Garissa!

Has anyone ever blogged from Garissa? Yes? No?
Could be, actually, as I’ve seen a very nice office here in Garissa where the dudes had a well working DSL connection. And I’ve never seen a place SO full of 4WD cars with short wave antennas – most of them of course donated by foreign governments and / or churches. This place sure is interesting – it’s my first day here until the end of this week, and I somehow like it.

Now for those who don’t know what & where Garissa is: it’s a town city in North Eastern Province in Kenya with a population of about 66.000, located on Tana River. Which is why we‘ve come here…

On the way to Garissa, we’ve passed this blocked flood bridge, where the floods actually looked for another way OVER the street….

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..and had their share of the tarmac.

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Upon arrival in Garissa, we went to the local office and found this automatic rain gauging station that had been installed by the Japanese (JICA) in 1989 – and never been serviced since then. Now that’s what I call wrong development aid. We removed it, took it with us for repairs and gave our Garissa jamaa a manual, very jua kali-made rain gauge instead. Which works and doesn’t require much service.

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We’re here in Garissa to asses the renovation costs of our local branch, and do some river gaugings on Tana river.

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Now that’s nothing else but taking a propeller-styled device, lowering it into the river from a bridge and measuring its revolutions within a certain amount of time which then translates into the discharge of the river at this specific point.

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And although there’s nothing much you can actually see, such experiments of course attract lots of people who all look down from the bridge, trying to see what these people are doing.

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In the end of the day we continued working until the rains really intensified and I ended up being completely soaked to the bones!

Doing such work also gives you the chance to see such wonderful colours:

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That thing down right is the water intake for Garissa’s water supply!

14 comments » Write a comment

  1. Great post with some very nice pictures.

    I hope the filter the water before using it – if not, point them to the post you did on this.

    – Steve

  2. Wonderful indeed! The pictures are great. Gives me a completely different image of Garissa than that I had in my mind.

    I tried accessing the wrma site and got a 403 forbidden error…

  3. was in garissa way back in 86 i think, i remember dead carcases stretching in the day and curling at nigtht and also lots of marabou stocks. also ate camel meat and milk – also there was oe place called soda baridi which was theonly store that had cold soda….. but that was 20yrs ago

  4. scheisse man,
    das nenne ich mal ne nette umgebung zum arbeiten! very nice! und die arbeit scheint ja auch okay zu sein … es muss sehr cool sein dort, wuerde ich auch gerne mal zum arbeiten (und n steak + bier) rumschauen.
    haha, das mit den menschenmassen habe ich hier genauso erlebt. wir ham nur n kleine loecher gegraben, aber ueberall kamen auf einmal mindestens ein dutzend leute an und haben einfach zugeschaut (die haben aber dafuer immer danach die gruben zugemacht).
    hast du denn schon n thema fuers diplom? bei mir is das irgendwie so ein rumgeeiere (nicht sehr spezifisch) … keine ahnung was mal draus wird.
    hau rein amigo

    p.s.: sind das geier auf dem baum :-O

  5. I’m beginning to envy you your job! You’ve practically seen every corner of this country havent you, you lucky duck?!

  6. Garissa is actually one of the fastest growing cities in kenya.

    I have lived there for 5yrs as a worker and every year it grows bigger.

    Nice post

  7. Some very red rivers. I see a lot of soil erosion. But the green is so green. Makes me completely homesick. Good job on replacing the japanese malfunctioning device with a jua kali functioning one. Now if you could get this lesson through to Kenyans to go for function not aesthaetics or price tag…

    Keep these posts coming. You’ve become and education on Kenya blog.

  8. The sad thing is that the “new” cars are all part of some aid package that is unnecessary!

    After viewing what you are doing (including your filter & rain gauge)… that is the knowledge that Kenyans need not the high-tech cars, radios or rain gauges suited to Japan!

    Great pics!

  9. Everyone, thx for the comments! I really appreciate that.

    We’ve done some more river gaugings and will leave for Embu tomorrow. As for the new cars & other “aid”: so true. These guys are used to chilling in the shadow and waiting for the GoK to come and assist them. Just look at the floods….

    @Mario: Ja, das sind Maraobous auf den Bäumen. Stinkende Viecher, aber sauinteressant und ca. nen Meter hoch! Mit Diplarbeit Thema teilen wir das gleiche Schicksal – noch hat sich da nix konkretes ergeben weil es einfach ein zu weites Feld ist. Und am liebsten würd ich hierbleiben (wenn es manchmal nicht so scheiss einsam wäre), aber erstmal Studium zu ende. Arbeit gibts genug!

  10. wonderful and great efforts….The japanese have been there and even though they have injected some development, especially in education and health…I wonder how the did not bother to repair the gauge…could be the folk using the guage never used the stuff and only reported misleading fugure..surely, if they used, they could have called for repairs.

    Anyway am Garissan and feel proud that other have positive feeling our towm..hey make it a CITY now”””hahahaha

    DUQOW
    http://www.dujis2007.com

  11. wonderful and great efforts….The japanese have been there and even though they have injected some development, especially in education and health…I wonder how the did not bother to repair the gauge…could be the folk using the guage never used the stuff and only reported misleading fugure..surely, if they used, they could have called for repairs.

    Anyway am Garissan and feel proud that other have positive feeling of our towm..hey make it a CITY now”””hahahaha

    DUQOW
    http://www.dujis2007.com

  12. wonderful and great efforts….The japanese have been there and even though they have injected some development, especially in education and health…I wonder how the did not bother to repair the gauge…could be the folk using the guage never used the stuff and only reported misleading fugure..surely, if they used, they could have called for repairs.

    Anyway am Garissan and feel proud that other have positive feeling of our towm..hey make it a CITY now”””hahahaha

    DUQOW
    http://www.dujis2007.com