Interview with Samuel Ekomol, producer of the movie “Between the rains”
“Between the rains“ was filmed for four consecutive years during the period of record low rainfall. It is a feature collaboration with the Turkana-Ngaremara community that seeks to understand the experiences of a childhood caught within a traditional culture that is a casualty of climate change.
Turkana people are native to the Turkana county in NW Kenya, a semi-arid climate region bordering Lake Turkana.
Director: Andrew H. Brown and Moses Thuranira
Producer Samuel Ekomol
Samuel is an activist studying to be a science teacher in Kenya. Born and raised in the village where the movie happened Samuel prides himself on being a representative voice for the Turkana people and culture. As an advocate, he has worked on various peace-building initiatives throughout northern Kenya’s rural communities. As a leader within the student body, while studying at Moi University, Samuel partnered with the university to help inform and equip students and their families from pastoral communities on their rights and the opportunities available to them in their communities. Samuel currently teaches math & science at the school in Ngaremara village.
Can you tell us where did you get the idea to film the movie “Between the rains”
When one of the worst droughts hit the area and the local people (who are almost exclusively pastoralists) lost their livestock because of the lack of water and increased heat, we got the idea to air this problem, to share it with the world. The movie was filmed for 5 consecutive years, and to get the trust of the communities, the film crew needed one year to build it.
The movie crew picked a few local people to be the main characters in the movie, and some of the guys had their transitional period (to adulthood) during that time.
How did the person from the communities feel to be in the movie?
They were happy and privileged to be a part of the movie that will be shown to the whole world; climate change issues affect their life and culture; so after watching this movie people around the world will be more aware of the consequences of the drought, and the need to mitigate and to adapt to climate change.
How is the situation now in Turkana region ?
It rained a little, but not enough, so the situation is even worse than before because there are clashes between pastoralist communities; the distribution of rainfall is not even, so when somewhere rains, the other communities come to this part, and that creates tensions, and clashes between the communities. With the continuing drought, there is a need to adapt to climate change issues; drill deep wells to get enough water for people and livestock, plant drought-resistant trees and crops, and maybe switch to an alternative livelihood.
Is there an increased clash with the livestock because of the drought?
Yes, especially with the predators, who, because of the lack of prey, attack livestock.
For the end; what are your expectations of the movie, and what it will bring to the local communities?
The movie will have a positive impact on the local communities, it will warn the world about the situation of the Turkana people; about the drought, and the conflict it created, the destruction of nature and wildlife, but also our culture and traditions, for e.g.. transition of the boys to adulthood is eroding because it was connected to the rain pattern, which is less and less stable, so it is difficult to predict when it will rain and to organise the transition according to it, we are afraid this part of the culture will erode. To keep traditions alive is very important for our culture.It will also show that we need to adopt the measures of mitigation and adaptation against climate change ASAP.
Thank you for the interview and good luck in the future
“Between the rains“ is available for watching during the #GLF Nairobi on 11-12th of October, in person and online.
Watch the Q&A with the co-director, director of photography, producer and editor Andrew H. Brown, and producer Samuel Ekomol: