Rivers dry up and animals are die as drought continues to devastate Kenya and East Africa
Close to 3 million people are in dire straits in the east coast country of Kenya as climate change dries up rivers and and fresh water supplies. The long term drought brought on by declining rainfall patterns and significantly elevated temperatures now endangers the lives of 19 million people in the East African region.
Herders are walking up to ten miles a day in an attempt to get water near one of the temporary sand dams or digging in dried up river beds. Many long time water holes have become sand pits. Authorities estimate that 20,000 head of livestock have died in the past 6 months.
The situation is better in Nairobi due to the usual economic inequities, but the capital city is also facing water rationing up until April. If the rains don’t come then, all bets are off.
Somalia and Ethiopia are also experiencing long term famine, which is spreading across the central band of the continent in a pattern long predicted by climate models.
According to Richard Munang, coordinator of the UN Africa Regional Climate Change Program, “Africa is projected as the continent that will experience climate deviations earlier and more severely than any other region.” (Quoted in the The Washington Post in 2016).
As many as 40 million people are in imminent danger of large scale famine, a factor that will swell the numbers of climate refugees as the century progresses.