My County 005 Experience

County 005 was nothing like I expected.

Lamu County; located in the Northern Coast of Kenya, is one of the Six Coastal counties in Kenya. I was interested in getting to Lamu town, I had heard of the Lamu festival, the beautiful beaches and the donkeys’ mode of transport – some part of me just needed to satisfy that curiosity; you know, maybe get a donkey ride. Well I never did get to go to Lamu town – not for lack of trying but time did not permit, all the same this made me experience the town of Mpeketoni in a different light. The thing that came to mind at the mention of Mboni forest or Mpeketoni was terrorism and violence. I have to confess my travel to Mpeketoni and my stay was nothing like I expected. The drive to Mpeketoni was serene, I guess partly because of my love for long drives – the vast land and views as we drove was something. It was my first time so I was taking in all I could and enjoying it.  

As we got to the town I realized bicycles were a big part of the town. Every single person was on a bike; from motorcycles to just the normal bicycles. School children were on their bikes, and the adults were on theirs. You might ask so what is the big deal about it? The thing is I have never seen so many women and children using bikes as a personal mode of transport. Donkeys were more of what I expected but yeah! Each day we see and learn new things. I was later told that this was the means of getting around. I have to confess seeing all those school children on bikes fascinated me.

The passion the people had about the issues they were facing was just on another level; they discussed issues of the Coal plant – this was a sensitive topic for the people.”

The Dialogue itself was quite fruitful, the passion the people had about the issues they were facing was just on another level; they discussed the Coal plant – this was a sensitive topic for the people – they even did targeted press statements on this issue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4i14WRrXdM. The women also mentioned why they also needed to be heard on this particular issue https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ2wj-r4jQA . This was an issue that needed to be addressed by nonpartisan parties, for it is bound to affect generations to come. The Lapset project to issues facing fishermen in the county were also part of the dialogue. The diverse culture and people also fascinated me; for a minute I thought I was back at Kirinyanga County Dialogue – story for another day.

Lake Kenyatta Vs Lake Victoria

 After the dialogues I got to experience Lake Kenyatta, a lake that is fresh and not man made at all. Such a beautiful sight! Such, such a beautiful sight – then again may be it was the sun set – but still. It is the kind of view you could spend an entire evening just staring at – yep!  I have a thing for large water bodies and sunsets. It sort of reminded me of Lake Victoria – goodness me, the sunset sights at Lake Victoria!! Well, back to Lake Kenyatta; our cue to leave was when we were informed that in the evening hippos and other animals come out to play.

On our way out we met a family of monkeys majestically taking an evening walk –some sights though!

We were up at the break of dawn to leave for Malindi, so were the school children on their lovely bikes most probably heading for morning preps.

County 005, till we meet again.

By Mary N. Ndulili

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