Just upriver from the Turkana Basin Institute, a revolution is taking place.
On a small plot of land along the riverbank a women’s collective is trying to cultivate crops. There are a couple of factors working against them. First and foremost, the Turkana are not farmers. They are herders, and much of their traditional subsistence knowledge centers on caring for livestock, not sowing seeds. Second, the sandy soil of Turkana doesn’t exactly scream amber waves of grain. And finally, as women, their position in the social hierarchy as farmers is still being navigated in the patriarchal Turkana culture .
Despite these issues confronting their efforts, and many more, the women’s collective has (so far) successfully transitioned about thirty women to the sedentary farmer’s lifestyle. We had the opportunity to visit their two acres of cultivated earth to witness the revolution in action.