First mapping party in Marigat!!

After remote mapping and planning how to cooperate with local volunteers we were finally deployed to district called Marigat for our mapping in the field. Our mission was planned from Monday to Thursday, so we had to work hard also in the weekends to have everything prepared before we go. We looked forward to do real work in the field and also to get warm ourselves in this area a little (because Molo with altitude 2500 m n. m. is not so warm like we expected). On Monday we got up very early to be in our meeting in Marigat on time. NECOFA, our supporting organisation in Molo, helped us to organize meeting with local stakeholders in Marigat, so we did not have to visit everybody separately. Our presentation was welcomed very well and our work was promissed to be supported. In the afternoon we selected a few local volunteers to be able to start with field mapping as soon as possible. In the evening there were every necessary steps done and we had before us three very bussy days full of mapping. Nobody would believe that the cooperation with local volunteers will be so useful and efficient. We divided ourselves into smaller groups and spread in Marigat town. These young motivated people built a bridge between local people and our mapping community. It was nice to share our skills and their knowledge about the area together. Work with them was very pleasant and we were full of african mood with them. One afternoon we focused also on flooding area along Molo river. Sometimes we had to face many challenges like crocodiles in the river, communication with people and unaccessability of some places. In the evenings we were nicely tired from walking whole day in hot and sunny weather. But it was nice to share our stories from the fied mapping in the evenings. Last day in Marigat we trained local volunteers to edit data which we collected in the field to OpenStreetMap. Finally we saw our results and felt that our work was understood well and has some real purpose. When we were leaving Marigat with full bags of local fresh fruits we had good feeling of well done job. We assessed this mission like a good and successful starting point from which we can move and improve our work. Let´s continue!!

 

Lenka

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