By VINCENT BARTOO AND LUCAS NG’ASIKE
Their stares betray the wretchedness of being abandoned by their Government and forced into painful surrender to their fate. Their bodies are emaciated, cheeks sunken, skins dry and brittle from dust and thirst, and their hair literally falling off.
They are in the firm grip of famine and staring at a slow and painful death from hunger! Elsewhere in the country they call Kenya are signs of full stomachs and conspicuous consumption, yet in their furnace called Turkana — because of the vagaries of weather — crops shrivel and die, and all sources of water dry up. They are reduced to the life of prehistoric sub-humans who forage for food in the wild, and eat anything just to live one more day.
Looking at the skeletal frames of their children, some as light as a kilo of sugar, jolts and sears the heart — and begets the question: where is the Government? Many lie sprawled in hunger on the dusty bowl that is their region; if they are Kenyans, why they have they been left to face certain early by a Government they probably just get to know every five years when elections come around.
It is to one of them that we talked and got the story of how they were last week baited by their traditional enemies to cross over to Ethiopia with the promise of sweet food only to be gunned down and slaughtered like animals after hours of feasting.