Northern Kenya
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Human Stories by Photographer Gideon Mendel Reveals How Northern Kenya Is Affected By Hunger A Contrast With Other Parts Of The Country

There are many stories which have been carried out by award winning photographers such as Gideon Mendel which reveals how the northern part of Kenya is faced with challenges. In most families, people are unable to get three meals in a day. The situation is made worse due to different factors. For instance, the insecurity in the area exposes people to risk. Droughts which occur in the area from time to time expose the people living in the area to poverty. There are times when animals die due to lack of water and pasture. The Northern part of Kenya is a semi-arid area which has been known to expose residents to cases of drought and famine.

Poverty in northern Kenya

Poor families in the northern Kenya spend more than 80% of their income on food. There are several researches which have been carried out by world organizations such as G20 where it has been discovered that there are a lot to be done. Organizations such as CIFA Kenya (Community Initiative Facilitation and Assistance) have carried out research which reveals the state of different communities in the northern part of Kenya. It is surprising to discover other parts of the country such as Nairobi the capital city and the towns near it have developed to embrace technology. You will find luxury of first world countries such as online shopping where there are many online shops where people can purchase products from the comfort of their homes.

Economic activities in the northern part of Kenya

The northern part of Kenya is a semi-arid area. It a stretches from the Somalia border, Ethiopia border then it stretches all the way to the Turkana region where it borders south Sudan. The economic activities in the region mainly involve pastoral farming where he Somali people practices cattle keeping. They keep camels and cows which they use for milk, blood and meat. It is unfortunate because during dry seasons such as when drought strikes most of the cows end up dying.

Oil exploration in Kenya

The Turkana region has been recently discovered to have large deposits of oil. The oil mining company by the name Tallow oil has recently faced a lot of challenges where the local community feels like they have been sidelined due to the way revenue is planned to be shared. It is an issue which has been resolved making the northern part of Kenya have hope where the oil proceeds may be used to promote development of infrastructure in the area.

Government initiatives to improve the northern Kenya

Apart from community based organizations such as (Cifa), the government has set aside funds referred to as equalization funds which aim at improving the remote parts of the country so that they can have improved infrastructure. The funds are aimed at improving access to water among other activities which can complement what organizations such as have been doing. Accessing water is among the major areas where the county government keeps on improving.

Access to water

Accessing water has been made possible through the government and non-governmental organizations sinking boreholes aimed at improving access to water. Some communities such as the Somalis have started practicing farming as opposed to the traditional pastoral cattle keeping they had been used to . The introduction of irrigation schemes in arid areas of Kenya such as the Pokot region is aimed at making it easy for the locals to transform the way they access their daily food needs. Many people in the northern part of Kenya face malnutrition. The main causes of multination are as explained below:

Causes of Malnutrition in Kenya


Many regions in the northern Kenya face poverty. People spend more than 80% of their income on food. On the other hand, you will realize many homes have large families where the act of family planning is not preferred due to social and cultural believes. The region also tend to put less focus on family planning which makes many people in the region having large families which makes it hard for them to meet their daily needs. Lack of education also hinders the success of people in the northern Kenya. Most families are affected by poverty which make it hard for them to educate their children hence they remain in the vicious cycles of poverty. When you are poor, it is hard to get funds you can buy food hence malnutrition.

Lack of access to food

The region is mostly arid and semi-arid. It is hard for people to cultivate crops from where they can access food. Drought which strikes at different seasons leads to death of animals hence making the residents poor where they are unable to access food. The government and non-governmental organizations such as Red Cross tries to solve the problem of lack of food through donating


There are different diet related diseases which affect people in Kenya. HIV and aids is also among the diseases which make it hard for people to access food. Families are affected where the bread winner end up dying due to the diseases. Children who are left behind are unable to access food because parents are unable to buy the food for them or cultivate.


There are different types of conflicts which face people in northern Kenya. For example, the effects of alshabaab which is a terrorist organization from Somali keep on destabilizing the area. They strike from time to time which has made many people fear the area. There was a recent case where teachers from other parts of the country were unable to go to their places of work in the northern part of the country due to insecurity.

Climate change

The effects of climate change leads to development of drought among other weather effects on the environment. For example, when the area experience prolonged drought, cattle and other livestock in the area are unable to access food and water which leads to death of animals. The overall effects lead to poverty and suffering in the people who live in the northern part of Kenya.

