Deaths reported in Kenya as drought ravages

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Scores are reported to have died of starvation in Kenya as the country battles a ravaging drought that has hit mostly northern parts of the country.

According to local Daily Nation newspaper, several people have died in the country’s Baringo County, with thousands of others facing starvation.

Many parts of the East African country have gone lengthy periods without rainfall, cutting off crop farming in those regions.

The lack of rainfall compounded with a locust outbreak wiped out crop farms in the northern parts of the country, leaving residents battling hunger.

Residents in the drought-hit areas have been forced to live on wild fruits, which they say are not entirely safe for consumption. The fruits have to be boiled for hours to make them edible.

Getting water has also been a huge challenge for the residents of the areas affected by the drought. They are now forced to dig burrow wells, from where they get water to drink. This water isn’t treated at all, but with no options available, they have to consume it.

Animal herders have reportedly moved to neighbouring Uganda to search for pasture for their livestock.

In response, Governor Josphat Nanok of Turkana County – which is one of the worst affected – said his administration had set aside Ksh350 million (around $3.5 million) to mitigate the effects of the drought.

The funds will go towards the procurement and distribution of food to those affected.

Nanok however said he is not aware of any drought-related deaths as reported by the local media.