The Action of Mr Kariuki

Making use of the additional insight provided by the "triangle-guide", we shall finish this unit with a self-assessment exercise that is designed to evaluate whether the user has understood what has been presented thus far.

This test involves the description of a situation where an actor is performing a specific activity. Please read the following scenario carefully and then look at the terms marked in colour in the text. Each term should then be placed under one of the five elements of the triangle model (see the drag-and-drop test to the right).

The Action

A termpeasant household in rural Africa keeps livestock (a cow, some goats, some chickens) on its land.

Mr Kariuki, a smallholder in the semi-arid area south-east of the provincial centre Nanyuki, is the head of a family of six. Mr Kariuki owns 0.9 hectares of land, with the family working two-thirds of it. The homestead is situated around 1.2 km from the river. The remaining land on the holding is not enough to feed the one cow and seven goats the family owns; communal grazing land available in the neighbourhood is therefore vital. In very dry years, the family even has to buy fodder. Some chickens are also kept on the holding. They provide eggs. If the "yield" is good and there is a surplus, it is sold within the community or on the market by Mrs Kariuki. The livestock is very valuable to the peasant family: besides providing milk, livestock acts as an insurance and investment for when times are hard (funerals, school fees etc). In addition, buying milk or eggs would strain the household budget; it is important that the family produces at least part of their staple food. Mr Kariuki's two young sons are responsible for herding the goats; the cow is kept near the house."

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