The household survey is one of the centerpieces of HORTINLEA project activities. The survey was conducted under the leadership of SP9 and consisted of over 1.500 interviews done in various parts of Kenya. It was an enormous undertaking carried out over a six week period, with numerous enumerators, supervisors and team leaders in the field in six different counties in Kenya.
During the survey, the team faced a couple of challenges. For instance, in one county the Extension officers declined to participate in the survey and refused to facilitate the team to conduct interviews. Another challenge was socio-cultural in nature. Some respondents were not comfortable with certain questions due to cultural rules and as a result, these interviews could not be finished completely. To make up for these shortfalls, the number of intreviewees had to be increased in other areas.
At one point, the security intelligence even accused our team of involving themselves in criminal activity. Luckily, this misunderstanding was cleared up after the team explained what they were actually doing and the purpose of the data collection.
A member of the team reported that he learnt some astonishing details about analysed vegetables during his field visits. In one community, there seems to be one particular vegetable called Basella alba (other names: Indian spinach, Malabar spinach, Ceylon spinach etc.) that is highly regarded. Scientists do not consider this ALV as having a commercialization potential, however this may now change. A person the team met in the hospital was suffering from stomach problems and the doctor had recommended an operation. However, the patient drank soup made from Basella alba before the operation and his blockage was cleared within 30 minutes. He didn´t have to go through with the operation afterwards. One of the clinical officers also told that he advised clients to eat indigenous vegetables daily. Therefore, it’s crital that that the medicinal value of African leafy vegetable be evaluated.