The Turkana and Merille ethnic groups live in the borderlands between Kenya and Ethiopia.  They have long-standing traditional rivalries over cattle, water holes, pasture, etc. that get more intense when there is a drought, as there is now.

Things are also more complicated because now their nomadic paths cross international borders so that traditional clashes create expectations of police responses from distant governments in Addis Ababa and Nairobi.

Worst of all, fighting is now done with AK-47s, not clubs, spears and knives, with an unsurprising rise in bloodshed.

Here’s an interesting overview:  Turkana-Merille fighting

Both of these groups are at the low end of practically any development measure…health services, education, food security.  In years of good rainfall, they may live  lives of  independence and personal freedom that romantics might envy.  But drought years are more common than wet years these days, and the mysterious rules and authority that accompany governments and borders require difficult adjustments that they may not be able to make.  One or both of these ethnic groups may disappear altogether before the end of this century.

When Ethiopia’s next dam on the Omo is finished, river flow may dwindle to such an extent that Lake Turkana itself may shrink or disappear, to say nothing of survival farming along its banks.

Ethiopia did not seriously consider the dire impacts the dam is likely to cause — an accusation it rejects but doesn’t rebut with copies of reports — and also rejects any suggestion that serious adverse impacts are likely.