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by Maurizio Di Pietro

Published March 2024. ZEKE Award Honorable Mention winner

Turkana, in northwest Kenya, is the poorest and least developed county in the ASALs (Arid and Semi-Arid Lands). Almost all of the inhabitants of the Turkana district are pastoralists, so their survival depends entirely on livestock, natural resources for food, and daily activities.

In the last few decades, due to climate change, the air temperature increased by about three degrees, while more frequent and prolonged droughts have reduced the natural resource base. Pasture resources for livestock have been dramatically reduced, encouraging those closest to Lake Turkana to turn to fish as an alternative livelihood.

The area is the fuse of violent conflict. Indeed the proliferation of illegal arms from southern Sudan and the reduction of natural resources has contributed to the escalation of insecurity along the area's shared borders with Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, and other counties in Kenya as Pokot and Marsabit, causing the death of hundreds of people every year.

Maurizio's project, "Turkana" will be on display at the Bridge Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 13-May 25, 2024, and at Photoville in Brooklyn, New York, June 1-16, 2024.

Maurizio Di Pietro

Maurizio Di Pietro is an Italian freelance photographer focusing on social and environmental issues. After graduating in Computer Science in 2001, Maurizio obtained a master’s degree in photography at WSP Photography School in Rome. It was at this point during his studies, that he trained as a photographer and went on to work for several years as a stage photographer. He has collaborated with various NGOs in Morocco, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, and the West Bank, and later worked for several years in Kenya on the topic of climate change. His works have been published globally in magazines like National Geographic, Geo France, Der Spiegel, I’Espresso, and many others.

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