Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Pokot is the sub- tribe to Kalenjin community where they are found in the northern part of the country. Some are likely inhabited at Loruk, is not far from Kampi ya samaki trading centre in lake baringo.They are nomads, they move from one point to another in search of pasture and water.

They are control by council of elders; they have well respected and honest old men who are appointed by the community so as to settled out dispute which might a raised in the society. They have rain makers who can tell the seasons of rain and drought.

They have simple huts made from Grass, Mud, Cow dung and small branches
Only married women are responsible for building the huts, these houses are short with small windows and an open entrance. The roof is attached with grass while the walls are smired with cow dung. They make windows for ventilation and the doors are kept short to facilitate security and respect- when one enters has to bend to the entire entrances.
These houses are multiple for several wives because it is a taboo for this community to marry many wives. Young girls sleep together with their parents whiles the older ones in a different hut. Boys are the men of tomorrow and they are force to sleep outside known as “Aperit” so as to safe guard the homestead.
All livestock have different bomas only for the young ones have enclosed hut to protect them against rainfall and strong heat. They burn cow dung and other materials at night within their compound to act as mosquito’s repellant.

The main stable food is milk, meat, wild fruit and grains. Milk is only for young children. They slaughter animals occasionally and collect blood so as to mix with milk for the Moran .Meat is not eaten randomly but there are specific parts women or men are not suppose to consume. For example front hide legs are for women while back hide legs for men. Women are warned not to eat the tongue because they believed they will speak a lot.
In the wild there are same special food grains just like beans that needs long boiling example”Sirich”.This is done during drought time and most disadvantage it has bitter taste.

It is an important function to this community where teenage boys and girls underwent this practice. It is only when the food plenty, Boys ands girls are circumcised at the same time but different venues. After a month later they are allowed to join the rest community. They are ready to marry.

It is a crucial event which needs organization from parents of both partners. The negotiations of wealth are made strictly where 40 goats, 20 sheeps, 10 cows and 7camels are enough payment for search function. During this period animals are slaughter and many ceremonies are done such as dancing, drinking and singing. Animal blood, cow dung and soft clay are necessary to make “sabana” (mixers is onto their heads both married lady and the man) to recognize them and given honor by the rest people.

They still used skin as matrees.the beds are constructed one meter above the surface to avoid flooding and provide security against snakes and dangerous insects.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013


The ostrich is flightless bird that actually native in the country. It is the largest living bird and has managed to generate a lot of curiosity among people due to its large body size and inability to fly.

The ostrich belongs to the ratite family of bird. The male ostrich is called a rooster while a female ostrich is called a hen. The ostrich’s eye measures almost two inches across which makes it the largest eye of land animal. The ostrich is the largest and heaviest living bird in the world.
The bird is flightless bird for many reasons. 1st it has small and loose feathers and does not have a breast bone which is common to most birds. An ostrich can go onto life for almost fifty years.
An ostrich habitat varies and though they were initially found in the savannah region and certain parts in the country. Female ostriches have the uncanny ability to recognize her own eggs, even if they are mixed with those of other female ostrich in their communal nest.

An ostrich hen can lay somewhere between forty to hundred eggs in a year. One ostrich egg weighs 1.6kg or 1600 grams, which is equivalent to the weight of about twenty four chicken eggs and takes two hours to hard boil. An ostrich egg hatches in forty two days. Ostriches are very powerful birds much so that a single kick to a predator like a lion, dogs or hyena could prove to be fatal.
Ostrich can run at a pace of up to 70 km/h. thus, they can outrun most land predators such as lions, leopards and hyenas. A fully grown ostrich has one of the strongest and most advanced immune systems known to mankind. Despite being a flightless bird, ostrich have wings which serve much other purpose. Ostrich hold their wings out to help them maintain their balance when they run, which specially comes in handy of the suddenly change direction while the main purpose of their wings is to display them along with their tail feathers during courtship. To show dominance an ostrich holds its head up high and lifts its wings and its tail feathers. To show submission, the head, wings and tail drop down.

