|Kishushe residents show The Standard what passes for a road through their villages. [Photo:Pascal Mwandambo/Standard]|
By Pascal Mwandambo
He has all the reasons to worry. This is another season that his crop has failed due to inadequate rainfall.
“At this rate, we may have to rely on relief food. There’s virtually nothing to harvest. All my maize crop is now only fodder for my livestock,” he says, wiping sweat from his temple.
Mwakina’s woes are shared by hundreds of other villagers. “Sometimes when we get enough rains to sustain our crops, elephants from the neighbouring Tsavo West National Park move into our farms and destroy all our crops. It’s a vicious cycle of poverty and suffering,” says Daftone Mwang’ombe, another resident.
Tiny rich village
Located in a shallow valley flanked on one side by the picturesque Marangu Hills to the west and Ngulia Hills further south, Kishushe is a tiny village, which has been blessed with vast resources including huge iron ore and copper deposits. There is also abundant wildlife resources that are a major tourist attraction.
Yet this is a rich community that has been betrayed by history. In fact what they call “town” is nothing but a dusty shopping centre where getting even mobile phone network is a hassle.
To add to the locals’ misery, the roads are in a pathetic state. Water shortage is the order of the day. Women and children suffer endlessly searching for the precious commodity, which they ferry home on their heads and also using donkeys.
But these beasts of burden in Kishushe hardly get a chance to browse or even bray as they are gagged tight most of the time, ostensibly to stop them from feeding on the little crops left in the farms.
The village holds one of the largest deposits of iron ore and copper in the country.