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December 2, 2013

Two communities fight for food on the Kenyan and Ethiopian border

The Turkana are traditionally nomadic pastoralists, but the pastures needed to feed their herds suffer from recurring droughts and many have turned to fishing. The trend began back in the 1960s, following a devastating drought, which wiped out entire herds. The government introduced communities to fishing in the mostly untouched Lake Turkana. But now the lake is overfished, and scarcity of food and pastureland is fueling a long-standing conflict with Ethiopian indigenous Dhaasanac, who have seen grazing grounds squeezed by large-scale government agricultural schemes in southern Ethiopia. The Dhaasanac now venture deeper into Kenyan territory in search of fish and grass, clashing with neighbors. “The Turkana and the Dhaasanac have been enemies for a long time. However, before they used to fight with spears and other rudimental weapons,” said Turkana leader Pius Chuchu.--Thea Breite

( 19 photos )


A Turkana man stands in the entrance of a cattle kraal (corral) at dawn in the disputed area of the Ilemi Triangle in northwestern Kenya near the borders with Ethiopia and South Sudan on Oct. 15. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters)


Simon Choko, 44, a community leader of a fishing camp near the shores of Lake Turkana, holds his gun as he shows a bullet wound which he says he got from an attack by raiders from the Dhaasanac tribe of southern Ethiopia near the Kenya-Ethiopia border in northwestern Kenya on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana girl holds a lamb at the end of the day inside her family's cattle kraal on Oct. 14. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

The skin of a large wild cat, which was shot dead after attacking several goats, hangs on a protective outer ring constructed to keep livestock safe, at a kraal in the Ilemi Triangle on Oct. 14. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Dhaasanac man from southern Ethiopia and Kenyan soldiers from the Rapid Deployment Unit, an emergency response unit deployed due to reoccurring clashes and killings between the Turkana and Dhaasanac communities, try to lift a cow which is dying from hunger. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

Livestock is inside a Turkana cattle kraal, as food is cooked on a fire on Oct. 14. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana man looks in the direction of Lake Turkana as he wakes up at dawn under a mosquito net, at a fishing camp on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

An armed Turkana man walks towards the shores of Lake Turkana near a temporary fishing camp on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana man walks past several guns at a fishing camp on the shores of Lake Turkanan on Oct. 14. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana man pushes a boat as he prepares to venture onto Lake Turkana for the day's fishing on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

Turkana fishermen raise the sail of their boat as they prepare to fish on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

Turkana fishermen venture into deeper waters on Lake Turkana on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana fisherman sits on a boat while fishing on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A man reaches for an AK47 assault rifle during a fishing expedition on Lake Turkana on Oct. 13. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana fisherman holds a freshly caught fish on Lake Turkana on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

After untangling a fishing net from floating weeds, a Turkana fisherman attempts to climb back up onto his boat on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

At a fishing camp on the shores of Lake Turkana a boy flattens dried fish with his feet on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A Turkana boy carries a pot as he walks under a structure used to dry fish at a fishing camp on the shores of Lake Turkana on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #

A G3 battle rifle hangs from a structure used to dry fish at a fishing camp on the shores of Lake Turkana on Oct. 12. (Siegfried Modola/Reuters) #



 
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