small number of rainmakers still make a reasonable living because they have managed to establish and maintain a rapport with many farmers for decades.
But another group is also finding itself a casualty of the country unpredictable weather rainmakers.
The Kenyan government does not keep records of the numbers of rainmakers, and relies on meteorologists for matters relating to climate.
"I do not despise traditional rainmakers. There are times when we farmers need them, he said. "They help our local community to know when is the best time to prepare our land and sow our seeds. But Masakhalia feels that the rainmakers specific predictions are no longer reliable.
Muhatia says that a Air Max Shoes Gallery
A traditional and familiar part of agricultural life in western Kenya, rainmakers have long been called upon to predict the coming of rain so farmers will know when to sow their crops.
am not so educated and never managed to go to a secondary school classroom, but I am a hardworking person.
But he feels traditional rainmakers will have to cede their leading position to more modern professionals, in the same way that traditional home birth attendants have given way to hospital births.
Many of those who still seek the services of rainmakers are small scale farmers, but the rainmakers fees, which can be as much as 2,000 Kenyan shillings (about $20) for a session, are seen as increasingly expensive, particularly as incomes are hit by drought and other weather related problems.
"I used to make a reasonable amount of profit advising farmers, but now I am thinking of switching to another career which may bring better opportunities, such as brick making, said Peter Muhatia, a rainmaker from Western Kenya.
with the change of climate and rainfall patterns, (farmers) do not wish to be disappointed, said Samson Munywoki, a lecturer in sociology at the United States International University in Nairobi.
a scientist, I really feel for the farmer as they are the ones who suffer the heaviest losses, he said.
p>VIHIGA, Kenya (AlertNet) In the face of erratic rainfall patterns, persistent droughts and poor food production, many Kenyan farmers are struggling to maintain their livelihoods.
The best rainmakers can sometimes predict Air Max 95 Multicolor
But many are finding their skills short circuited by the new weather conditions, which are likely related to climate change.
extension services to farmers gives us more money than predicting rain," said James Wafula, a rainmaker in Western Kenya. But he expects the current drought to last beyond the upcoming short rainy season in October and November.
Wafula Masakhalia, who owns a 10 acre farm in Western Kenya, said rainmakers still have some value.
"I cannot go to any other job because of my age and I only have (informal) education, said Shilavula Khamadi , 78, a rainmaker from Vihiga. Khamadi says that his children and grandchildren, who are Air Max Command Red educated, give him occasional financial support.
"Yes, climate change has affected them, but one thing for sure is that they have Air Max Cherrywood
Traditional rainmakers, meanwhile, must find other work.
Some rainmakers are trying to expand their skills and give more general agricultural advice to farmers, instructing them to grow different crops in order to cope better with drought.
good predictions, at times even stunning meteorologists," he said.
"Obviously climate change is real and it is here to stay, he added. only thing that can be done is to minimize its impacts. Munywoki, of the United States International University, said he has respect for the skills of traditional rainmakers, and believes the best way to preserve their occupation would be for them to team up with meteorologists to tackle climate change.
Changing Kenyan climate threatens traditional rainmakers
spend so much money on them for nothing, yet we could (use) that money to feed our children, said 32 year old Anna Shikuku, 32, a single mother and farmer.
some incidences, when a traditional rainmaker predicts rain in a certain season and it fails, the farmers cease (using) his services. In search of reliable information, many farmers are turning instead to meteorologists, scientists and agricultural specialists, in the hope that that these experts have the answers to their problems.
the onset of rain with astonishing accuracy. But they lack other occupational skills, and the majority do not know how to read and write, making it difficult for them to find other work.
have been a victim of crop failure when rains fail to come," he said.
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