By MANGOA MOSOTA
The elderly woman holds her cheeks with her palms and bows her head, despair written all over her face. When she raises her head, she avoids looking directly into my eyes and instead stares blankly into space.
Awuor has witnessed the bodies of her two kin, who had been buried, washed down the stream thanks to the ever-widening gullies in the area.
Farming is impossible in this region and the skin of a cow she keeps is a grim reminder of the massive loss she has suffered as her animals fall into the gullies and died.
Roads that made accessibility in the villages and proximity to adjacent areas possible have since been cut off.
In her 57 years of marriage, Naomi Awuor has witnessed devastation, which she narrates with a pained look on a face that is difficult to conceal. Her narration would easily pass as fiction, until one visits large tracks of degraded land of Lower Nyakach, in Kisumu County.
Gullies have glopped her familyâs almost entire land.
In her owns words, she and her family are now "landlocked". Awuor, 75, and her husband Gilbert Nyangâacha, owned five acres of agriculturally productive land. Presently, only a quarter of an acre of that land can support farming activities. A section of once arable land in Nyakach that has been reduced to a wasteland. The enduring gullies problem in Lower Nyakach, Kisumu County, has also seen roads in the area cut off. [PHOTOS: MANGOA MOSOTA/STANDARD]
A section of once arable land in Nyakach that has been reduced to a wasteland. The enduring gullies problem in Lower Nyakach, Kisumu County, has also seen roads in the area cut off. [PHOTOS: MANGOA MOSOTA/STANDARD]
"When I got married in 1954, our entire land was agriculturally productive. We planted various crops such as cassava, sorghum, maize and onions. I remember at one time, we harvested close to ten sacks of maize," recalls the mother of six whose only farming activity is a kitchen garden where she grows onions.
â Gullies of deathâ