MERTI TOWN, A HIDDEN GEM OF ISIOLO COUNTY

image

By Galimo Askumo

Merti is a town located in Isiolo County, about 520 kilometers from Nairobi. It has a dark history as one of the fourteen ‘concentration camp’ sites in the North where locals were detained for years during the ‘Shifta War.’ The town has shed that past and become a vibrant center in the North. Being my hometown, I spent a couple of weeks here over the holidays and came back with these photos.

image

image

Vantage point view of the town..

image

image

..the main street of Merti town..

The town is bordered by a hill on one side..

image

..and Ewaso Nyiro river on the other.

image

image

..the river in particular was a favourite chill spot. Temperature in the town averages above 35 degrees at this time of the year so the riverine forest was a good place to cool down and enjoy the best of mother nature.

image

The river is quite wide at this point as it approaches its destination, the Lorian Swamp.

image

I stumbled upon a tree house in the forest, owned by a farmer who stays safe from lions and hyenas by sleeping above the ground..

image

..the view from the tree house.

The town is predominantly Muslim as evidenced by the 7 mosques in a town of about 20,000 inhabitants..

image

..but a Christian quarter exists in Merti, christened ‘Manyatta Father.’ The church stepped in to help locals after the end of the Shifta War and their legacy lives on. There are several churches in the town as well as a Christian community center. It felt good being woken up by praise and worship songs from churches and seeing people co-exist peacefully. The harmony is such that Churches are built using signature features of ‘Islamic Architecture’ such as the horse-shoe arch and minaret-like bell towers.

image

Transport from Merti to other towns further North doesn’t come easy. You end up paying a fortune for the luxury of riding in the back of this old Land Rover.

image

Sunsets in this town are incredibly vivid and colourful. The hill provides a perfect backdrop that adds to the magnificence of it all.

image

All in all, I had a great vacation in this town where modernity and wild nature exist in close proximity. It takes quite an effort to get there but the experience is worth the journey. A good excuse to Tembea Kenya off the beaten path.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

GALIMO ASKUMO

“An explorer, an infomaniac and a hippie. I got tired of wanting to read detailed, long form articles on various topics that interest me so I decided to write about them. My username is an ode to the last two known members of my family tree which goes back 11 generations.”

Advertisements

Author: Whispers from the North

Extrovert, outgoing, a knack for international relations,foreign policy, governance, human rights and diplomacy. Nonetheless,I live my life and you live yours.I am not in this world to live up to your expectations.You are not in this world to live up to mine.You are you and i am me.if by chance we find each other, it is beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s