Drought shatters Turkana’s dreams of a better future
In just a few years water, oil and money would flow.
Roads, schools and hospitals would follow.
To the south, in Karioreng village, Akalale Esekon tried to breast-feed her infant child, but no milk came so the baby screamed with hunger.
Compounding the drought is population growth in Turkana—at 6.4 percent a year, it is twice the national average—which means already scarce resources are quickly exhausted by people and their livestock.
It is instead the region’s biggest economy and a stable if faulty democracy, but Turkana feels like another country.
"The image of Kenya as a middle income country doesn’t do justice to the reality on the ground," said Werner Schultink, country head for the UN children’s agency, UNICEF.
The hunger is greatest in the north.
Little oil, less water In 2013, Kenya and the UN cultural body, UNESCO, thrilled to announce the discovery of a gigantic aquifer beneath Turkana that promised irrigation and enough water for all.
As the drought bites, the road ahead looks longer than ever for Turkana: some 92 percent of its 1.4 million people live below the poverty line and only a fifth know how to read and write, a figure four times lower than the national average.
"There will be more droughts," said Nakara.