Raychelle Ngina is among Kenyans who are working towards solving the perennial food problem in Turkana.
She has been working with locals in Turkana to set up vegetables and fruits farms using skills she acquired in Israel.
Ngina started the initiative after seeing how Israelis are able to produce food despite the harsh climatic experiences.
Here is her story as told by WoK.
Between 2018 and 2019, Ngina got an internship opportunity in Arava Desert, Israel.
She was fascinated by the fact that the Israelis produced food and even exported the excess despite the harsh conditions.
“I was so surprised to see the Israelis producing food yet their land is too dry, actually not even the wild shrubs survives because of the hot climate they even import soil,” Ngina shared.
During her stay in the Asian country, she engaged in production of onions, pumpkins, garlic, dates, grapes, pomelos and mangoes.
All this time, Ngina was thinking about communities in Turkana, and why they could not emulate farming practices in Israel.
She vowed to bring change in Turkana by teaching communities how to beat the harsh climatic conditions and produce food.
“If Israelis could produce in such a harsh environment, why were our own Turkana people dying of hunger yet their climatic conditions were not as bad as compared to Israel,” she said.
“When I came back home I was so determined to go to Turkana and bring the change, I learned the only way to deal with food insecurity was not to give them ready-made food, but teach them how to produce their own food.”
She partnered with Furrows in The Desert and offered free training to communities in Turkana for six months.
“I trained the people of Turkana about drip irrigation, most of my trainees had never seen anything growing. It was their first time to see seeds and planting anything,” Ngina said.
Ngina mentioned that she also offered training for nursery establishments, land preparation, transplanting, pest control, harvesting and post-harvest handling.
“Today those in Lobur, Kibish, Lodwar, Maisa, Katangon, Nariakotome, etc are healthy and happy, their kids have access to fresh fruit, vegetables, and cereals,” she stated.