Turkana is one of the harshest places of habitation on earth. It has been described as:
“a horizonless frying pan of desolation, a sun-dried moon-scape of cracked earth harder than iron... Vast plains of dehydrated thorn scrub, sightless deserts and scorched black mountains. Temperatures often climb to 120 degrees in the shade... Thirst is the traveler's closest companion. The country may have been described best by the late journalist, Negley Farson, when he called it 'as close as you can get to hell on earth'." (Charles Miller, The Lunatic Express)
Turkana lacks water, pasture and other natural resources. These scarcities restrict the Turkana’s ability to grow their livestock herds and to engage in non-livestock activities such as agriculture. The Turkana seek out a nomadic existence, traveling to find water and pasture for their animals and themselves. With an average annual rainfall of 4" to 8", an unforgiving climate and barren and parched landscape, locating water and pasture is a full-time endeavor.
•Infrastructure in Turkana is minimal. There is one paved road in the entire vast area of Turkana; not even one electrical grid or fixed or mobile phone stations. As a result, the provision of basic services encounters huge obstacles.
•Healthcare is poor: an estimated 50% of the population suffers from water-borne diseases related to a lack of clean water; HIV infection rate is twice that in the rest of Kenya; only one hospital (in Lodwar), with at most two doctors on staff, serves all of Turkana.
•Education is limited, giving way to the necessities of existence, such as tending to livestock, walking for miles each day in search of water and fuel. A mere 15% of females are literate.
•Nutrition is terrible, with acute child malnourishment rates as high as 35% and chronic malnourishment prevalent. Child mortality until age 5 birth is 1 in 3; for the survivors, life expectancy is 42 years.
Where is Turkana? See our MAP page or click HERE
What are we doing in Turkana? See PROJECTS or click HERE