Monday and Tuesday, January 11 and 12, 2016
We have divided into two crews of Calgary geophysicists, and each crew is working with 3 or 4 refugees and Turkana drawn from the IsraAID 2015 advanced WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) class. The students are very keen. It is an opportunity to get more practical field training in what they learned in their previous 8 month course; they are provided breakfast (chai mendazi of course – milk tea and donuts) and a very filling lunch of ugali (maize paste), rice, vegetables, and goat meat; close interaction with the Calgary geophysicists; and pay of course. Both Monday and Tuesday we worked in the main laga (Turkana for wadi, or dry river bed), Laga Tarach. The open expanse of the Laga, the proximity to the Camp, the ease of driving along the river bed, and the large number of wells located along the Laga made it an ideal location to begin. On the Monday one crew collected 1.6 km of deep (120 m) looking electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) data imaging depth to bedrock, and therefore the areas of thickest water bearing sands and gravels. The other group did a similar survey, but looking less deep (70 m) with higher resolution. For both groups, things went fairly smoothly until late afternoon when thousands of school kids are released, and descend into the Laga to play soccer, roll tires, practice kung fu moves, and tag along with any geophysical survey that might be taking place.
Tuesday was similar, except we broke into a seismic refraction and ERT crew. The refugee and Turkana students are catching on very quickly, operating the GPS units, the seismic source, laying cable, placing geophones, and essentially doing most elements of the field programs that we would normally be doing ourselves.