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Kenya: Greening the desert in Turkana

Diana Trompetero from the Missionary Community of St Paul (MCSPA) in Turkana, northwest Kenya, writes:

In recent years, we have been able to set up 15 vegetable gardens in the area of Kokuselei, each one of them resulting from numerous efforts due to the difficulties of introducing agriculture in a place where the population had not seen it before.

Each of the orchards is an important innovation in this mountainous, rocky and desert area where grazing has always been the only way to survive.

We had the first meeting of farmers in the area of Kokuselei to share the achievements and problems of this road through which they have decided to journey, and that involves numerous changes in their families and communities.

Everyone is happy to have the possibility of producing food and not just depending on the herding of their flocks: unstable and weakened by the constant droughts.

It has been a meeting of pioneers, concrete people who produce their own food for their families, who boost the local economy and who incorporate nutrients and new vitamins into the diet of the Turkanas, who now have previously unknown vegetables and fruits.

The team of missionaries of the MCSPA in Kokuselei gives thanks to all the benefactors who have made possible the water infrastructures and everything necessary to start up these gardens, to the team of the Furrows in the Desert program of the MCSPA in Lobur for journeying with us in this way, and to each of the farmers of Kokuselei who work for a Turkana without hunger.

As climate change affects the region, the nomadic peoples in Turkana are having more and more difficulty finding pasture for their herds. The MCSPA provides vital nutrition for about 5,000 children in their nursery schools. It costs an average of just £60 -£80 per annum to feed and educate a child.

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