The withered carcasses of livestock are reminders that drought has descended yet again in northern Kenya, the latest in a series of climate shocks rippling through the Horn of Africa.
As world leaders addressed the global climate summit in Glasgow, pastoralists watched their beloved animals suffer from lack of water and food. Yusuf Abdullahi says he has lost 40 goats. “If they die, we all die,” he says.
Kenya’s authorities has declared a nationwide catastrophe in 10 of its 47 counties. The United Nations says greater than 2 million individuals are severely meals insecure. And with individuals trekking farther in quest of meals and water, observers warn that tensions amongst communities may sharpen.
Wildlife have begun to die, too, says the chair of the Subuli Wildlife Conservancy, Mohamed Sharmarke.
“The warmth on the bottom tells you the signal of hunger we’re going through,” he says.
Rain has failed for two seasons in the east African country, leaving families without enough food and water. It also has snuffed out pasture for livestock, crippling herder communities throughout the nation.
In September, Nairobi and aid agencies estimated that 2.1 million people in 10 counties were affected by the drought. The numbers are expected to rise to 2.4 million by this month, relief agencies reported.
The harrowing footage was taken by Kevin Mtai, a climate campaigner from Pokot in Kenya.
He said: “In Kenya we have contributed less carbon emissions, but we are the ones paying the highest price.
“Animals are dying and people are suffering because of the climate crisis.”
Experts warn that such climate shocks will become more common across Africa, which contributes the least to global warming, but will suffer from it the most.
“We do not have a spare planet in which we will seek refuge once we have succeeded in destroying this one,” the executive director of East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development, Workneh Gebeyehu, said last month.
As if in a macabre parade, cattle carcasses line the two sides of the dusty road leading into Biyamadow, a sleepy village in northern Kenya’s Wajir county.
The grisly spectacle of dismembered animals rotting beneath the scorching sun is the result of a prolonged drought that has been pushing pastoral communities here – and the livestock they exclusively rely on – to the brink of disaster, reports Aljazeera.
“In 72 years of life, I have never seen something like this,” said Ibrahim Adow, a Biyamadow resident.
Gabriel Ekaale, a policy officer for the World Food Programme based in Lodwar told Sky News: “It’s estimated about 600,000 members of the population in Turkana County are in need of food or cash assistance.”
Kenya’s Catholic Bishops met in Nairobi this week to ask the country’s Catholic faithful to donate food to regions affected by severe drought, the Vatican News reports.
They released an open letter stating: “It is becoming clear that the frequent droughts that we are experiencing in many parts of our country are as a result of global climate change and environmental degradation.
“Here in Kenya, it seems our model of development has led to a culture of degradation of our environment and the depletion of our natural resources.”
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