Friday, May 13, 2011

Working and Reading from Kwamebikrom in the Bia District of the Western Region, Ghana

Yesterday I travelled to Kwamebikrom to fine-tune my questionnaire and carry-out a research on agricultural intensification in the Bia District, a research that would take me three weeks - minimum - to complete the first phase. Consequently, I would be here - Bia and Juaboso districts - for at least three weeks. Internet connection is not fast but would blog and show pictures whenever possible. As most of you know I work as an Agricultural Economist and it is that which has brought me here. I am having all the fun, breathing in all the fresh air devoid of 'big-town' pollution. It's always enjoyable being close to nature. However, people in this community are eagerly and adopting 'town-life'. The sun is low, the feels like it's going to rain. Bia is home to two forest reserves: the Bia and Krokosue Forest Reserves. More information here. I won't report on easily accessible information, which I possibly might have not seen myself. All my information to you would be actual experiences. Today, we went to the Chief's house to formally introduce ourselves. The Chief's name is Nana Kwame Bih III. He is a nice man and speaks calmly, stammers sometimes. He's made his services available to us. From there, I worked on my questionnaire and my colleague anthropologist went to talk to the people. In the afternoon, we went to Essam - the district capital - to eat. I usually do not take okra but the woman - not asking - serve us with okra and palm nut soup and banku (from corn dough, if you aren't a Ghanaian). So, I have taken my first okra in so many years. There is a small Guest House in the community. And that's where I am lodged and would be for the next three or four days.

Tomorrow I would be testing my questionnaire, fine-tune it again on Friday and start with the GPS data points collection of land use types. Saturday and Sunday would be used for training of enumerators. Actual household data collection would begin on Monday.

Whilst working, I would be reading The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood in my free times. In addition to this, I - absurdly, because I don't read that much in three weeks back in Accra - brought three novels and a travelogue to be read. I regularly would be updating you on my reading and my activities here with time.


  1. Looking fwd to visiting the Bia District for the 1st time, through you. Have a productive trip.

  2. I hope to do my best. Keep visiting...

  3. Have a nice trip! It would be a pleasure to read your reports from the Bia district. I am reading Ayi Kwei Armah's "The Beautiful One Are Not Yet Born" right now, so it would be a nice pairing!

  4. @Stefania, now that you've mentioned it, I believe there are some points of commonality between the two books. One dystopian futuristic fiction, another a corrupt, decayed present with a positive hope to the future.

  5. your work sounds fascinating. part of what i'm doing right now involves cataloging government statistics from all over the world, including a large cache we just received of african documents. probably a lot of the work i do is on books that contain the work of folks like you. i hope you have a fruitful trip and enjoy it as much as possible. and of course i can't wait to hear what you think of atwood!

  6. Probably Marie. I work with farmers researching into their production decisions and its effect on them and on the environment. Currently, working on one of such household decisions on the environment.

    Surely, I would let you know what I about the book. It's interesting.

  7. Best of luck with the work, I hope it goes well. Sounds like fun and thank you for sharing. Also, I find it impossible not to pack too many books when away as well.

  8. thanks Amy. It sounds fun but could be tiresome. I'm gnawing my way through Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.


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