Turkana Families Make Their Way Home Ahead of Christmas

5132 Views Abim, Uganda


After months in the jungles with their animals, Turkana pastoralists from Kenya have started moving back home, in anticipation for the festive season.

For a couple of days the North-Eastern Uganda-Kenya border has been a beehive of activities as families cross back into Turkana to celebrate Christmas, an event that brings together  millions of people  across the world.  

To keep the goats and camel herds in harmony, the herdsmen keep yelling and lashing them. Lowui Loseng, a herdsman driving animals back home says he is impressed by the Christmas tradition as he hopes to reunite with his family members.
He however, observes that water and pasture remain a huge challenge among pastoralists.

Lucas Lokuruka, the Lokiriama chief in Turkana's Loima district confirms the development saying apart from the festive season, there has been some significant improvement in the region.
He explains that this is the time to share with the older segments back home after months of drought. He adds that with some rains in Turkana, families would stay longer with their herds at home.

Emanuel Imana, a Turkana peace ambassador says the extended impact of drought has led to the destruction of pasture and loss of herds. He however says that the Turkana government is now putting in place climate mitigation measures aimed at impacting on climate change. 

Over 30,000 Turkana families have lived inside Uganda since 2010 after chronic drought that hit them back home. 


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About the author

Olandason Wanyama
Olandason Wanyama is the Karamoja region bureau chief. Amudat, Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Abim, Kotido and Kaabong districts fall under his docket. Wanyama has been a URN staff member since 2012.

The former teacher boasts of 20 years journalism experience. Wanyama started out as a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor newspaper in 1991 in Entebbe. Wanyama also wrote for the army publication Tarehe Sita, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) magazine and The New Vision. While not on the beat, Wanyama taught child soldiers at Uganda Airforce School-Katabi.

Wanyama is very interested in conflict reporting, climate change, education, health and business reporting. He is also an avid photographic chronicler of vanishing tribal life in the East African region.