The writer uses local color to help pain a picture in the reader's mind about how the place described looks and perhaps importantly, feels. Some examples from the main characters could be that the day after the encounter with the thieves, Jonathan is seen "strapping" a five-gallon container to his back; his wife is "sweating in the open fire." With these details we can get a sense of life in the area and the hard, hard work required to make a living.
Another example of local color is Achebe's use of dialect to show how people talk and sound. For example, the family cries out, "We are lost!" but in broken English, this plea becomes "we done loss-o!"