Another day in a life of a locust

Photography by Joost Bastmeijer

When dawn is still in the distance, the desert locusts hang lethargically in the trees. From a distance it seems as if the trees are covered with a dense layer of yellow flowers. With the first warmth of the sun the feelers of the cold-blooded animals start moving and after an hour they stretch their wings. And then -suddenly- one of them startles, the bunches explode and send thousands and then millions into the air. The sky is strewn, the light is dim. The desert locusts take over the world at Kamuwongo in northeast Kenya.

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In Makueni the arrogance of power and corruption are being resisted. And that is exceptional in Kenya

Wote(Joost Bastmeijer)

All pictures by Joost Bastmeijer

At the end of the day , beaming with confidence Salome Nzyoka walks into a nursery in Wote to pick up her son. “I have been empowered”, the young woman says. As a member of the people’s committee, she oversaw the creation of this childcare center.

Since the introduction of a new constitution in 2010 citizens in the county of Makueni have been involved in new development projects. In this case it is a day-care centre, but it could also have been a mango processing factory or a dam. The secret of success? Using the money for development in a transparent, non-corrupt and democratic way. It is so simple but at the same time for Kenya it is a remarkable political renewal, led by 65-year-old governor Kivutha Kibwana. “If Kenya ever gets a national leader like we have here in Makueni, then things will work out for Kenya”, Salome Nzyoka says.Continue reading →