Words from Kenya

Oil and Water in Turkana

People fight wars over oil and it is predicted that in the near future people will fight wars over water. There is now evidence to suggest that the remote, arid Turkana district in the north west of Kenya has both. Turkana district, especially the northern half, is very poor, politically marginalised and with little in the way of infrastructure. It is peopled largely by nomadic and semi nomadic pastoralists whose skills and traditional knowledge enable them to live, without the aid of modern technology, in an incredibly harsh land and alongside often hostile neighbours. Here men feel naked without a gun and encroachment on the scarce resources needed for life by people from neighbouring ... Continue Reading

Seasons on a Parched Equator

It is wrong to say there are no seasons here so close to the equator. The hours of daylight may not change more than a few minutes throughout the year and the temperature is always hot or a bit hotter but the environment changes every bit as dramatically as it does in higher latitudes. The changes that come with the transition from wet to dry season make such utter transformations to the landscape, the colours, smells and sense of the place. From lush verdant land of plenty to bleached out semi desert. In a place where people still live off the land it completely changes the mode and pace of life. During the wet season some people, till, plant and weed small patches of ground. ... Continue Reading

A Day in Northern Kenya

It is early evening, there is a chorus of frog sounds coming from the nearby marsh and goats and sheep bleat in the surrounding homesteads as they sort themselves out for the night. The sky is still slightly lighter in the west and the hills that form the beginning of the Laikipia Plateau are silhouetted against it. To the east the sky is already full of sharp stars in the clear unpolluted air. My brother-in-law is trying to choose a sheep from amongst my husband’s herd. He is very particular, he wants a fat one. This means a big healthy sheep but it seems to mean something else as well that I don’t quite understand, even after 8 years of this kind of thing. A little over a week ago my ... Continue Reading