Two weeks ago, we were driving in a remote ares, near Jirapa, on Ghana's North-East border with Burkina Faso. As we slowed down to negotiate a series of mudholes, I saw a car coming from the other side with a familiar emblem on the side. I waved them to stop.
They were a WFP team on their way to check one of their school feeding programmes. I guess they were as surprised to see me there, as I was to meet them, in the middle of nowhere.
We followed them to the school, and took the opportunity to shoot some pictures and do a video interview with the school in the background.
Some of the pictures. I just loved their smiles...
During the interview tour in Kenya, I had little time to take pictures from the people other than the interviewees, but I could not resist some of the kids.
We were in pretty remote places, so three muzungus with all kinds of equipment talking to their mum, grandma or neighbour stirred up quite some interest amongst the youngsters. And in turn, the youngsters stirred up my interest.
A girl minding her baby sister.
This little girl was too shy to come from behind the tree,
but still wanted to see every bit of what was going on.
These two boys were fascinated by the video camera.
Not sure of those muzungus!
Anyone doubting the effect of climate change, and how farmers can adapt continuously to changing weather patterns, should talk to Emily Marigu Ireri.
We met Emily, near Meru, eastern Kenya, where she farms a five acres plot, 1,500 meters high on the steep slopes of Mount Kenya.
She describes how, in recent years, the rains are more erratic. At the beginning of the rainy season, often it would only rain for a few days, and then stop, sometimes for weeks. “Often seeds would start to sprout during those first rains, but then they would dry up”, Emily explains. She takes us to the bottom of the valley just below her fields. “By this time of the year, this small stream would normally be a river, but now, it hardly irrigates the fields around it. A few miles from here, the river is dead, water is just absorbed by the soil.”
“But it is not only the erratic rains that makes the life of farmers difficult“, Emily explains. “Here, so close to Mount Kenya, we also used to get misty drizzle in May and June. From the time of my father’s fathers, we used that moisture for a crop in the middle of the year. Now that drizzle does not come anymore. I don’t know why, but nowadays, we can only get one harvest a year, in the rainy season. Now is the time for the rain to come." (...)
Read the full post on the CCAFS blog...
We met Glory Kinya Gitonga during our Kenya tour. We were interviewing her mother-in-law about the way she adapted her farming techniques to cope with climate change.
Glory said she wrote songs in her native Kimeru, and asked if we could videotape one called "Halleluya".
So, ladies and gentlemen, here is Glory Kinya Gitonga performing "Halleluya" in a cappella!
Mali village chief
We did not have too much connectivity during this trip, so could not post regular updates. I will catch up during next week.
During this trip, we interviewed 17 farmers and people who assisted farmers to adapt to climate changes.
After over 2,000 km, half of it off road, I am writing this from Ouagadougou while we are waiting for the flight back to Europe.
Next week we will start editing the videos.
I still wanted to share some pictures from this trip.
A nomad in Mali with his cattle
Yousif in Ghana spoke about the difficulties to find grazing grounds for his cattle
Jumuo in Ghana described the way the shortened rains had insects attack his fruit trees up to the level they would no longer bear any fruits.
While Naakpi stood in front of his large green vegetable field, he told us how most of it would be lost, as the rains had stopped, and the water level was too low to continue irrigating the crop.