Author: Timothy

Kenyans are leaving their homes in search of water

Kenyans are leaving their homes in search of water

2% of the world’s rarest zebras wiped out in Kenya’s relentless drought

Jumping from the back of a cattle waggon, a family sets off into the arid bush with their two young children.

“Oh, it’s so dry and hot,” says Riki, a young mother of nine, clutching her little boy.

Their family is among an estimated 200,000 people that have left their homes in Kenya’s Rift Valley in the hope of escaping the worst of the drought.

It is nothing new to the country’s cattle drivers, who say they routinely see people leave their homes in search of water.

But the families are making the treacherous journey with no water or food and are becoming casualties of the country’s worsening drought.

“For some, it’s a death sentence,” says Dr Maureen Ewer, the World Wildlife Fund’s national secretary for Kenya.

“Their desperation is such that they will take that [journey] despite how dangerous it is and knowing that it will certainly mean their deaths.”

Image caption Some of those who leave Africa’s Rift Valley in search of water have left with nothing

In a nation where poverty, unemployment and hunger are rife, the drought has made a mockery of the government’s efforts to tackle what many see as a human-made disaster.

One in three people are still without water, according to the government.

The situation is so dire that, by last month, there were more than a million people in need of aid and assistance.

Over 1.2 million people have been affected by the drought to date – the most severe drought in three decades.

Image caption Water and food scarcity is a major problem for many

While no official figures are available, local sources have put the number of those affected at about 200,000.

And with no end to the drought in sight, most fear that the number will grow to at least 2 million and that water will not be available to those in need for some time.

The problem

The effects of the drought have been felt most keenly and most dangerously in areas where water is in short supply.

A series of droughts have left people in some hard-hit areas of the country without water for

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