When an ostrich senses a danger and cannot run away, it flops to the ground and remains still with its head and neck flat on the ground in front of it. As the head and neck are light colored, they seem to blend with the soil which makes it look like the ostrich has buried its head in the sand. Ostrich meat resembles beef in its appearance and is cooked in a similar manner as the beef. This meat is very low in cholesterol and is almost free of fat. Ostriches are omnivores and they eat whatever is available in their habitat at different times of the year, they mostly eat plants, especially the roots, seeds and leaves. They enjoy munching on insects like locusts and small animals like lizards.

They get adequate amount of water from plants they eat. Although they drink water if they reach a pond or water holes. They prefer to live in groups which help them to keep predators at bay. Due their long necks and keen vision, they can see long distances and from a distance. The ostrich has only two toes on each foot, which helps to give it more speed while running.

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Monday, July 8, 2013


There are many species of snakes in the world. The enormous ones like the python, which can swallow animals as large as a whole gazelle. Snakes can be found in all types of habitat, while some climb trees, others live under ground, and still others found in lake water and even sea water.
Snakes occur in a large variety of colors ranging from dull to brilliant with striking pattern. Snake that have dull coloring use it for camouflaged, while those which are brightly colored are usually poisonous. They use their bright color to warn predators to stay off. Some non poisonous snakes mimic the pattern and bright colors of poisonous snakes to fool predators.
Snakes are cold blooded, which means they do not have the ability of generating adequate amount of heat in order to keep their body temperature at a constant level. Instead they are dependance on heat from their surroundings and the sun to control the temperatures of their body. This is the reasons most of snakes are found in humid and warm climes of tropical regions.
Snake are reptiles with an elongated body that is flexible and limbless. A snake body frame is dependent on the habitat they live in. for example, snakes that burrow underground have a tendency of being more compact whereas the type that live in trees tend to be slender and long equipped with a prehensile tail which they use to grasp branches while the body of aquatic snakes is generally flattened.
Snakes do not have eyelids; a transparent scale protects their eyes. They are deaf to airborne sounds and they hear by picking up vibrations through their jawbones. The part of the body in direct contact with the ground have incredible sensitive hearing which enables a snake to sense and detect the position of prey.
Snakes use their forked tongue to smell. The tongue gathers particles that are airborne which it then passes to a specialized organ located on the roof of the snake’s mouth that gives a directional sense of smell and predators simultaneously. To determine the presence of prey or predators in the local environment, the snakes keep their tongue constantly its motion.
A venomous snake usually has broader head that bulges out behind its eyes where it stores its venom. All snakes are purely carnivorous. As they bit or chew their food to pieces they have to swallow the prey. Snakes have more teeth to bite and grip their prey securely. Snakes have a unique ability of swallowing their prey times larger than their mouth, they can do this because of the special tendons.
Snakes have the ability of surviving without food for many days at a stretch after having a filling meal. This is because they have a slow rate of metabolism. The snake’s heart is able to move around its body. This adjustment protects the heart when large prey passes through the esophagus.
A snake becomes dominant after eating while digestion takes place. Digestion of snake is intensive activity. Therefore if disturbed the snake’s digestive enzymes dissolve and absorb everything but the prey hair and claws which are eliminated it’s excreted.
Snakes are eaten by communal tribes, snakes soup is considered good to warm up the consumer’s body during cold weather. Snakes blood is mixed with liquid to improve its taste. Snakes shed their skin regularly while they grow a process called molting. They shed their skin by rubbing their head against something rough and hard, resulting in the skin peeling of from their heads enabling them to crawl out, turning the skin inside out. Older snakes may shed only twice a year while the younger may shed up to four times a year.
Snake usually mate in colder climate. Male snake try to attract attention of a female snake by fighting with other male snakes who also want the same female snakes only to win the fight. Female give birth to baby snakes in about 2 months, they abandon the eggs shortly after laying them. Some snakes retain the eggs within their bodies until they are ready to hatch. These babies are born covered with a thin membrane.
The baby uses an egg tooth to rip off membrane and crawl free.

