‘We Need Water Before Oil’: Kenyan Communities Scarred by Chinese Oil Exploration

Source: Desmog UK


Read time: 8 mins

The repeated honking of a speeding Tawakul shuttle announces the return of travellers to Merti from distant towns at dusk. It also marks the close of another searing and slow day in this part of northern Kenya.

Idling villagers’ faces are suddenly lit by the prospect of seeing their families as they rush to meet the late arrivals, stirring this sleepy shopping centre into activity.

Wako Ade, a local motorbike taxi rider nods towards a reunited couple as the dusty vehicle empties its passengers at the bus terminal and says with frustration: “We are tired of this life. The bus is our only connection with Kenya through Isiolo town. I think the rest of the country forgot us.”

It wasn’t always like this.