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In Flax, a lot of people have farms or smallholdings or shops. However, there is some other employment, too, mainly provided by Fluorspar. This company quarries fluoride in the Kerio Valley (part of the Rift Valley). Lorries bring the fluoride up from the valley to a plant in Flax from where it is then transported to other places. Just outside Flax, a former government minister is building a tea factory. Sometimes he can be seen flying in in his helicopter to inspect the works. Recently, oil has been found in the Kerio Valley. Tests are now being carried out to see if the well can be commercially exploited. The Kerio Valley is

very dry and very poor. Most of the people in Flax and surrounding area have strong links with that valley, because it was where their people lived during colonial times. When the Europeans left after independence, many people moved back to the highlands, leaving the hot, dusty valley behind. Life in the highlands, while not easy, is easier than in the valley. But not everyone moved from the valley. Plenty of people still live there, trying to make a living in a valley that is perfect for growing mangoes and bananas, but not so good for growing vegetables.

The highlands around Flax are fairly flat and they have an almost European feel, probably because the colonials introduced lots of European trees and vegetation. The highlands aren't mountainous. They are more like a plateau. The valley is very different, driving along there, you see hills and cliffs. The vegetation is unmistakably African and you see termite hills everywhere. Termites are a delicacy here. Especially children and elderly people are given them to eat, because termites are a good source of vitamin A.

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