All in all it was a big mix of land uses, and over the top of this, imaginary (or in some cases) real lines were drawn to delimit the property rights. The kitchen garden areas we tackled next; the big problem here was that many had mango and banana trees in them and it was difficult to determine where the property line might be as you walked it. Rather than confuse the trainees by recording GPS lines straight away which might need correcting, we taught them how to work with the farmer who managed the plots to walk with them before switching the GPS to determine where the boundary went. We found most of them determined features which sorted this out quite easily – a tree here, a ditch there, the corner of a building. Where the problem came is when we got to the far end of the plot away from the buildings and the farmer would wave vaguely off into an impenetrable tangle of vines. We showed our trainees how to stop the recording at one point, walk all the way round the obstruction to a second point where you could stand at a plot corner, start the tracing once more and the GPS would record a straight line between the two points.
Of course not all neighbouring farmers would agree on the lines you were drawing but we told our trainees not to worry – there was no problem about plotting two neighbouring parcels of land and having overlap. All it was doing was highlighting that there was some disagreement over where the land was that the villagers or the elders could sort out later. One of the purposes of the exercise was to show where possible disputes existed. What we had more difficulty understanding was what was the actual rights to property that people have.