Saturday, March 1, 2014

Can Turkana be food sufficient?

Lemukol Ng'asike in via the Star (Kenya):  Drought in Kenya, and particularly in Turkana, is not a new thing. It came calling in 1952 killing nearly 50 per cent of livestock. After almost a decade of breeding and laughing it came back in 1960 decimating the remaining livestock. Then it occurred in 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010. And now, in 2014 the cries of hungry babies and skinny, malnourished mothers can still be heard from this corner of Kenya. The culprit none other than drought.

Fruitless military operations Northern Kenya has endured countless military operations under the guise of flashing out tribal warlords and restoring peace and order. During these escapades, many innocent lives were lost, women raped and peoples' livelihoods destroyed. There is nothing tangible for one to see. Northern Kenya is still insecure. Bandits still reign. Lives are lost daily. Livestock is stolen.

Which begs the questions - what is ailing this segment of the republic? Could there be a different dose? Stronger, food secure Northern Kenya Northern Kenya, contrary to the perception of many Kenyans, can stand on its own. It can feed its people. It has the potential to produce more than it needs. There are reasons why this has never been achieved. Convoluted thinking is the mother of all the ailments bedevilling the north.

The people of northern Kenya have more than 58 million livestock. Surely, they should not depend on relief food for generations. But what is the problem? Water is still a preserve of a few. Large portions of the population can neither read nor write. They must be supported for them to support themselves. They are thirsty for knowledge....

The main street in Kalokol, Turkana, shot by Mr.matija.kovac, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license 

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