Christiana Saiti Louwa
El Molo people, northern Kenya
One thing we know for sure is that the water level in Lake Turkana has gone down. The eco system is also threatened and desertification is also a major concern of ours because the place is already arid and it is becoming hotter and dryer every year.
The heat has been so severe that we have lost a lot of grazing pastures. Poverty has intensified. We also depend on the lake waters and the water has become concentrated and is causing deformity amongst people.
'We are under threat of extinction'
We are under threat of extinction. Where do people go? They are not accustomed to living in highlands, they don’t know farming, they only fish and keep livestock. If the situation doesn’t change we could be extinct.
Because women are the ones who work so hard for the family they are emotionally, physically and mentally affected. They are under so much stress on how to feed their children. They undergo a lot of emotional stress.
UNEP (UN Environmental Programme) have an office in Nairobi to deal directly with indigenous people on the ground. But to deal with UN you have to be accredited. Most of our local community bodies don’t have that and they don’t live close to Nairobi.
Also when we talk about issues affecting indigenous people I would like us to talk about ‘doable’ things. To help enhance the capacity of indigenous people so we get tangible gains from all the forums we attend rather than it just being rhetoric.
We talk but we don’t know if anyone is listening. If governments are really listening then the situation should have changed for the better by now. All these interventions should bring out the desired change for indigenous people. Because the situation is not changing I don’t know if the governments and the UN is listening. May be they need to change the way they are doing things to suit the indigenous people and not their systems.