The production of any ethnobiological work involves an enormous
number of people. A few of those involved in the production of this book are
mentioned here, but all those who are not should feel that their role was also
important and is appreciated.
Work of the Indigenous Food Plants Programme (IFPP) which led to
this book would not have been possible without the generous grant from the Ford
Foundation for which we are deeply grateful. In this connection special thanks
go to Dianne Rocheleau and Eric Rusten, Program Officers at the Ford
Foundation's Eastern and Southern Africa Office in Nairobi, for their great
interest and encouragement throughout the IFPP period.
We are grateful to the Canadian Organization for Development
through Education (CODE) for providing funds through their Eastern Africa
Regional Office in Dar-es-Salaam for production education and extension
materials. In this Scott Walter, and later Julie Holder, were very helpful. In
addition, the programme received seed money from Nog Meer Binding Foundation and
Columbine Foundation of the Netherlands.
We are grateful to Richard L. Leakey former Director and later
Mohamed Isahakia Director National Museums of Kenya for their encouragement
given to IFPP.
In nutritional research, we are indebted to S. Mbugua and J.
Imungi of the Department of Food Science, University of Nairobi for their
support and permission to use laboratory facilities for food-value analyses.
Of particular mention and appreciation is the contribution made
by the management and staff of IFPP in implementing the programme: Moses Mbugua,
Secretary General, Kenya Freedom From Hunger Council (KFFHC); Grace Kanyua,
Director, Worldview International Foundation Kenya (WIF); Joe Kuhn who initiated
the programme and worked tirelessly to get it off the ground; Matthijs de Vreede
who assisted in the programme design and continued to provide advice; David Lowe
and later Bernard Muchiri, Coordinators; Abbey Olendi, Nutritionist; Gatonye
Gathura, Communications officer; Jane Makumi, Programme Secretary; Nicholas
Maina, Driver; and the late Peter Olala, Gardener.
The success of IFPP depended highly on local leaders and
committed field collaborators who took the programme as their own, and to the
local communities contained in this book and to whom much of it belongs. We are
deeply indebted to them all.
Kajiado: J. Kimani of Maasai Rural Training Centre (MRTC)
and the staff of the Elang'ata Wuas Ecosystem Management Programme, especially
Charles Samperu, Ezekiel Roimen, Irene Katete and David Moile.
Baringo and Koibatek: Justus Kumu of the Food Security
Programme and Fr Sean McGovern of the Kositei Catholic Mission.
Turkana: Mr Karanja of the Ministry of Agriculture,
Livestock Development and Marketing (MALD&M);Turkana, KEFRI staff,
especially Rosina Auren; the staff of the former Turkana Cultural Heritage
Project (TCHP) and especially Sammy Emekwi Nalukoowoi, John Rigano, Geoffrey
Clarfield, Dominic Akeno, John Ekales, Pauline Lokuruka, and Christopher Eweikar
of Kaputir Community Health Clinic.
Kilifi and Malindi: the staff of the Malindi NGO
programme in Magarini Division. Special thanks go to Shida Kaplanga, Shadrack
Magambo, Mary Ngonyo, Charles Nzai, Rachael Kafedha, Esther Gona, Samson Chengo
and the late Edward Jeffwa for their commitment to the programme.
Nyandarua: the extension staff of the MAL&D and
Olkalou Council. Special thanks go to Marion Kaniu, Kennedy, and Jane Mathenge.
Siaya: the staff of the Lake Victoria Programme I and II,
and especially Justo Oremo.
Machakos, Makueni and Mwingi: Elkanah Odembo, Director,
World Neighbors, and the staff of the World Neighbors Ukambani Programme, Arnold
Maingi and F.S. Musembi.
Kitui: World Neighbors staff in Kitui, Alexander Mutiso
and J. Syombua.
Some additional information which benefited the book was
obtained in Kitui during the project on Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge
Systems (INDAKS) implemented by Kenya Resource Centre for Indigenous Knowledge
1994 - 1997 and funded by the European Union through the Leiden Ethnosystems and
Development Programme of Leiden University.
Final stages of the book and printing were made possible by
funds provided by the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI),
the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency (SIDA) and the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO); for this we
are particularly grateful to Frank Attere, Dr Luigi Guarino and Henry Kamau
(IPGRI), Christine Holding (RELMA, SIDA) and Robert Hoft (UNESCO) for their
interest in seeing the book published. We are also most grateful for the
invaluable contributions of Bo Tengnas, Caroline Agola, Graeme Backhurst and
Christine Holding in editing, formatting and seeing the publication through the
We are indebted to the following for checking the local names in
their various languages with great care: Boran and
Gabra: Hassan Gurancha Wario: Chonyi:
Joshua Buni Mturi; Daasanach: Richard Rogono, Eric J. Ness, Haira Makoro, J.
Yeragalech Komoi, Gosh Kuanyang; Embu: Esther Njiro;
Giriama: Joshua Buni Mturi, Kikuyu: G.M. Mungai, S.
Mathenge; Kisii: David Nyakundi; Luhya: P. Masinde,
P. Namachanja, S. Simiyu, Pius Ndinyo, Dinah Khayota; Maasai:
Joyce Nasieku, Charles Ole Saitabau; Luo: Alfred Odhiambo,
the late Peter Olala, H. Omondi Odongo; Marakwet: J.
Kasagam; Mbeere: Ephantus Mwangi Ndiritu: Meru: Faith Njeru, J. M.
Ruthiiri, Rendille: John Rigano; Somali: Abdirahman
I. Yusuf, Suleiman, Ibrahim Serar; Sanya: Komoro Badula, Baloni
Badula, Bini Baloni, Safo Badula, Godana Badula; Taita: G.
Mwachala, Teso: P. Ipulet; Turkana: Sammy Emekwi
We are grateful to Abede Kifetew of Ethiopian Curio Centre in
Nairobi for providing useful information on teff and coffee, Jacob Muhando for
plotting species distribution on the maps, Pius Namachanja for preparing the
agro-climatic zone map, and to Yasuyuki Morimoto, Geoffrey Kilili and Patrick
Kobai for their input on the final layout. We are also grateful to Joshua Muasya
who drew some last-minute illustrations.
Last but not least, our most sincere thanks go to Bettina
Ng'weno, J. Nyokabi Oteba, Francis Sikuku, the late Joseph Musyoka Kavisa and
Benedetta Nthenya who carefully entered the original work in WordPerfect and
AskSam database, Jane M Macharia and Phyllis Karanja for carrying out
corrections, Joyce Chege for entering data on late records and L. Sojah for
painstakingly matching the local names in the index with those in the main text.
Map 1. Distribution of the major
ethnic groups in