You saw the above picture in your email or in a social media post, and we asked if you knew what it was.

What you were seeing was a part of this photo:

It’s charcoal! This picture was taken in Turkana, Kenya, the rural region in northern Kenya that we frequently talk about (it’s where the farm is located).

These sacks of charcoal are lined up for sale along a main road. One of these big sacks is sold for 500 Kenyan shillings, which is about $4.60 USD. It’s a commonly used item as most middle-class people in Kenya use charcoal for cooking, roasting meat and ironing.

Charcoal is made by slowly burning tree trunks and branches through a special process that takes two days. Here in Turkana, acacia trees are the typical wood of choice.

And in this region, it’s mostly women who make charcoal to sell. The money they earn helps them buy food for their families.

So, there’s the inside scoop on charcoal in Turkana! See you next month with the next edition of “What am I?”

 

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