The land of milk and honey

People on a boat

“Grandfather, where have mama and papa gone to?” The small child asked while clinging to the old man’s torn shirt. The old man looked longingly in to the distance. “They have gone to look for milk and honey my child”, he replied. He lifted the boy with one swoop ignoring the painful ache of his back. Together, they managed to walk to the frail tree which was in the middle of the compound. The old man sighed as he sat the down placing the boy carefully on his lap. “But grandfather milk and honey our land hasn’t had both of them for hundreds of years”. A tear rolled down the old man’s cheek but he hastily wiped it away. “I know my child, but we only hope and pray that they may return with them so that we might once again feel alive again”.

The young child’s parents had left a few weeks ago in search of food for their family. Over the years, Lokchangia where the family lived what was once a paradise haven as some would say had dilapidated and turned in to a dry waste land.  Many families in the Lokchangia community were pastoralists and the cattle they herded were regarded as their wealth. Now only a few emaciated goat and cows which were too weak to move remained in the open air sheds. The grass no longer grew as the ground was so dry it had formed cracks and brown leafless bushes covered in dust remained. Drought as they called it in their local language Urakame was a harsh reality that hit them hard.

Bacheti and Nerea, the young child’s parents arrived in the town of Naikulet. A booming urban town filled with people from all walks of life. Promises of a better life and job prospects had inevitably pulled them in to searching for a means to earn some extra money. With the meagre money they had saved they rented a small room in the Naikulet slum where they were surrounded with the ever growing mountain of garbage, the menacing flying toilets and sewage. “How are we going to survive this Bacheti?” Nerea asked her husband mournfully. “With grit and grace my sweet,” Bacheti answered holding her tight an uncertain look on his face praying and hoping that he would be able to hold it together for his families sakes.

Movement of people especially from rural areas in to urban areas in search for employment opportunities has become quite the norm as more and more people are being affected by the  devastating effects of climate change from droughts to flooding in rural areas. With ever increasing unemployment rates in sub Saharan Africa it has become difficult to get a job let alone a good paying job. Climate change is inevitably a major push and pull factor that affects people and their environments negatively.  An article on how climate change affects African migration patterns which you can read here shows how dire the situation is. People are moving in the droves from countries like Somalia and Libya to Europe and others to countries like South Africa is search of better lives. We can only hope and pray that the situation at hand is addressed by individuals and organizations for the security of future generations.