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Omo River Gondoliers & Omorate

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The Omo River is the arterial highway that runs through the Omo Valley. It is the centre of life for the diverse tribes that live along its shores.

Nile crocodiles lie listlessly on muddy beaches below the verdant banks. Flood farming produces crops. The water supplies the people and their livestock.

The river itself has a timeless, ethereal quality as the water slides slowly by on its meandering journey to Kenya’s Lake Turkana. Dugout canoes ply their trade at numerous crossing points and all seems as it has ever been.

Omorate is one of Ethiopia’s most southerly towns. Dusty, incongruously sleepy and bustling at the same time.

But life is changing fast for those who rely on the river. Progress stops for no man and the tribes have little say in their future.

Soon a series of dams and bridge crossing the river will be completed changing life for all forever.

These photographs are part of The End of Days – The Last of the Omo Valley Tribes series.