritage Project.
The Marakwet Heritage Project research team
Freda Nkirote M’Mbogori (National Museums of Kenya)
Material culture images
Unlike many Kenyan Communities, the Marakwet have maintained aspects of their traditional way of life. This may be partly attributable to politics and bad road networks which have played a role in buffering the community from external influence. Moreover, the hilly and rocky terrain, coupled with low rainfall regimes have contributed to protection of the Marakwet land from other Kenyan farming communities. While far from isolated the Marakwet have maintained a partially indigenous way of life.
by Charles French (University of Cambridge)
images of the Marakwet environment
The Marakwet field workshop in December 2013 enabled a geoarchaeological assessment of the landscape character of this region and some initial soil sampling. Particular attention was paid to three areas: first the farm compounds, fields and slope off-take irrigation system occupying the lower slopes to the northwest of the village of Tot; second the River Embobut valley at the base of the slope over a distance of about 4km eastwards; and third the wider valley floor to the southeast-east of Tot and the main River Kerio floodplain and low terrace area towards Pokot where the Canadian Red Cross has extensively cleared land for a new irrigation system and multiple field plots over an area of some 250 hectares.
A more detailed report of these observations and the soil profiles described has been placed on file and will be incorporated into future research. The following provides a brief summary of the observations so far:
Welcome to this new site on Marakwet heritage which has developed out of a range of previous research conducted by Professor Henrietta Moore and Dr Matthew Davies. This site is currently under construction but we look forward to developing and adding to the site over the coming months.
For further information on current projects please see:
You can also find more information via the personal websites of Henrietta Moore and Matthew Davies