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I got my first professional commission from the the Mail on Sunday, (the Mail is the UK's second biggest selling newspaper) to accompany Fergal Keane, BBC reporter on a 5 day trip to the Turkana region of North East Kenya. Fergal had with him a TV cameraman and a half hour documentary will be shown on BBC soon. The point of the documentary was to report on a marginalised community such as the Turkana, a tribe inhabiting the region around the 2nd largest desert lake by the same name, as they live normally, not just when there is a crisis. Though in fact, Turkana suffers from a more drawn-out crisis, that of drought on the one hand, compounded by corrupt central governments that have all but abandoned the Turkana to fend for themselves. It's a cruel axiom that for the poorest in this world, the more basic their needs the less they can depend on help from those whose responsibility it is to provide it. The long rains have failed 2 years in a row, the Lake is shrinking year by year and there is strong anectotal evidence to suggest climate change is a contribiting factor. The Turkana people are warm, self-reliant, good-humoured, humble and tough. Turkana is a hot, dry place: there is little wildlife and roads consist of precipitous dirt tracks that traverse endless dry riverbeds. My trip was the experience of a lifetime and the physical privations of being on the road in such a harsh environment only added to the sense of adventure. Thank you to the Turkana, and the Oxfam crew for extending me every courtesy during my stay. Tha article and some of the pictures in this gallery are published in the Mail on Sunday today November 12.

James, left is father of Lowetan, one of his 35 children from 8 wives. They are pastoralists but their land is suffering from drought. They wish to defend their way of life but environmental change may force them to move and come into conflict with other hard-pressed tribes.

Click here to see the gallery.

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Rob Davies03-Jan-2013 23:50
Love this.
kasia16-Apr-2011 20:18
Excellent! V
Larry Lam18-Feb-2008 15:47
Nice colourful & potrait image. Great.V
endre novak15-Jan-2008 21:25
great! V
AL19-Nov-2006 14:48
Yes, your perspecive, color and expression worked perfectly. I'm just as proud as them of you :-)
Kelly Clark Moncure19-Nov-2006 13:37
great angle
carol j. phipps18-Nov-2006 16:36
Unique and wonderful.
shatterbug17-Nov-2006 20:20
Terrific perspective and this shot! Vote.
George - Omiros Christakos16-Nov-2006 13:07
Exceptional angle. Powerful photo. Bravo. V.
Chris Sofopoulos14-Nov-2006 17:56
Congratulations for your success Niall. You deserved it.
Eric Herbelin14-Nov-2006 17:03
the leader of the gallery
TimA14-Nov-2006 07:27
Congratulations Niall on you first assignment - and what a great one to start with.
You've really captured the pride and sense of community here. Well done.
Ann LT13-Nov-2006 16:00
I love the colors and the perspective here.
Like Jude,the best part for me is his hand on her hip too.
Guest 13-Nov-2006 00:30
Congrats Niall, I'm very glad for you and enjoyed the great images, love this wide angle view point very much and... what a sad story for the people living there, for many of us it's a hard hard world.
Ray :)13-Nov-2006 00:15
This is an awesome headline image, Niall. Those figures look commanding and towering.
Chris12-Nov-2006 18:37
Love the color and the perspective is just money.
Victoria12-Nov-2006 18:14
Fantastic angle
faye white12-Nov-2006 10:17
awesome news Niall! Huge congratulations - off to see the gallery!
jude12-Nov-2006 09:36
Vivid colors and the perspective of looking up at them as they pass add to their pride and dignity.
The part I love best, though, is James' hand on her hip .. it does not appear to be posessive .. but loving and gentle.
From one photojournalist to another, congratulations on a huge first step into this world. There'll be more to come - remember, I predicted it. :)