Up in arms over fish in Kenya’s far north

By Kang-Chun Cheng

Posted on Thursday, 9 March 2023 17:39, updated on Friday, 10 March 2023 11:29
A boy beside a pile of sun dried fish by Kerio delta in Turkana, ready for market in nearby villages. (Kang-Chun Cheng)

At times, Turkana county in Kenya’s far north might as well exist in its own world, separate from the rest of the country, particularly the cosmopolitan glitter of Nairobi. For the myriad of pastoral communities here, traditional ways prevail. Animals signify wealth and social status, especially manliness. The Turkana is one such tribe boasting a proud pastoral lineage. Important life events, such as weddings or births, still revolve around rituals requiring the slaughter or exchange of animals.

Reporting in this story was supported by the Pulitzer Centre.

Kenya has missed five consecutive rainy seasons since September 2020. The drought has not only killed an estimated 2.5 million livestock but led to a palpable shift in many traditional pastoral communities’ livelihoods and sense of identity.