Death of livestock in drought leads to more human death

By August 1, 2011

Kenya (MNN) — 12 million people are suffering the severe effects of drought in East Africa, but as livestock die out as well, the risk of danger in Kenya is increasing.

IRIN News, a humanitarian news and analysis service, reports that cross-border conflicts between pastoralists has significantly increased in Turkana since the drought began. Livestock theft, shootings, and forced migrations have all gone up.

Livestock deaths are causing many of the disputes. Some animals die from starvation and others from dehydration. One elder told IRIN that often when cattle do reach water, they die from drinking too much, too fast.

Since cattle and other livestock are such a commodity in the region, as animals die off, pastoralists are getting desperate. Many in Turkana depend solely on livestock, reports IRIN. People have little reserves of money, if any.

So the desperation of losing animals to drought has caused people to fight, kill, and steal. One woman was attacked at a water point, and her attackers took her family's entire herd of 300 cows.

Voice of America reports that women are increasingly at risk of such danger as husbands leave in search of more money to feed their families.

Families seem to be suffering on all sides: dying from hunger, falling into more poverty as livestock die off, and fighting off danger from desperate neighbors. More than anything, people need the hope of the Gospel.

Bright Hope International has work near this area of Kenya. They are not only providing food to drought victims in Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia, but their partners are also bringing the Bread of Life. Help Bright Hope save lives and bring Christ's eternal hope here.

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