Northern Kenya
Northern Kenya

Lack of safe drinking water

Northern Kenya regions such as Turkana lack safe drinking water. The limited amount of water available is shared between human beings and animals. It leads to spread of diseases which can be transmitted due to drinking unsafe water. The government and other non-governmental organizations keep on improving the region but it is not yet at per with the rest of the country.

Development in other parts of the country (contrast)

Kenya is a developing country which is the leading economy in east Africa. Other parts of Kenya especially the capital city have seen great improvements in technology. The introduction of MPESA and the online shopping sites makes life easy. Major world brands have branches in Nairobi.

The development of standard gauge railway connects the capital city with the coastal town of Mombasa. Development of roads such as Thika super highway connects the capital city with the nearby town of Thika. Central Kenya is known to have a lot of people who invest in crop cultivation.

Major cash crops in Kenya

The central region boosts of growing coffee and tea which are among the cash crops earring a lot of foreign exchange for the country. The Rift Valley province in Kenya boost of wet climate where farmers engage in maize and wheat growing. It is a contrast to the northern Kenya which faces drought and many people starve.

Tourism in Kenya

Kenya has attractive game parks where tourists can see animals in their natural environment. Some of the animals which can be seen in their natural environment include lions, elephants, rhino, and buffalo among other animals. The tourism sector is among the most thriving in the country.

Horticulture in Kenya

The horticulture sector in Kenya is doing well. The Kenyan cut flowers are sold in the European countries such as Europe where they earn a lot of foreign income. They are mostly grown under green houses. A town such as Naivasha which is not too far from the capital city is known to offer great flower growing opportunities.

Western Kenya region

The western Kenya region is not categorized as a marginalized region, but it faces a lot of challenges as well. For example, the region has seen the fall of sugar companies. Many people in the western region relied on sugar cane farming but the challenges facing the sugar industry in the region has made many farmers worrying. The effects of HIV AIDS also have affected the people in the region which poses a great challenge to them.

The Kenya political scene

In most cases, the Kenya political scene tends to be highly contested. In the 2007, they results to ethnic clashes where more than 1,000 people were killed. The citizens learned from the mistakes they made and they ended up changing the constitution. There are several advancements which have been made in the Kenya politics which have led to development.

Is Kenya the right place to live

If you are a real estate investor, you will find the country among the best where you can stay in the east Africa region. There are several real estate companies which have invested in the country and most of them have been highly satisfied due to the high demand for the real estate.

The coastal town of Mombasa offer beautiful beaches where hotels have been set up. Those interested in investing in the beach hotels have great opportunities. The cost of building is relatively fair in Kenya due to affordable building materials locally available. Security is assured in most high end residential areas in major towns. Due to the political instability in neighboring countries such as southern Sudan, there are many refugees who have decided to set up their homes in Kenya.

Hotels in Kenya

There are several hotels in Kenya. You will have freedom to choose from different types of hotels. You can find 5 star hotels such as Kempiski, Enashipai, Sarofa Stanley among others in the region. It is upon you to choose a hotel where you can stay according to your budget. There are many international conferences which have been held in Kenya and most of the guests who have attended got somewhere to stay.

The hospitality sector in Kenya has great potential due to many hotels. There are many colleges which teach hospitality from where many students have gained the necessary knowledge and skills which they can apply to handle guests in different hotels.

The rate of employment in Kenya

When it comes to the rate of employment, Kenya is not doing well. There is high rate of unemployment where many youths in the country are jobless. Many of the youths are university graduates but they have resorted to non-formal education as a way of improving their lives. Lack of enough industries makes the country have a lot of unemployed youths.

Agriculture in Kenya

Many people rely on agriculture for their daily food needs as well as economy. You will discover most people in the country rely on subsistence farming where they grow few crops which they use in their daily lives. Some of the crops grown in Kenya include maize, potatoes, rice in some parts such as Mwea irrigation scheme and cash crops such as coffee and tea. There are also other region such as Narok county where wheat farming is practiced.

Health sector in Kenya

The health sector in Kenya is not doing well. It is averagely run where many facilities are overwhelmed by the number of people seeking treatment. The introduction of devolved form of governments has moved the management of hospitals to counties. There is still to be done but there are a lot of investments which have been put in place as a way of trying to improve the sector. Many people seek advanced medical attention in countries such as India.

The future of Kenya

After analyzing different aspects of the country, the future of Kenya is bright. There are advancements which have been made where investment has been directed to northern parts and the less developed regions as a way of improving the quality of life.

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