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Kenya, Horn of Africa Drought Worsens Hunger

FILE - A farmer examines the remains of his cow, in drought-stricken Ndavaya, Kenya, Nov. 12, 2021.

Environmental experts and humanitarian groups say failed rainy seasons in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are worsening hunger in the region, wiping out both livestock, crops and pushing locals to flee their homes in pursuit of food and water.

Environmental experts say Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia did not have any rain over the last four seasons and predict another failed season in the Horn of Africa, which would worsen the hunger crisis faced by the region.

Loudi Lokoriyen, a Kenyan goat herder who travels to the outskirts of northern Kenya in pursuit of water, confirms findings presented by experts and emphasizes that he has lost livestock due to the failed rainy seasons.

“Close to 300 goats have died, 50 camels have died, and they continue to die,” said Lokoriyen.

Agnes Ekereru, a grandmother responsible for the well-being of three grandchildren, says the deepening hunger crisis in the region is affecting the health of her grandchildren.

“I have three grandchildren who have been affected by hunger,” said Ekereru, adding, “All my livestock have died because of drought.”

According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, the drought has affected approximately two million children in the Horn of Africa who are in desperate need of urgent care because they are facing life-threatening severe acute malnutrition.

UNICEF regional director for eastern and southern Africa, Mohamed Malick Fall, says the failed rainy seasons in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia are hurting communities which are among the least responsible for global carbon emissions.

“It’s not the countries ironically that are contributing more to global emission that are paying the heaviest price and here comes the notion of equity and justice, why should I pay such a heavy price for something for which I have not contributed so greatly,” said Fall.