BY JACK OWUOR
A village in Turkana South has reported a bumper harvest despite ravaging reports of drought in the area. At Kainuk, in Loyapat village, a peasant farmer Ruth Ngilimo, says she is glad that her vegetables are ready for harvest. Ngilimo says she has been irrigating her farm with water from River Turkwell. “I water my plants, including the maize plants, using a bucket,” she said. “Several of us villagers in Loyapat now grow foodstuff for our families and sell the excess produce in the market” she added. Ngilomo said she got a bumper harvest because she works hard in her farm and does not rely on relief food.
Apart from kales, Ngilimo and other farmers in the area gro tomatoes, spinach, pumpkins, beans and maize without any help from the government to irrigate their farms.
But 15km from Loyapat, Kaler Uyereng and his wife Achuka Kaler have been waiting for relief food and are malnourished due to the famine that has hit the Northern part of the country for months. They have little, if any to eat and besides them is a bowl of wild fruits. “We have been without food for about three weeks now and the government has not come to our rescue,” Kaler said.
The disparity in the two areas is explained by Raphael Lokol, the NCCK North Rift Peace Building coordinator. “The communities have embraced agriculture and settled to farming after relative peace prevailed between the Pokot to the South and Turkanas to the North and this is a clear testimony that Turkana can do without relief supplies if peace prevails.”
Lokol said that Kalapata is a hostile area which means that Kaler Ureyeng and his family cannot settle peacefully to grow crops ” We need peace in Turkana,” he adds.