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August | The Drought Diaries: Marlvin Mwaura, Kenya

Marlvin, a butcher in Kenya, standing in front of his shop.
Marlvin Mwaura in Nkoroi, Kajiado County (TNH)

Marlvin Mwaura, Butcher

“My family is not struggling like it used to.”

Marlvin's story

Marlvin Mwaura, 27, lives close to a major abattoir that supplies meat to much of Nairobi. When he completed high school, it seemed only natural to follow his father and uncles into the meat business.

He currently works in a small butchery, but his goal – distant at the moment – is to become a supplier, feeding a network of butcheries.

Marlvin and his wife Ruth have a six-year-old daughter in kindergarten. She will be going to primary school next year and that will mean higher fees. “My biggest worry is for my kid to be able to go to school. Her education is my priority. But at least I know that we can’t go hungry because I work in a butcher!”

The family lives in Marlvin’s parent’s house so they don’t have to pay rent. To keep their grocery bill as low as possible, they shop in the market early in the morning, when distributors are selling to the retailers. Marlvin earns 15,000 shillings ($150) at the butchery and Ruth, who works in a hair salon, the same amount.

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