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A long the valley of the Tugen hills where Tugen community live, which are the sub-tribe of kalenjin enrolled themselves in bee keeping by use of traditional bee-hive

It is a simple log cut out from a specific trunk of tree, then split into two equal parts where the inner parts are chopped to make a hollow sample. The parts are smoothen regularly so as to allow further finishing. Blood from the Zebu male cattle plus the cow dug are smired to the inner parts to enhance attraction of the bees into the bee hive .After all these have been accomplished the bee hive is kept between two to three days to dry up completely.

The old men from the same age mates just between the age of sixty and seventy years are called upon to do a ritual sacrifices where a white he goat is slaughtered as a way of blessing the owner of the bee hive to get the best honey and as well enabling the bees not to be so wild when harvesting honey
The bee hive is ready to be put in place. It is taken to a big acacia tree close to a water source then it is hung in one of the branches where it will be possible to stand when harvesting honey.
After sometimes between two to three weeks the bees are seen moving in and out, some collecting nectars while others are responsible of securing the bee hive. Usually the bees makes the honey in the upper inner half bee hive while they settled in the lower half part .The honey is made in bundles depending on the size of the bee hive; The bigger the hive the more the honey bundle.

The honey is harvested after three months time. Traditionally the honey is harvested in two ways; the first method the honey is harvested by use of smoke from a burned dry wood. The young men climb up the tree with a burning wood at night with an interest of harvesting honey from the bee hive. He also carry with him a skin bag (tokol) where honey is kept. The chopping sticks is another requirement for opening the bee hive and cutting the honey bundles. The second method; this is done during the day where no equipment is used to chase the bees a way, only one smire himself with a thick clay to his body,face,hands and legs and anywhere in the body to facilitate better security.When the honey is harvested, it is purify for a better storage. The honey is put into a clean containers and left in hot sun. .The honey melts to its point then all wax are sieved and kept in a clean dry container for future use.

The honey is not eaten more often as people though but is kept for special occasions. The honey is a source of energy, as medicinal value, and also used to make local brews for ritual ceremonies such as circumcision, marriage and rain making

It is a spiky plant that grows from 1.5M-2M high. It?s a widely common in a semi arid region. It has large leaves full of thorns with a red sweat fruit surrounded by spikes. The fruits are edible by humans, birds and domestic animals. The leaves are quite important that play a major role in some communities. The leaves are cut from fully plant then spread in a line of a compound to make a constructive fence. During dry season the leaves are sliced into small piece after all thorns are burned then it is used as animals? fodders. Leaves have high percentage of cellulose and help in digestion.
The flower plays a major role in ecosystem where it facilitates nectar's for bees. Cactus plant is sometime grown in a deep valley so as to control soil erosion by the help of roots and leaves. In some communities like luos community who live in the western shore of Lake Baringo they are not happy to have such plant In their homestead since they dislike the thorny leaves cactus which might bring harm to their family.luos community are major? fishermen and they do not recognized the advantages of cactus plant as animal fodder.
The ilchamus community who lives on the southern shore of the lake baringo they are pastoralists hence they have a quite advantage of this plant where in most cases they grow more in their fence so as to safe guard themselves and their animals against any raids because they are impassable plant.

The pokot community most of the women and young ladies they normally do a lot of hand craft such as necklaces, baskery, calabashes, and many others. They use the cactus spike as needle in such duties.

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The lake baringo is in the northern part of the Great Rift Valley with a surface area of 168 square kilometers and elevation of about 3,180feets above the sea level. The lake is fed by several rivers, Molo, Endao, Perrkera and Ol arabal, and has no obvious outlet but it has been believed to have underground outlet in the northern part of the lake. The waters are assumed to seep through lake sediments into the faulted volcanic bedrock. It lies off the beaten track in a hot and dusty setting bed rock. It is a critical habitat and refuge for more than 500 species of birds and fauna. A Goliath heronry is located on a rocky island known as Devil Island.

