As Die-Off of Kenyan Wildlife Spikes, No End Seen to Punishing Drought – IDN-InDepthNews | Analysis That Matters – IDN InDepthNews | Analysis That Matters
By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network
NEW YORK | NAIROBI (IDN) — A new report, titled “Impacts of the current drought on wildlife in Kenya” gives a devastating picture of the high mortality of wildlife across the East African nation whose animal kingdom has been the backbone of tourism for years.
Images from the region show feeble cows with ribcages protruding from their sides. According to the Kenya News Agency, herders are calling on the county and national government to buy meat from them as they lose their livestock to an unprecedented drought.
Kenya’s worst climate emergency in four decades has wreaked havoc, writes the Wildlife minister in a report delivered November 4. It is affecting nearly half of the east African nation’s eight provinces and has left both humans and beasts with very few food sources.
“The drought has resulted in the deaths of the following species: Wildebeest, we’ve lost a total of 512 animals; common zebra—we’ve lost a total of 381; our elephants, we’ve lost a total of 205”, Minister Peninah Malonza said during a press conference.
The Amboseli and Laikipia-Samburu regions (south) which are home to touristy safaris recorded more than 70 elephant deaths.
Some species like the gravy Zebras which are listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List were badly hit.
The Kenyan Tourism and Wildlife minister said authorities were dropping off hay for the animals.
Just as in west Africa, Kenya’s problems are being deepened by climate change. More than four million people are “food insecure,” and 3.3 million can’t get enough water to drink.
“African countries need finance urgently and they are calling on developed countries to deliver on their promises, starting with the pledge made at last year’s climate conference in Glasgow, to double adaptation finance to at least $40 billion annually,” commented Amina J Mohammed, deputy secretary-general of the UN and chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group.
Ms Mohammed, a former minister of environment of Nigeria added that “places such as South Sudan and my homeland, Nigeria, are experiencing devastating flash floods that sweep away homes, businesses and livelihoods. And up to 116 million Africans will face severe risks from rising sea levels this decade.
“African countries need finance urgently and they are calling on developed countries to deliver on their promises, starting with the pledge made at last year’s climate conference in Glasgow, to double adaptation finance to at least $40 billion annually.
“The failure of developed countries to honor their commitments is not just an injustice and a failure of global solidarity. It contributes to the serious tensions and divisions that are preventing global action on a host of other issues, from peace and security to human rights. As the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: “Exclusion is never the way forward on our shared paths to freedom and justice.”
Even if it rains now in Ileret, on the northern shore of Lake Turkana, the life of the widow Akuagok won’t improve much. She has no animals left and food prices are unlikely to fall much. The United Nations’ World Food Program, which might step in, usually gets 40% of its wheat from Ukraine.
The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization is appealing for $172 million in aid for the Horn of Africa to head off catastrophe. But as the war in Ukraine continues, that figure will surely rise. [IDN-InDepthNews — 07 November 2022]
Photo: Reteti Rescue Team rescuing an orphaned elephant from a mountain, so remote and unreachable by road or air. Source: Retiti.org
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