Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

In 2006, the United Nations said it expected Africa to be the continent most affected by climate change, not because it produces a large amount of greenhouse gases - quite the opposite - but because it is the least equipped to cope with change.

The rains have failed in Kenya since 2007 resulting in a prolonged drought with over 10 million people needing food aid. Drought is a normal, recurring feature of the climate in most parts of the world. It is among the earliest doc**ented climatic events, present in the Epic of Gilgamesh and tied to the biblical story of Joseph's arrival in and Exodus from Ancient Egypt. But, the prolonged drought crippled agriculture production in rural Kenya, greatly affecting millions of families who rely on farming, fishing or herding. An estimated 100,000 cattle have died and 4 million Kenyans to rely on donated food and water for survival.

The heavy rains in Kenya have started falling and thousands have been left homeless as floods follow the country’s worst-ever drought. The hard dry ground caused by the drought cannot absorb the water so it floods bringing the risk of disease – in particular water-borne diseases like ch***ra and diarrhea, and respiratory diseases. There is a need of supplies such as food, shelter and clean water.

Seems like a vicious cycle doesn’t it? Well here is the story of how one Kenyan family is adapting to this situation - a simple solution with a big impact.

Views: 24

Comment by Megiddo Tell on March 30, 2010 at 5:49pm
Whoa! That was a really big intruder. Which brings up a question. Can I assume that along with a population shift with people looking for water, the wildlife are also on the move?
Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on March 31, 2010 at 7:41am
@Megiddo, for communities who live in close proximity to the animal parks and reserves there is a year long wildlife/human conflict. This becomes an even bigger issue during drought as the wild animals look for scarce water.
Comment by Rahul Dewanjee on March 31, 2010 at 8:15am
+1 for Knowledge share.
very apt that you have raised this question. this pattern of extremes seem to be have been noticed in parts of India as well which were historically observed to be more starved of rainfall. Thanks for sharing the video. It certainly helped us to understand certain pattens that might be same in Africa and India.
Comment by Sarah Shaw Tatoun on March 31, 2010 at 8:48am
Thanks, Shakwei-- this reminds me of stories I heard from my mother about homesteading in Montana. They had drought and grasshopper plagues right in the middle of the Great Depression. She said the only thing her relatives were able to raise on the farm one year was turkeys-- they ate the grasshoppers!

They don't talk about overgrazing in the video but I'm wondering if that's as big a problem in Kenya as it is in the American West?
Comment by Shakwei Mbindyo on March 31, 2010 at 10:09am
@Sarah, during the drought, it became commonplace to see scrawny cows ambling along median strips on busy highways, bringing traffic to a standstill. Herded by Maasai morans (worriors) these cattle fed on flower beds, manicured golf courses and public parks. Confrontations between city residents and these morans often ended in blows, as the nomads resist being evicted from city dwellings.
Comment by Lynn Caldwell on March 31, 2010 at 11:41am
Hi shakwei - Have you heard about the storm water towers they have in Kuala Lumpa? It's a road netwok, but is shut during floods, and the wh*** thing 'swallows' the flood? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMART_Tunnel


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