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Project March 1, 2023

From Herders to Fishers: A Tale of Climate-Induced Livelihood Adaptivity



Although traditional livestock herders have been forced to take up fishing due to untenable drought conditions on land, their emotional attachment to their animals is unwavering. Despite a drastic shift in livelihood and the market economy in this already marginalized region of Kenya, photojournalist Kang-Chun Cheng (KC) is interested in exploring the cultural continuity at the heart of this story. How do former pastoralists still perceive the wealth and social hierarchy that animals still signify for them? Pastoralists have always been adaptive in diversifying their livelihoods, but is this particular phenomenon any different than before?

The environs of Lake Turkana are highly underreported—from its fish populations, to how a major hydrological intervention in the form of the Gibe III dam in Ethiopia has impacted the Omo River, which feeds into Lake Turkana. KC plans to explore how the myriad of changes here is impacting local communities who are very much dependent on their environment for their livelihoods.

KC has been commissioned to produce an "In Pictures" feature for The Christian Science Monitor, a 1,000-word story and photos for The Africa Report, a feature and photos for Mongabay, and a photo essay for The Dial.


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Our Work/Environment

Our Work/Environment


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Environment and Climate Change

Environment and Climate Change