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Pastoralists switch professions to provide for their families in Kenya

Many families in Kenya have had to abandon their lives as farmers during the continued droughts for less-traditional jobs to earn money, IRIN reports.

In northern parts of Kenya, women are now forced to partake in the commercial avenues through hawking (making goods to sell), and basket-weaving as a way to put food on the table for their families.

"I became a hawker a year ago when hunger started to bite," Martha Lebasale, a mother of three told the news outlet. "I start hawking brooms and toothbrushes [made from leaves and roots of a local tree] from about 5 p.m., my business is most lucrative at night because lorries carrying passengers travel at night."

Lebasale is not alone in the fight to provide food security for her family.

"For many years, the Rendille - my community - feared poverty caused by loss of livestock during droughts," Lebasale told the news source. "Now hunger is our main concern after we experienced frequent droughts in recent years. Almost the entire community is struggling with hunger."

She told the news outlet that her husband lost their goats in 2009, and since then times have grown increasingly tough, especially as food prices continue to rise.
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