Tag Archives: otuocha

The Anam Market Network: Eke Day in Otuocha

18 Jul

Potato vendor in Otuocha Market

The eight communities of Anam have a flourishing market system designed to meet the needs of each town in the region. Each town in Anam has its own “Eke” market day, which occurs every four days, and these four-day cycles are designed not to overlap with each other in order to avoid conflict between markets in various towns. These market days are clearly pivotal points for the community – a common response to questions about scheduling community meetings and outreach is “Any day but Eke.”

In Otuocha, a recent Eke day was Saturday, and the next Eke day will occur on Wednesday. Although there are always standing stalls and shops in Otuocha throughout the week, on Eke, farmers, vendors, and consumers alike flock to the river’s edge to engage in a lively series of trade negotiations. The goods for sale range from ground nuts to dried fish (used as a form of seasoning in many Nigerian dishes) to fresh garden egg (a local relative of eggplant) and okra. Perhaps the most important and plentiful crops sold at Eke market are yam and cassava. These two staples of the Anambra region are specialties of the area, represent a lucrative possibility for economic growth – given the right conditions.

Cell Phone Charging Kiosk Business Owner

Currently, traders from around Nigeria come to Anam to purchase yams and cassava only to resell them around the country at higher prices. Moreover, because Anamites do not have an effective storage system for their harvest, the majority of crops are sold during the annual harvest in August, the income from which usually lasts through approximately December, according to local sources. That income then must last for the remaining nine months of the year until the following harvest in August. Essentially the people of Anam operate within an annual cycle of famine and plenty, a pattern they are eager to escape if they can gain access to improved crop storage technologies.

Yam Trader in Otuocha

The local market also relies on a complicated network of middle men (or traders) who purchase crops directly from farmers and then resell them at a higher price. For instance, the yam trader (pictured below) rents a small stall located a bit offshore from the river. On Eke market day, he makes the short journey down to the river’s edge where local farmers arrive to sell their latest stock. Alternatively, he may sometimes travel directly to farms in the area to purchase yams, bringing them back to his stall and then selling them at a marked-up price. Anam’s economic network is rife with these types of trading relationships – a inventive means for creating efficiency in the face of failed and costly transportation networks connecting local markets (such as Otuocha) and larger regional markets (such as Onitsha and even Lagos).

New Satellite Imagery Captures Anam From Space

10 Jan

New satellite imagery has been acquired for the project area and surrounding Anam communities.  The high-resolution aerial photography, acquired through advanced imaging sensors in space, allows us to visualize the existing conditions in Anam (man-made and natural features, watersheds and agriculture).  The processed image with detailed terrain surface elevation data will also facilitate hydrological analysis, urban design modeling in three dimensions and the ability to georeference new buildings and infrastructures as they are being built, supporting legibility and navigability in the new city.


Cultivating Prosperity: Markets & Opportunity [PHOTOS]

31 Oct

The Anam people are successful farmers who produce an estimated 70% of the food in Anambra State in yams, cassava and fish. For these farmers, the urban market is the cornerstone of economic activity and livelihood as it facilitates diversity and opportunity. In order to compete with a globalized marketplace, the Anam City project team is working with the community to grow more resilient agricultural systems that can integrate technology with sustainable land use. In particular, the October 2010 site visit included dedicated research in the local market at Otuocha, and the regional market in Onitsha. The Onitsha Market is the largest in West Africa and admired by Anam people for its high level of organization and legibility. The Anam City market under development will also demonstrate exemplary design while providing innovations in storage, circulation and information technology.

The photographic slideshow above includes portraits from the Markets in Otuocha and Onitsha in Anambra State, Nigeria in October, 2010.

Water Hyacinth Chokes Ezichi River [VIDEO]

15 Sep

Project Team Presents to Anam Community

2 Apr

Community Presentation

The project team travelled from the headquarters in Accra, Ghana to the future Anam City site in Anambra State, Nigeria this week to present developments in the new city project.

Led by Dr. & Mrs. Chife, the first community presentation was in Igbo & English and detailed the preliminary research and sustainability analysis (SWOT) to the community and Elders.

The presentation took place in Otuocha and was attended by over 100 members mainly of the Umuoba Anam community in the local illu (public square).  The attendants, which included the full spectrum of residents from young children to Elders, men and women, received the presentation with interest and enthusiasm.  The Elders in particular communicated their eagerness to see the project move forward as soon as possible following several months of discussion.

In addition to continued site surveying on the first phase site (Ebenebe), the team also traveled to surrounding settlements in the region to meet with the elders and members of other Anam communities in order to promote a city-regional development program and continued partnerships.

Anam City Regional Map


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