Words from Kenya

Archives for March 2017

At least 43 people killed in 5 counties in the last 2 weeks

According to my timeline I have tweeted reports of 43 violent deaths and 22 violence related injuries in the last two weeks. These reports have all originated from mainstream media or sources such as KPR, rangers or doctors. The deaths occurred in just 5 counties. Turkana County - 5 dead, 2 injured Baringo County - 12 dead, 5 injured Laikipia County - 5 dead, 3 injured Samburu County - 2 dead, 1 injured Isiolo County - 19 dead, 9 injured This number is likely to be lower than the true figure. There will be reports that I have missed and a great many violent deaths don't get reported at all, especially if it is just one or two people in a remote location without mobile signal. ... Continue Reading

Living on Rubbish in a Bright Red Dress

I met the girl in a bright red dress at the municipal rubbish dump one day, her eyes were smarting from the smoke and dust but she was excited to see me, or rather, to see what I had brought. There are no rubbish collections here in northern Kenya. You have to manage all your own rubbish yourself. It is a very good exercise in understanding just how much waste we produce on a daily basis. Here, as yet, there is not very much in the way of packaged foods. A few tinned items, some things in plastic pots, but the bulk of our food is unpackaged. Apart from the ubiquitous thin black plastic bags that they like to put everything in that is. Even eggs, which is normally a worrying part of the ... Continue Reading

It’s not drought that is causing the violence in Laikipia

Drought years are happening more and more frequently in Kenya, especially in the northern half of the country. Weather conditions are more variable than they once were, but perhaps more significantly there are a lot more livestock than there used to be. Either way, drought like conditions are now occurring every few years. Every time there are drought conditions pastoralist struggle to find enough grazing for their animals. I am married into a northern pastoralist family and over the years I have become familiar with the drill. First scouting other areas for pasture, then moving the livestock over long distances (often many days travel) to reach it, and then setting up temporary cattle ... Continue Reading