As a result of the four consecutive seasons of low rainfall, the serious damage to wildlife has alerted experts working to alleviate the situation and prevent the loss of more species
Drought in Kenya has already killed 1,235 wildlife (AP)
At least 1,235 wild animals have already died in nature parks in Kenya as a result of the droughtthat plagues the country. The figure takes into account the period between February and October of the current year.
“I confirm that different species of wildlife have been affected by the drought with a total of 14 different species of affected wildlife between February and October 2022″, said the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Peninah Malonza in a press conference in Nairobi.
The report presented on this occasion demonstrates the impact of the lack of water on wild animals and details the species affected by this problem.
“Due to the drought, we have lost 512 wildebeest, 381 common zebras, 205 elephants, 49 Grevy's zebras, 51 buffalo and 12 < b>giraffes (8 reticulated and 4 maasai)”, he specified.
To this are also added 8 hippopotamuses, 5 antelopes eland, 6 kongoni antelopes(African antelope), 2 Grant gazelles, 1 lesser kudu(another species of antelope), 1 ostrich, 1 rhino and 1 waterbuck.
Among the affected species there are 381 common zebras
The report released by the Wildlife Service also explains that most species are herbivores and that, in the case of elephants, the main problem lies in the reduction of forage -especially in younger ones that do not manage to reach a plant biomass of two meters.
Meanwhile, the areas most affected by these droughts include the ecosystems of Amboseli, < b>Tsavo -in the south-, and Laikipia-Samburu -in the center of the country-.
There are already four the consecutive seasons of scarce rains that occur there and for which the authors of the document call for an urgent aerial survey of wildlife in Amboseli that will allow them to have a broader and updated panorama of the the situation and the impact of the drought.
For their part, a group of experts suggested theimmediate provision of water and salt pans in the most affected areas to animals. An elephant drinks 240 liters of water a day, explained the executive director of the Elephant Neighbors Center, Jim Justus Nyamu. They also recommended increasing the supply of hay for the zebras.
“The drought continues to worsen as the days go by,” continued the study on the worst drought that the country lives in four decades. So far, nearly half of Kenya's 47 counties suffer from this problem.
Experts suggest the immediate provision of water and salt pans for elephants (EFE)< p class="paragraph">In addition to the serious damage to wildlife, this translates to about 3.5 million people affected – in a national population of about 55 million inhabitants – who face obstacles to obtaining drinking water and food.
According to the NGO WaterAid, droughts on the continent have become more frequent and intense in the last four decades, already extending the wetlands of the Democratic Republic Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic (CAR) and Cameroon, where “a worrying trend” is observed.< /p>
“Despite the fact that these countries receive large amounts of precipitation each year, their populations may experience a greater impact of drought during the next decade if the current drought trend continues”, the NGO noted.
“People most vulnerable to climate change are already dying due to lack of food and clean water. The world can and must reverse these deadly circumstances”, warned the director general of WaterAid in the United Kingdom, Tim Wainwright.
With information from EFE and AP