Agenzia Fides REPORT-A Catholic mission in the most arid area of Kenya, drought-stricken, continues to provide meat to various religious centers in Nairobi and in the central area of the country.
This is the Catholic mission run by Benedictine monks from Illeret. Illeret is 900 km north of Nairobi in Marsabit district, near Lake Turkana. As announced by the Kenyan Episcopal Conference site, long before the government started to buy cattle from farmers in the area to minimise the loss of local heritage of cattle caused by drought, the Church of Marsabit had already launched the initiative, thanks to the initiative of Fr Florian von Bayern, a German Benedictine who works in the diocese.
Despite the enormous difficulties to be overcome (bad roads, the limit of the unbearable desert climate, strong tribal tensions), the Benedictines were able to complete the irrigation project in the area. At the shores of Lake Turkana, the Marsabit diocese has installed a wind-powered pump that delivers the lake water along a distance of three kilometers to the Illeret mission. In this way a section of the vast desert area has been transformed into an appealing green zone where the cattle bought by the Benedictine monks from local pastors are welcomed. The latter can then obtain the means to deal with the emergency caused by drought. Water is stored in a 60 thousand litre tank and is used for growing some plants resistant to the strong alkalinity of the lake.
The animals are then transported to the Benedictine monastery of Tigoni, in central Kenya, where they are taken care of to attain the right slaughter standards. (L.M.) '