Kenyan herders heavily affected by continued drought
Jul 29, 2011
Conflicts between pastoralists in Turkana, Kenya, have become more heated as the droughts rage on, IRIN reports. Those who are fighting to sustain their livestock and their livelihoods are finding scarce resources.
Aside from the malnutrition and lack of purified water, such desperation has caused a large increase in livestock theft, shootings and more displacement, according to the news outlet.
Pastoralists account for 60 percent of the population in the region, so many are trying to stand their ground for as long as possible even as conditions worsen, the news source reports.
"This drought is very severe for everyone. We have very small herds. I lost 100 goats and sheep in the past two months," Natoo Lore, an elder in a local community, tells IRIN.
Even before the droughts, more than half of the population in the area was already dependent on food aid. However, now the number is rapidly increasing, mainly because the climate changes have caused more extreme dry seasons, according to the UN World Food Program (WFP).
"The droughts are now coming more frequently and they are coming for longer periods than they used to," Elizabeth Nabutola, head of WFP in Lodwar says to the news outlet.
Not only are people in the area faced with food insecurity, many are now facing cross-border conflicts as pastoralists are having to migrate to better grazing land in South Sudan and Uganda, according to the news outlet.
"We have to move further and further to the west to find pastures and water, closer to the Toposa," Lore reports to the IRIN. "Last time, we went 100km farther because the Toposa attacked us," he says. "You have to be alert and armed all the time."
Humanitarians from OXFAM and WFP are trying to set up better food delivery stations around the region to ensure the safety of those seeking food and shelter.