I have forgotten when we last had rain. It seems there were record falls in March. July, August and September, at least to my recollection, have been without rain. And that means we might expect bush fires, and we should have a plan to meet that contingency.
While it can always be said, but nonetheless it true that things are worst for others. As Ruth Callaghan reports for World Vision, Kenya (and other East African countries) are experiencing drought due to climate change. The effects on the people are harrowing and of course largely unreported:
A farmer stands among all that remains of his 40 cattle: scattered bones in the dust. A mother, toddler in tow, walks 10 kilometres to collect water, only to queue for two hours behind thirsty, desperate others. Weak with hunger, she fears the return journey may defeat her.
For another season, rain has ignored the people’s pleas and prayers and stayed away. Kenya is dry. Deadly dry.
In the last two years, a food crisis in this East African country has become an emergency, declared officially by the president last February. Back then there were already 2.5 million people in Kenya in need of urgent food assistance. In the six months since, reports Lawrence Kiguro, World Vision’s Associate Director of Livelihoods and Resilience in Kenya, that number has skyrocketed to 3,356,300. Among those close to starvation are 700,000 children under five years old.
“The situation has been deteriorating drastically,” says Kiguro. “When there is no food, everything comes to a standstill. Without food you can’t even do the simplest things. People’s health fails, they can’t work; children aren’t able to attend school.”
Climate Change is unlikely to miss the “the lucky country”, but rather denial and bad management will not only make things worse for us, but as well for all who share the planet’s troposphere.
As Dexter, Hannah and myself take our mostly daily stroll we might observe how the dynamics of the atmosphere are inter-related to processes of life around us, including in its symbiotic net ourselves. As a culture we might have lost our way by investing in power over nature, rather than respecting it as the source of our well being.
The dryness is very evident, which might be observed in this limited selection of photos of the final days of September. The background music is deliberately upbeat – Sioux Falls by Silent Partner:
I am given to whinge about American cultural influence. Something happens there and the response down in the South West Pacific, among the English speakers at least, is almost immediate. Such is the impact of global communication networks. However, the human story is always compelling and is captured by Rhiannon Gidden’s song Julie based on a memoir of a slave from the time of the Civil War: