Graduate transforms Turkana to a farming zone after Israel internship

Rachel Ngina
Rachel Ngina in Turkana. [Photo: Courtesy]

Through the Arava Internship Programme, a bubbly Rachel Ngina cannot help but smile after making a difference that many other able people have not cared much about over the years.

Ngina is a graduate from Egerton University where she took a course in agriculture. She is the hallmark of change in Turkana, a now flourishing agricultural zone.

After she graduated, she was lucky enough to be among the sponsored students through Arava Internship Programme to fly to Israel between 2018 and 2019.

In Israel, she was challenged by the level of farming in the country which is mostly arid but still did well agriculturally.

According to her narration posted on Egerton University Wesbsite, she discovered that Israel imported soil which they use in farming.

Today, Israel is able to feed her people and export agricultural goods to other countries around the world.

With this challenge, she took her internship seriously as experts equipped her with skills to make similar change in Turkana where reports of hunger and famine depressed her.

“I was so surprised to see the Israelis producing food and even exporting their excess products, yet their land is extremely dry. Actually, not even the wild shrubs survive because of the hot climate. They even import soil,” she recalled.

With her skills, she gained courage to replicate the same back at home upbeat that she would make a difference in Turkana where, albeit temperatures are high, they are not as grueling as those in Israel.

Ngina headed to Turkana where he got arable land and brought the community together in a bid to pass knowledge about farming.

It was successful. She did it with a lot of passion. In her camp, she got trainees from the community who would continue teaching other members from Turkana community the possibility of shifting to farming.

They started off with drip irrigation and constructed furrows for water retention. She also taught them about nursery preparation, transplanting and pest control

When planting was over, there was a lot of anxiety as people waited for the results.

A few months later, they harvested the first lot of crops.

Today, her efforts have paid off as farmers from Lodwar, Maisa, Nariakotome, Katangon, Kibish and Lobur are able to feed the wider Turkana.

They grow different vegetables and cereals which are in high demand.