Kenya's drought in pictures and how you can help

Kenya's drought in pictures and how you can help

I am indebted to Nat Geo photographer Charlie Hamilton-James for these photos taken earlier this year when we decided to cover the drought in photos. We felt they must be seen even though they may be upsetting. They reveal the scale of the drought now in it's 3rd year on wildlife and livestock.

Most people want to know why the drought is so bad. Well, the truth is climate change may explain the reduced rainfall, but that alone does not explain the extreme conditions and the catastrophic deaths of wildlife and livestock. The land is exhausted, over grazed, soils washed away, rivers pumped dry and trees cut down over vast tracts of Kenya's rangelands. Land degradation has exacerbated the impact of low rainfall resulting in an environmental emergency. So far people are not yet dying, but my prediction is that soon, we will see children dropping out of school for hunger, and malnutrition related diseases will begin to take lives of the very young and the old. What upsets me most is that we predicted that this would happen and we warned the government about the ongoing war on nature but nobody was willing to listen. Now people are tired, angry and despondent. A few are trying to feed wildlife with bales of hay and by pumping water into pans in the parks. It's a valiant effort, but much more is needed otherwise even predators  will have nothing to eat.

To support the  efforts to restore degraded landscapes you can donate to We are working with children in public schools across hte nation who are replanting trees, growing pollinator gardens, planting grass, stopping erosion, and cleaning the rivers in strategic locations like Amboseli, Maasai Mara, Tsavo and Nairobi National Park.

We are supporting desprate families who are affected by human wildlife conflict and who have lost key income earners and cannot keep their children in schools. We inform, educate, inspire and call people to action. Please do share this post widely. All photos are to be credited to Charlie Hamilton-James.

Dehydrated baby elephants get a second chance
Just north of Amboseli elpehants walk for tens of kilometers for water, but there's nothing to eat
A dead giraffe in a grotesque pose - we saw dead animals from horizon to horizon
The human toll is hard to compute
Most pastoralists have lost more than 85% of their livestock - the stench was sickening 
It was bad in January, we are now in March and still the rain has not come. It's desperate
An elephant succumbs to the drought in the Tsavo Ecosystem
Some pans are being artifically fed to keep some animals alive
A sunburned baby elephant orphaned by the drought gets much needed nutrition