:: Specific Design Brief
MIGORI AND THE AREA AROUND LAKE VICTORIA
Peanuts are widely grown for use in the home as an ingredient in soup, porridge, puddings and cakes. They can also be turned into a powder to feed small children. Recently they have been seen as a way of making a small enterprise income by using a peanut milling machine. (For more details, see Money for Peanuts, available from Practical Action, which will soon become a case study on the STEP website, accessible through www.stepin.org)
In addition to peanuts, people also grow maize, beans and pineapples that can sometimes grow in sufficient quantities to be marketable. Although other fruits and vegetables are grown, they are rarely harvested in sufficient quantities for them to be sold. It's only in good harvests that some people have a surplus to sell. Sadly, that's also the time when prices are lowest. Some stock piling is done, e.g. maize, but it needs to be picked at the right time to ensure weevils don't attack it in store.
Daily life is tough for most people. Three-quarters of the population are involved in agriculture in some way. Most are self-employed. Many of the men will also seek casual employment in nearby towns whilst the women and children look after the animals and manage the farm as well as looking after the family needs. That often involves spending many hours every day collecting water and searching for firewood.
Over 95% of the population has no access to grid electricity. A very small proportion are beginning to benefit from micro-hydro electricity schemes but outside Nairobi and the other large towns, most people rely on kerosene for lighting and wood-fires for cooking and heat. Poor health is widespread.
Most people live
from day to day. They make whatever they can from whatever they can sell. Some
might collect water in jerry cans on a hand cart or bicycle and sell it to
others. (They will collect it from either pipeline water points or rivers.) Some
make charcoal and sell it at the roadside. Some sell fruit or fish at the
roadside. They eke out whatever they can. It will often be only a few shillings
(100 Kenyan shillings = £1 approx), which means they only have a few shillings
to spend on the daily necessities. When they have a crisis, they may sell an
animal or any surplus they have put aside. It may be a health problem, or they
want to send another child to school, or they need a new part for a machine.