I travelled to Lokitaung specifically, in the northern part of the county, about a five-hour drive from the county capital Lodwar. It’s a long and bumpy drive. For a small part of it, you can just about make out Lake Turkana is the distance, which is the world’s largest desert lake. Other than that, it’s a repetitive landscape.
The land here is semi-arid, so it’s not quite the dry dusty desert that can be found on the other side of the lake. It’s described instead as a scrubland. There are patches of green but they are usually trees or small thorny shrubs. Grass grows here too, during the rainy seasons. But it was in short supply when I arrived. The rains had failed for two consecutive rainy seasons, plunging the region into drought.
Roughly 800,000 people in Turkana are affected by this drought. That’s roughly two-thirds of the county’s population. Of those, about 240,000 are in critical need of assistance. I was there to speak to people who were feeling the worst effects.
I was privileged to meet and spend time with three women who were kind enough to invite me into their homes and open up about their lives. Three remarkable women – Ng’ikario Ekiru, Asekon Lopua, and Attir Kataboi.
They are the female faces of climate change. All three are battling the effects of repeated droughts. ‘Turkana’ tells their stories and of the uphill struggles they face and the extraordinary lengths they are going to, just to keep their children alive.