DROUGHT IN THE AMBOSELI ECOSYSTEM
Kenya’s worst drought in living memory is a tragedy for millions of subsistence farmers, herders, wildlife and the environment.
It is still too early to weigh the full impact, but one thing is clear: Kenya’s 2009 drought has destroyed any hope of pastoralists returning to a traditional way of life. Over half a million people have left their homes in search of forage and herders across the rangelands have lost three quarters of the cattle in the last few months.
The tragedy stems from three decades of failed policy and lack of development in the rangelands, excerbated by poor rains. The upshot is that droughts now recur once every four or five years rather than every ten.
Read more: What is the root cause of the crisis in Kenya's rangelands?
The impact of intensifying droughts is taking a toll of the land, natural resources, and wildlife. Wildlife losses have been reported in Tsavo, Samburu, Laikpia, and Mara but are by far the heaviest in Amboseli. Here the tall sedges that buffer animals from drought have been grazed out. Over 90% of the wildebeest and 70% of the zebra and buffalo have died of starvation in the last few months. Elephant calves, unable to follow their mothers into the swamps, are starving).
Read more: The 2009 Drought in Amboseli
NEWS FROM ACP
Find out about upcoming projects, events, and updates from ACP. Click here.