According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report for the period between July and October 2021, approximately 2.1 million people (14% of the population in Arid and SemiArid Lands (ASALs)) experience acute food insecurity due to prolonged spells of drought. In comparison with the same period in 2020, there has been a 34 per cent increase (over 700,000 people) in the number of people classified in the crisis and emergency category.
In Kenya, the food crisis has impacted the people of Baringo, Garissa, Isiolo, Mandera, Marsabit, Tana River, Turkana, and Wajir the hardest. Pastoralism is the primary source of income in the afflicted countries.
Tana River County has been severely impacted by the dry spell, with more than 1,000 animals projected to perish as a result of the drought. What were once lush grazing meadows teeming with grass and feed are now a sea of carcasses as villagers tally losses on a daily basis. Villages are filled with stifling odours as residents face famine due to a lack of food and water.
Freelance journalist Jimmy Makhulo and DIRAJ member Duncan Lukoye recently toured the county to document the extent of the drought. Here are some pictures that they took.