The waters of Lake Victoria are calm off Dunga beach, Kisumu, as young entrepreneur Vincent and fisherman Nicholas climb into a wooden boat and head out to check on their fish. Storks perch on rocks emerging from the water along the lakeside, while further out white-sailed dhow boats cut across the breeze. “It’s calm now but, in a few hours, it will be very choppy,” Nicholas observes.
It’s a hot and humid morning on John Ochieng’s farm on the outskirts of Kisumu town, near a small lagoon. John is a bright and healthy 77-year-old who strides through the fields in bare feet, some of his toenails missing after decades of labour. He enjoys practicing his English. “How are you coping with the atmospheric pressure this morning?” he asks UNICEF, with a twinkle in his eyes.
It’s a quiet mid-morning at Bunde Health Centre in Kisumu, when local farmer Alice Mwajuma brings her two children David, 5, and Dahzur, 2, for a check-up. Long antlered cattle wander down the earth road outside, stopping to munch on the occasional patch of green grass. Alice and her boys arrive on a boda-boda motorbike, stopping by a fruit stall on the road outside. The health centre is quiet and cool in the shade of large trees. Blue and white buildings sport graffiti art illustrating health messages, such as the six ante-natal care steps for pregnant women to take.
The focal point of Kaego informal settlement, in Kisumu town, is the boda boda (motorbike taxi) stop at the junction of the tarmac road and the earth track that leads through the settlement. Young men sit on their bikes under the shade of a wooden roof, waiting for customers. Washing hangs on clotheslines, criss-crossing the narrow side streets with bright colours. Schools are out and young children run between the houses, rolling old car tyres or playing with homemade balls made from plastic bags and string. Their cries and laughter mingle with the rumbling of motorbike engines.