World

Photos show Kenya’s drought has left animals starving to death

In northern Kenya, a giraffe lies dead, its long limbs splayed. Camel skeletons bake in the sun, and people burn rotting animal carcasses to put a stop to the smell. Herder Yusuf Abdullahi saw 40 of his goats die of hunger — their white, withering bodies dot the warm dirt.

Brian Inganga/AP

“If they die, we all die,” Abdullahi told the Associated Press.

Brian Inganga/AP

Editors note: This story contains graphic content

Brian Inganga/AP

Brian Inganga/AP

Mohamed Mohamud, a ranger with the Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy, looks at the carcass of a giraffe that died of hunger near Matana village in Kenya.

Brian Inganga/AP

Brian Inganga/AP

The drought did this. As rivers dry up and vegetation wilts and perishes in northern Kenya, rangers and herders, along with their families, do what they can to keep more animals from dying. They fill plastic containers from boreholes. Conservancy rangers transport water in tankers.

Brian Inganga/AP

The loss of a herd of sheep, or a caravan of camels, or a drove of cattle, can be ruinous for families. Some areas in northern Kenya haven’t seen rainfall in over a year. The United Nations has warned that 2.5 million people are already experiencing food insecurity in the country because of the drought.

Brian Inganga/AP

Kenyan women wait for distribution of water by the government near Kuruti, in Garissa county, on Oct. 27.

Brian Inganga/AP

Brian Inganga/AP

Rangers supply water for wild animals in the Sabuli Wildlife Conservancy, in Wajir county, on Oct. 26.

Brian Inganga/AP

Brian Inganga/AP

A Kenyan herder stands with her children next to their hut near Kuruti, in Garissa county, on Oct. 27.

Brian Inganga/AP

Brian Inganga/AP

Herders give water from a borehole to their camels near Kuruti, in Garissa county, on Oct. 27.

Brian Inganga/AP

Brian Inganga/AP

Kenya is meant to have two rainy seasons: “Long rains” from March to May, and “short rains” from October to December. Over the last year, little precipitation has fallen in northern Kenya. And the latest rainy season is also poor, making an already dire situation worse. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta last month declared a drought-driven national disaster in 10 of the country’s 47 counties.

Brian Inganga/AP

The landscape of drought and death paints a stark picture of the region’s future as world leaders meet in Glasgow, Scotland, to make climate commitments at the COP26 summit.

Brian Inganga/AP

Africa is responsible for only 4 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, but its nations remain among those most vulnerable to climate change.

Brian Inganga/AP

Girls look after their family's camels as they drink from a water point in the desert near Dertu, Wajir county, on Oct. 24.

Brian Inganga/AP

Brian Inganga/AP

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Editing by Olivier Laurent and Reem Akkad