After an early start we headed to one of the research sites to perform biomass and faunal surveys. We experienced our first problem: the tide. Mangroves are intertidal species so we had to wait for the tide to retreat before we could head to the study site at Kinondo. This wait was a good oppourtunity to learn the finer details of measuring the biomass and counting snails and crabs. The group was split in half; I was assigned to be in the fauna group. We had to count the numbers of two species of crab burrows and snails according to size. Another issue: with the fresh high tide and the moderate rain the ground around the mangroves quickly became waterlogged making it very difficult to count crab burrows. The experiment consisted of plots of mangroves, either one of three single species, two species planted together or three species. Due to the weather and ground condition, we only managed to count three experimental plots. The other group had to measure biomass, by measuring trunk diameter, leaf count and estimation of height. After a late lunch we headed to the primary school at Gazi for the opening of a new administration block funded by Earthwatch. Two of the local Earthwatch volunteers, Michael and Robert, who attended Gazi primary school and are now studying at Kenyatta University, spoke about their journey and how any student from Gazi Village can achieve their dreams. Prior to dinner Mama Nico’s (our cook’s) husband spoke about the Kenyan medical system. At the hospital he works at in Msambweni, more than 50% of the hospital admissions are due to malaria. Hopefully the weather is a bit better tomorrow to enable us to survey more plots.1 comment
Geez, over half the hospital admissions are due to malaria? Makes you realise how lucky we are. How are the mozzies? Take care of yourself.