Kaekunyuk village in Turkana County is hot. At three in the afternoon, the village records up to 38 degrees census.
Men are sheltering from the blistering afternoon heat under the few green desert trees while women and children are close by.
The prolonged drought in Kenya’s border county has made life harder for the locals here. Accessing water has become a big challenge to most residents in Kaekunyuk.
The locals report losing livestock due to a lack of pasture and farms that previously relied on rain drying up.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority, the drought circles in Kenya have become shorter. The authority reports link that the drought situation in Turkana is progressing to the “Alarm” stage pointing to tougher times ahead for the locals.
Despite the seemingly worsening situation in Kaekunyuk, there is a glimpse of hope brought by a borehole sunk and equipped by PanAfricare IMPACT Program.
Constructed with a goal to provide water to the community farm, the borehole is serving the community in more ways.
Kaekunyuk borehole has become a source of water for the residents’ home use, a source of water for the animals, and definitely, an important water source for the farm.
Jacinta Namada a farmer at Kaekunyuk is harvesting her cowpeas vegetables, she planted the cowpeas a month ago. “A while ago we solely relied on the rain to grow anything on this farm. With the absence of rain, farming was impossible. A few months ago this borehole was sunk by PanAfricare and pipes were laid on the farm. Farming here resumed and today we grow vegetables, pumpkins, and maize.”
A few meters away, Eunice Akiru is picking pumpkin leaves. The leaves are a delicacy here cooked/served with meat or githeri (a mixture of maize and beans). She says things are looking up for most of the locals despite the biting drought. “Relief food are hard to come by nowadays and hardly lasts to the next round. With water here, this farm has the capability to feed us in a more sustainable way.”
PanAfricare IMPACT Program funded by Bayer Fund has sunk boreholes in other villages across Turkana County. The boreholes not only provide water to the farms but also provide water for entire villages’ use.
Through such interventions, farmers’ and community resilience to the drought has been strengthened. PanAfricare continues to support communities not only in the agriculture sector but also in the health sector. The Program’s goal is to end malnutrition in Turkana through sustainable health and agricultural interventions.
By Dominic Kosgei, Communications Officer.