Kenya's 2-year drought has killed a thousand animals, caused food shortage

Dristi Sharma
Dristi SharmaNov 07, 2022 | 14:35

Kenya's 2-year drought has killed a thousand animals, caused food shortage

Kenya is facing its longest drought in 40 years. Not just the humans, but the wildlife has also been severely affected due to this water scarcity. 

According to a report released on Friday by the country's tourism department, at least 1,210 animals have died in the past nine months, which includes: 

  • 205 elephants, 
  • 512 wildebeests, 
  • 381 common zebras, 
  • 51 buffalos, 
  • 49 Grevy's zebras,
  • 12 giraffes 
The drought continues to worsen as the days pass, as evidenced by the upwards trend of wildlife mortality between February and October 2022
- Tourism ministry said in the report. 

How bad is the situation: All animals including drought-resistant camels are also getting impacted by the drought. However, herbivores have been the most impacted category of animals, causing the death of already endangered species like Grevy zebras, giraffes etc. 


The figures collected between February to October could be an undercount, the report said, because predators may have consumed the carcasses of animals that died as a result of the drought. It also noted that the landscapes are vast, so researchers "may not have accessed every part of the area where wildlife died."

The deaths are a stark reminder of the devastating impact of climate change on biodiversity
- Sophie le Clue, chief executive of ADM Capital Foundation, an environmental non-profit organization to the Washington post
  • According to data from the World Food Programme, an estimated 18 million people in Somalia, Ethiopia, and Kenya are experiencing food shortages as a result of the prolonged drought that has ravaged the Horn of Africa for the past four successive rainy seasons.
  • The World Meteorological Organisation of the UN stated this is the longest drought to affect the area in forty years.

Kenya's Meteorological Department is predicting below-average rainfall for much of the country over the upcoming months which has caused concerns about the increasing threat to the wildlife. 

In Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia, we are on the brink of an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe
- Guleid Artan, director of the World Meteorological Organization's climate centre for East Africa, said in August.

What is the government doing? Kenya's Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Peninah Malonza said that steps were being taken to save the lives of animals - including digging boreholes and transporting water to dried-up water pans and dams.

A popular tourist attraction in Kenya is its wildlife. Over 2 million people are employed in the tourism industry, which contributes 10% of the nation's economic output. The consequences of the drought on the animals may soon cause an economic catastrophe in the countries of East Africa.

Last updated: November 07, 2022 | 14:35
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