SLU news

My first but not last visit to Africa

Published: 29 June 2022
Photo of Agneta Hörnell

A big thank you to the whole Dry T project and especially to Alice Turinawe, Denis Mpairwe and Stephen Mureithi for making my very first visit to Africa very successful. Indeed, it was my first travel in a long time due to spending the last 2 years in my home, so I was a bit anxious beforehand, but now I´m looking forward to visiting again.

Intensive preparations

Meeting all the enthusiastic team leaders and enumerators and finally seeing the drylands after all our planning was very inspiring. I came to Moroto to co-lead the training of enumerators for the project´s household survey. It has been a very intense first week with long discussions about the content of the survey regarding nutrition, livestock, health, land ownership and other areas. The enumerators shared their extensive knowledge and experiences from earlier field work and the local areas. The feeling was that we had managed to recruit good enumerator teams for all four sites.

Making the survey and the survey software working smoothly together was somewhat of a challenge. However, it was handled excellently (and very patiently) by the software experts Peter and Annrose who added and removed, and changed again and again according to new discussions and decisions during the week.

How tall is a hairstyle and how heavy are the Turkana necklaces?

During the training of taking measurements of mothers and children several practical questions arose. How do you measure the height of women with high permanent hairdos, and where exactly do we find the mid upper arm circumference (muac) point? And how do we handle the traditional necklaces that can’t be removed and that can add substantial weight to women in Turkana? And not least, how to measure the backpacks that were simulating babies in the training? Should or shouldn’t the shoulder strings be stretched to mimic the baby legs?

Finally, alakara to all of you!

Agneta Hörnell

Training in Uganda of enumerators
Enumerators being trained by Agneta and others in Moroto, Uganda. Photo: Alice Turinawe
Students assembling measuring equipment
Two of the enumerators, Valentine and Paul, are practising how to assemble the measurement equipment. Photo: Ylva Nyberg
The height of a child is measured in Kenya
Enumerator Josephat and the team leader Caroline in West Pokot, Kenya, are measuring the height of a young boy. Photo: Stephen Mureithi
Ongoing interview in Kenya
An ongoing interview by Philemon in Turkana County, Kenya, where the permanent necklaces can be seen. Photo: Stephen Mureithi


Logotype for the project Drylands Transform

Drylands Transform

Drylands Transform is a 4-year research project funded by Formas that started up during the Covid-19 pandemic in October 2020. It includes an interdisciplinary research team representing SLU and seven other universities and international organisations from Sweden, Kenya and Uganda. 

Visit the website for Drylands Transform.