2% of the world’s rarest zebras wiped out in Kenya’s relentless drought.
One of Kenya’s most successful breeders, W.C. Shewmaker said there had been a drought affecting his livestock for years.
The drought is having a drastic impact on the wildlife of Kenya — a country of 12.5 million people with a number of rare species.
“The wildlife is dying out in Kenya. It’s going to get to the point where you just see it in the city on one day,” said Shewmaker, a farmer in Mvurwi, a village in northwest Kenya.
A herd of wildebeest that was a rare sight in the past is now being seen less and less often in the country’s dusty plains.
“I never knew that wildebeests existed in Kenya before,” said Shewmaker as he sat in his small barn next to dozens of animals he had purchased from across Kenya for his breeding farm.
“In the old days they were all in the bush, but now the bush is gone in the city. The animals are moving to the city,” Shewmaker said.
Since Kenya is such a small country, the impact is felt all over Africa.
Zimbabwean farmers are suffering a double blow from the country’s prolonged drought and flooding.
Nomad farmers say their crops have been ravaged by years of drought, but their herds have been badly weakened by drought, too.
“Every day we take our cows to the field to water them but they don’t use it because they are lazy and are not grazing so we have to keep on feeding them,” said a nomad farmer, who preferred to be identified only as Fikili.
Luketi, a farmer from the village of Tukuyu in Mozambique, has his cows in a small field about 50 kilometers from his home. He is not sure when they last grazed.
“They were grazing a little on the last day when we came home but now it’s too late and they are too weak,” said Luketi.
“The cows are losing weight, because they are very skinny. They can’t eat,” he said.