The tugen hills, an uplifted faulted fault block of volcanic and metamorphic rocks, lies west of the lake which runs for approximately twenty kilometers long which enhance the best attraction as a view point to the lake and all surroundings. The laikipia escarpment lies to the east. Water flows into the lake from the Mau hills and Tugen hills. The lake also provides an invaluable habitat for five fresh water fish species namely: Tilapia, cat fish, lung fish, Libelous and black barbas.Tilapia is endemic to the lake.

The Africa lung fish which was introduced to the lake and which now provides the majority of fish output from the lake. The lake is commonly turbid with sediments, partly due to intense soil erosion in the catchments especially on the south of lake. Lake fishing is important to the local social and economic development. The most fishermen round the lake are the IIchamus community who normally lives in the islands and at the southern shore of the lake.

The lake has several small islands:Ol kokwa, Devil island, Rongena island,Parmolok island,lokoros island,kopuso island and Longicharo island. The longest island being Ol Kokwa Island is an extinct volcanic which is located at the centre of the lake? The island measuring five kilometers in length and one kilometer across which is a bout five hundred hectares of land. A group of hot springs discharge a long the shoreline  north –eastern corner of the island and has several fumarole,some of which have precipitated sulphur deposits.Ilchamus community inhabit this island where five hundred and seventy people lives here. Both women and men they practice fishing as their main economic activity. They used a simple raft made of balsa wood as a mode of transport. At this island, a school, dispensary, and fish market is available here.

The Parmolok Island is the second largest island of about ninety hectares of land. The island is being owned by Ilchamus Moran who intended to marry five wives and blessed to have twenty seven children. It is quite unique island due to vegetations of medicinal plants .The rocks arrangement of this island facilitate good view .He keeps Goats, Sheep ,Cattle and poultry Apart from this he does fishing to earn a better living for the family


Termite worker build and maintain nests which house the colony. these are elaborate structure made using a combination of soil, mud chewed wood or cellulose, saliva and faces nest has many functions such as providing a protected living space and water conservation. There are many nursery chambers deep within the nest where eggs and first larvae are tended. Nests are punctuated by a maze of tunnel-like gallery that provides air conditioning and control carbon dioxide and oxygen.

The termite hill has a long hollow chimney usually grows longer. Strong rainfall and human beings destroy this chimney. In most cases chimney is built slightly narrow as it grows up to facilitate security for the entire insects beneath the earth crust. Additional most chimneys bend   towards north way and south way to escape direct sunlight.


A primary queen has a great capacity to lay eggs in some species, The mature queen has a greatly distended abdomen and may produce 20,000 to 30,000 eggs a day .The abdomen increases the length to several times more than before mating and reduces her ability to move freely .And attendant workers provide assistance. When the queen mates once with the male and stores the gametes for life, as the male termites dies shortly after mating.

The winged caste as the reproductive caste and they are only termites with well-developed eyes .In a distinct dry season, the winged caste leave the nest in a large swarms after the first soaking rain of the rainy season. After landing at an acceptance site, where they mates and attempt to form a nest in damp earth.


Workers termites undertake the labor of food storage, brood and nest maintains and some defense duty. Workers help in the colony for the digestion food.

The soldiers has behavioral specialization providing strength which are primarily useful against termites attacks .Many soldiers have jaws so enlarge, they cannot feed themselves but instead, like juvenile are fed by workers. Simple holes in the forehead exuding defensive secretions are a feature of the family. Soldiers are usually blind.


Termites are generally group according to their nest and feeding habitats All termites eats celluloses in its various forms as plant fibre. Cellulose is a rich energy source but remains difficult to digest.
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