Friends of Lake Turkana is a community trust. Our work therefore revolves around communities.
One of our focus, therefore, is campaigning for the rights of marginalized communities whose livelihoods are threatened by ‘development’ and government/corporate victimization. We campaign for the rights of communities to enjoy healthy environments and to access their natural resources.
FoLT was registered in 2009 and for years we have fought environmental injustices, violation of community rights and threats to our diminishing natural resource by both natural and man-made causes.
FoLT founder and director, Ikal Angelei, says “For millions of people around the world, a degraded natural environment means hunger and chronic poverty that costs lives – Lake Turkana basin is no different. FoLT’s struggle in the Lake Turkana basin is in pursuit of environmental justice, resource governance and community rights. It is a fight for our basic human rights to live and to use our natural resources not just for this generation but also for the future. It is a fight for the right to preserve and protect pristine natural areas that we borrowed from our children and the right to be heard when we put forth our agenda”.
“Through our struggles as Lake Turkana communities, we are saying that it is no longer acceptable for perceived development to be undertaken at the expense of human rights and ecosystems that have served us for centuries. It is no longer acceptable for governments to treat us as second class citizens with the perception that our livelihoods do not add much to the GDP. It is no longer acceptable for communities who are not directly affected by our challenges to turn a blind eye to our pleas and cries”, she adds.
FoLT works with local governments and communities to bring out the needs of communities and to educate them on their rights to resources and a healthy environment. Since the formation of counties in Kenya, FoLT has been training county governments in the Lake Turkana basin on rights and on environmental custodianship. This is geared towards eliminating environmental injustices in the area.
“We cannot risk losing the momentum of illuminating environmental injustices around the world. We at FoLT are committed to ensuring that environmental justice, natural resource use rights and community rights stay high on the political agenda, and that decision making that affects environment and natural resources is based on solid science and the rich indigenous knowledge of our people. Decision making will be based on good principles of governance and it will reflect the perspectives of the communities within the Lake Turkana basin”, concludes Ikal Angelei.