Today was a key day for the Project. The hardest/biggest part was now behind us. The chosen farmers had already gotten the opportunity to see the demo irrigation system in action, and the community was now charged to see the full system in action once the 10 farms were developed in the dry season.
However, there was a vital portion of RISE that still remained to be seen: the mindset of the people. I knew that no matter how sound and effective this irrigation system could be, it would all be for nothing if the mentality of the farmers was off. Well, I wanted to seek out what this mentality was currently like, and I figured interviews/ questionnaires would be an effective way of accomplishing just that. Initially, I used a questionnaire given to me by a Harvard professor. During our first interview, however, I saw that some of the questions did not get to the heart of what I wanted to know so I altered them accordingly as the conversation continued. Of course, I don’t speak Nkumuru (the language of Ekumdipe) so I had a translator for every interview.
(Here is a video of us doing some of the first interview)
The results were pretty solid with a general consensus on most of the questions. Also, I was relieved to see that all 10 participants had indicated that they strongly agreed that Project RISE was a worthwhile endeavor and would end with positive results. Since it all starts with them, it was important to see that they believed.